Understanding Honesty

Honesty: — The quality or state of being honest; probity; fairness and straightforwardness of conduct, speech, etc.; integrity; sincerity; truthfulness; freedom from fraud or guile.
Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary | http://dictionary.babylon.com

Synonyms: artlessness, bona fides, candor, earnestness, frankness, genuineness, good faith, goodwill, guilelessness, heart, honor, impartiality, innocence, justice, openness, probity, reliability, seriousness, sincereness, singleness, trustworthiness, truth, truthfulness, veracity, wholeheartedness.
Antonym: dishonesty, insincerity, untrustworthiness.
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  • Honesty is feeling — free of deceit and hypocrisy
  • Honesty is a quality — of genuineness
  • Honesty is a state of being — honesty of intention or mind
  • Honesty is freedom — from simulation, disguise or false pretense
  • Honesty is a trait — of being truthful and open

Benefits of Honesty

  • Honesty provides purity — there is an open truthfulness that remains trustworthy, unblemished and pure.
  • Honesty provides safety — with trust that sincerity yields, all those who come in contact with it, rest calm and secure in its protective care.
  • Honesty provides serenity — it its simplicity and natural way of being.
  • Honesty provides acceptance — with purity and innocence we are free to be ourselves and to be accepted for who we are.
  • Honesty provides honor — respect based on their honesty and pride in their word.

Acts of Honesty in Everyday Life

  • Self-honesty — There is little hope in ever achieving true peace of mind without developing the habit of being rigorously honest with ourselves; about both our weaknesses and our strengths.
  • Justice for all — Every witness called upon to testify in a court of law still, to this day, is required to place their hand upon a Bible and swear on the sincerity of their testimony before God and fellow-man.
  • Confrontation — Although something we may find difficult at first, in order to live with sincerity, it is most important that we learn how to say what we mean, mean what we say, and not say it mean.
  • Positive Parenting — Spend time, regularly reading stories to children that exemplify honesty and sincerity. Model these behaviors so they incorporate these behaviors into their everyday lives.

Methods for Achieving Honesty

  • Daily Progress — Make time each day for solitude in which to review the day with an honest self-appraisal and self-assessment. Where did we demonstrate sincerity and integrity? Where do we need improvement and practice?
  • Meditation — By seeking serenity we connect with inner guidance and direction in what is honest, right and just.
  • Practice Consistency — Develop the habit of acting the same way no matter where you are or who you are with. Be yourself — never try and be something or someone you are not.
  • Learn to let go of Neediness — Sincerity comes from purity of heart and intention, neither of which can occur if you focus on things you want and cannot have.

Golden Mean

Dishonesty, Hypocrisy

Quotes for Sincerity

Integrity is telling myself the truth. And honesty is telling the truth to other people.
- Spencer Johnson -
Honesty is the first chapter in the book of wisdom.
- Thomas Jefferson -
Honest hearts produce honest actions.
- Brigham Young -

Recommended Reading

Life, and How to Survive it — by Robyn Skinner and John Cheese

A very solid journey toward emotional health and well-being. Skinner and Cheese have provided a strength-based, user-friendly book involving a great section on honesty and sincerity.

Radical Honesty, The New Revised Edition: How to Transform Your Life by Telling the Truth — by Brad Blanton

Very appropriately titled look at strong, harsh honesty and how one can change from being fundamentally dishonest. This book is not pretty, and it focuses on honesty for personal reasons rather than for honesty's sake.

I'm Telling the Truth: A First Look at Honesty — by Pat Thomas

This is part of the "A First Look" series of virtues and values for young children. Although recommended for very young children, the concept of honesty and sincerity as portrayed here may be more appreciated by children in kindergarten and even a grade or two beyond. Most definitely, a book to help with positive parenting.

General Rules

Practice virtues daily so that they become ‘habits of the heart’.

Don‘t strive for perfection.

Never give up! Remember: even the greats have off days.

Rely on your intuition.

Avoid extremes. Strive to achieve the golden mean between excess and deficiency of a virtue.

Have fun and enjoy the program with humor and optimism.

Every act of dishonesty has at least two victims: the one we think of as the victim, and the perpetrator as well. Each little dishonesty makes another little rotten spot somewhere in the perpetrator's psyche. Lesley Conger