They say honesty is the best policy. Who are "they" who say this? Do they really mean it? Have they always been honest? And never suffered the consequences of their honesty, (some would say stupidity)?
Now, before you all start admonishing me about this seemingly bad advice I am giving; let us all consider what we mean by honesty.
Some legal minds would define it as "the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth".
Jesus used to say to His followers, "I am the way and the truth and the life" yet, even in those days, Pontius Pilate challenged, "What is truth?" (John 18:38).
So let's consider honesty under the spot light for a moment or two; and let's see how we define it and whether we agree it is the best policy.
Many years ago, when I was young and living in London, I wanted to be strong, healthy and handsome, (to attract the ladies). I remember walking past a sports shop selling all kinds of equipments to make one strong and covered in muscles. I walked in, and I must admit that at the time I was all too willing to sign a cheque for a lot of equipment.
First I tried the self-standing bicycles with various gears and speedometers and what have you. Then I moved on to the different types of treadmills. Electric ones, non-motorised ones, some with the facility for an incline and so on. The I looked at the trampolines. I honestly was prepared to buy at least one or two of these contraptions.
A salesman approached me and I asked him a few questions about the treadmill and the bicycle. He advised me not to buy any. He said that I'll probably use them once or twice and then they'll stand there at home gathering dust. I left the shop totally deflated.
Was that salesman honest? Or was he the worst salesman in the world?
Years later, I did buy both a treadmill and a stand-alone bicycle; and I tell you friends, they make very good coat hangers.
So ... what is honesty do you think?
Should we always tell the truth? Even if it hurts? Or should we white lie perhaps to protect and help the vulnerable?
In my book "Visions", (forgive the advert), I relate the story of a woman who tells Father Ignatius that her daughter, a teenager, is not really the daughter of her husband. She is the result of an affair the woman had many years ago, whilst married, which she never confessed to her husband. She is now in a happy relationship with her husband who is a good father, and provider. She asks the priest whether, now ridden with guilt, she should confess the truth to her husband.
What should the priest advise? What would you advise?
What is honesty? Is it the best policy?
READ "VISIONS" HERE