Just a few short months ago, I decided to start guiding my life by a single principle. This principle best fits the values and work that my life is devoted to. It informs my actions, decisions, everything … it’s called Honesty.
Honesty is generally understood as truthfulness, but it’s so much more than that. I’ve always told the truth and operated on full disclosure, but when you guide your entire life according to honesty, the implications are huge. You see, this one principle is altogether applicable to every facet of life and human interaction. Honesty means accepting fault and holding yourself accountable, no matter what you were wrong about in the first place. Honesty means accepting truth, no matter how inconvenient, and rejecting false claims. In my life, honesty requires me to act with tact and integrity, and to make decisions based upon what will be of greatest benefit to those kept down or marginalized for who they are. Honesty requires us to be direct and clear in our intent, and to consider all possible outcomes before speaking or taking a stand on a given issue. Honesty means that I never endorse practices or ideals that I don’t already employ in my own life, and in my continuous pursuit of knowledge I must be open to changing my views and opinions as new information becomes available. Perhaps most important of all, honesty requires me to be me; no pretending or false reflection of how I might wish to be seen, but how I actually am. A life guided by this one principle is altogether loving, truthful, and positive.
I decided to write about honesty today not to brag or shine a proverbial spotlight on myself, but rather to encourage all who read this to consider the role of honesty in their own lives. You need not make it THE guiding principle of your life, but honesty is not prioritized enough in our society. Consider whether or not the way you live is consistent with this principle. Apply it to everything you can think of. Your spirituality, worldview, personal ethics, biases, morals, pursuits, family life, career track, and social interactions. Honesty is the way we demonstrate to people that we are trustworthy and deserving of respect, and it must govern our integrity in all that we do.
The principle of honesty, if prioritized by all of us, has the ability to transform our culture and bring us closer to the unity and equality that we so passionately pursue. That ability makes it not only worthwhile, but necessary.