Welcome back to our discussion on honesty!
The Best Way to Live
Honesty is up there with the highest of virtues. Without honesty, nothing else seems to matter. Honesty breeds trust, integrity, respect, loyalty, and faithfulness. These are all virtues we expect of those closest to us and ones we hope for in others. Benedict was right when he realized that one lie leads to another.
A person who is dishonest lives in a funnel. A dishonest person continues being dishonest and he or she spirals down and life closes in, leaving no room for others. Honesty is always the best policy. Living honestly – all the time – is always a better way to live!
Modeling the Virtue
The obvious way to model this virtue is to be honest in every word and in every action. It is easy to say to ourselves that we are always honest. Sometimes we may need to take a closer look at our lives to discover the subtle ways we aren’t always exactly honest.
Taking some time to examine our day and our life and being honest with ourselves about the ways in which we may rationalize some of our behaviors or categorize them as minor or insignificant in the big picture can be an extremely humbling experience. This is not an exercise in guilt, but an exercise in freedom.
To call ourselves out on things is the best route to renewal. Taking advantage of an opportunity to transform our behaviors and change our lives might just be the best way to model the virtue of honesty for our children. They will notice and emulate our changes!
After introspectively looking at our own actions and behaviors, write down what you would like to change. Am I too judgmental? Am I willing to sell myself or others short? Do I exaggerate the details for a better story?
Whatever the case may be, you will automatically develop a keen eye and ear for dishonesty in our world, once you understand your own behaviors. Sometimes we learn more from bad examples.
Use situations of dishonesty that come up in life as teachable moments with your child. Call it like it is and point out dishonesty to your child – whether in reality or the made-up world of entertainment. Ask and discuss what your child thinks about the dishonest situation and why the truth matters. Discuss the harm that can be caused in the situation and how it can affect others. I think you just might be amazed at the wisdom of your child when it comes to the importance of honesty.
Next week – an honesty challenge! Have an honestly, beautiful week! ; )
S. Ciara Mitaro