By Bill Fox/Columnist
In a recent column I mentioned the 12 spiritual principles which are a part of all major world religions. In future columns I will explore each of these 12 principles, and I will start with the first principle of honesty.
So why do we lie? If we are really honest with ourselves, we must admit we all lie. We might sometimes tell lies to cover up bad behaviour, or to attain what we want. We might also lie to spare the feelings of others, avoid unnecessary conflict, or to simply brighten up someone’s day. Sometimes dishonesty seems to be in our nature.
So how often do we lie? Social psychologist Bella DePaulo asked 147 individuals to record their incidents of dishonesty throughout the day. On average, her subjects lied at least twice a day. The lies themselves were relatively harmless in nature; giving excuses for instances such as lateness, or fibs presenting a false image like saying you ran five km instead of the truthful two.
It seems to start from the top with politicians and prominent business leaders.
Years ago, U.S. President Richard Nixon swore U.S. troops had not bombed Cambodia during the Vietnam War. Johnny Cash, while in Vietnam boosting the morale of troops, found out they were indeed crossing into Cambodia.
As he was staunchly loyal to the office of the President, Nixon invited Cash to the White House. After requesting a few songs from Cash, with the leader of the western world held captive, Cash launched into “What Is Truth?”
The song was written as a direct result of Johnny’s trip to Vietnam. It was a song championing the idea of youth and freedom, with a prominent anti-war second verse. Nixon sat listening with a frozen smile. You can see the encounter on the documentary The Man In Black.
Barbra Streisand has released “Don’t Lie to Me,” a new song taking aim at Donald Trump.
Streisand sings: “How do you win if we all lose?/You change the facts to justify/Your lips move but your words get in the way,” an allusion to Trump’s notoriously laissez-faire attitude to the truth, with The Washington Post calculating he has made over 6,000 “false or misleading claims” since his presidency began.
Then there are the Boeing 737 Max jets. According to an American Pilots official, “Boeing will never, and should not ever, be given the benefit of the doubt again. The combination of arrogance, ignorance, and greed should and will haunt Boeing for eternity.”
Finally, I hesitate to refer to our own Premier Ford, who won his election by stating he was “for the people.” He also mentioned that no jobs would be lost because of his government policies – yet where are we today?
Here are some of my favourite quotes about honesty:
– “Speak with honesty, think with sincerity, and act with integrity.”
– “Integrity is telling myself the truth, and honesty is telling the truth to other people.”
– “Honesty is more than not lying. It is truth telling, truth speaking, truth living, and truth loving.”
– “No legacy is so rich as honesty.”
– “It takes strength and courage to admit the truth.”
– “Honest people don’t hide their deeds.”
– “Being honest may not get you a lot of friends but it’ll always get you the right ones.” – John Lennon
– “No legacy is so rich as honesty.” – William Shakespeare
– “Honesty and transparency make you vulnerable. Be honest and transparent anyway.” – Mother Teresa
– “Know that honest people are on the verge of nobility and honour, while liars are on the verge of collapse and destruction.” – Imam Ali RA
– “Truth never damages a cause that is just.” – Mahatma Gandhi
– “I believe fundamental honesty is the keystone of business.” – Harvey S. Firestone
– “Whoever is careless with the truth in small matters cannot be trusted with important matters.” – Albert Einstein
Honestly, I can be reached at Bdfox@rogers.com