“Treat those who are good with goodness, and also treat those who are not good with goodness. Thus goodness is attained. Be honest to those who are honest, and be also honest to those who are not honest. Thus honesty is attained.” Lao Tzu
I was sitting at my daughter’s taekwondo class this week. The instructor yelled out:
“What is honesty?”
The students answered collectively, “Honesty is the first step to an abundant life!”
A woman in front of me looked at others in her row and said “Really? Honesty is the first step? I don’t know. Why honesty?”
The other woman said, “I was thinking the same thing when I first heard it. Honesty?”
They rolled their eyes.
I admit, I have been thinking about this ever since that day. I researched a few Taekwondo sites in case #LittleLove wanted to have a discussion about this and I could be prepared. Here is what I found.
The dictionary honesty defines it as the quality or fact of being honest; uprightness and fairness; truthfulness, sincerity, or frankness; freedom from deceit or fraud.
But it is so much more than that. To be honest is to obey our conscience; it means to have the courage to confront the consequences of our actions no matter what prices we may have to pay nor what pains we may have to endure: it is to take responsibility for our actions, to be accountable.
While we are all born honest we often learn to be dishonest. This is why is very important to reinforce honesty and keep it as a habit throughout life. Of course, the best way to do this is by practicing being honest right from the beginning of our lives.
Characteristics of honest people:
They always speak the truth
They take responsibility for their actions.
They look at others straight in the eye.
They confront the consequences for their mistakes.
They’re sure of themselves.
They have self-esteem.
They keep their promises
Others rely on them
Being honest with the world is contributing to what is best not just for ourselves and those around us, nor for a particular society, but for all humanity.
To the ladies who rolled their eyes, I can absolutely live with this teaching. I wish more people were not just HONEST with others, but honest with themselves. It’s true, most people are rarely honest with person who matters most, themselves. Whether it is how we treat people, our addictions to food and alcohol, our procrastination… Honesty can be hard, but we have to do the work. It is the step to an abundant life. A step that sets one free.