I’m sure at some point in your life somebody has hypocritically told you to always be honest, never lie and life will be easy. Most of us have even had to start up an internal dialogue regarding whether a white lie is worth it.
Obviously (ideally), in any circumstance which a lie only benefits you, it’s selfish and shows your lack of understanding realities priorities to go through with lying. However, most of us have had conflict in whether we should tell the truth or lie to someone for their own benefit, hence the concept of a white lie. In my confusion and constant analysis of life, I have decided a few things, which are metaphorically written in my moral code book; one such thing is that a person should always be wholly honest. Regardless of religious perspective, personal standing, potential gain, or fear of “unnecessarily” hurting a person’s feelings, I firmly believe that nothing but the truth should be stated and have even taken it to an entirely different level.
I’m guessing you’re familiar with the court preceding “I shall tell the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth.” This is subcategorized into three statements for a reason, not just because the court system is long winded… To tell the truth is one thing, but the whole truth requires far more detail and doesn’t allow for the omission of anything, including thought process associated with action or conclusion. Due to this, I often find myself talking far too much, trying to give people the entire story in pure honesty. “Nothing but the truth” is applicable in that, sure, I could state that I grabbed the cookie jar off the shelf, which is ‘A’ truth, but to proceed by saying it was, in fact, the dog who ate all of the cookies would then be lying. So, the court system has developed this oath to instill a higher level of honesty than most people are willing to go to. Again, I have taken honesty to an entirely different level than this.
Not only do I answer any question posed to me directly with honesty, forcing myself to disregard the potential consequence associated with my perspective or action, but I bring the idea of honesty into my actions. An honest action is that with no intent of harm. An honest action can be defined as something which was, what I believed, at least, to be the best course of action to take in any circumstance. Further, yet, the way I dress and carry myself is meant to reflect my stature. Exemplary speaking, I have decided that a man who can afford to dress well but chooses not to is likely attempting to hide his wealth; conversely, I appreciate honesty for various reasons which I will cover shortly, and believe it in everyone’s best interest that I dress to reflect my wardrobe.
So, aside from the obvious reasons of respecting one another and trying to make a progressive impact on the world throughout the course of my life, why would I so highly value honesty that lying is out of the question? One primary reason is the influence which my statements can unwittingly have on onlookers. Each of us, every day, make decisions and speak what we say, unaware of those who are learning from our actions. Most of us pick up on mannerisms and habits based on proximity with people whom we respect, and, ideally, these habits are good for them, the environment, and the future. In being purely and holistically honest, I have found that many more people have come to respect me, and the idea of being forward and truthful in their own actions. As such, my honest habits have already begun to impact the world and lives of those around me. To further support this endeavor, being honest helps to build up the amount of people who respect me, as well as remove those who despise the truth from my life, building a foundation of trust between me and the people whom I associate with.
Ultimately, though, the primary reason I value honesty as the most important decision in our free will: the continuation of happiness in the people around me. One white lie example most men will encounter at some point is the question, “Does this dress make me look fat?” Often, men seem to think that their girlfriend/wife/fiancé is merely seeking approval from their significant other; that does not seem to be the case to me. If she is overweight, she may be trying to conceal that fact in the public and believes she found a dress which does and is looking for your honest opinion. If she isn’t overweight but thinks the dress accentuates curves in a bad way, and you tell her it doesn’t when it really does, she won’t be very happy when she looks in the mirror in better lighting later. I acknowledge that this is an extremely shallow example of why I believe honesty should be used in a white lie, as well, but the example still stands; and no, I am not telling you to go home and call your wife fat. It is to say that, if I ask if I look pale today, I want to know whether I look pale, not to be complimented on my awesome complexion in falsity.
So, in life, we get to make a lot of decisions, and a lot of them can be very difficult. Instead of procrastinating on making the decisions or taking the convenient route of not hurting people’s feelings or benefiting myself, I have made it a rule that I always resort to honesty. A person who doesn’t know the entire truth cannot sufficiently offer advice in circumstances and a person who knows part of a truth and a lot of lies may progress down the wrong path. Those who see you make decisions and maintain an honest lifestyle and response structure will adhere to your methodology and gain respect for you, or realize that they can’t get away with lying too much around you because you will catch them in trying to be honest yourself.