Honesty and Truth

“The precepts of the law are these: to live honestly, to injure no one, and to give every man his due.” Justinian I

The philosophy I will follow is to live honestly, to purposely injure no one, and to give every person a chance to do the same.

Any promise I make to someone is a debt which I must pay. If I cannot keep a promise I will try to make up for it. I will not make any promises which I knowingly cannot keep. I will not make a promise that I have no intentions of keeping to get something I want or need, even if the other person is being unfair.

I will be honest even if I am the only one. I will not be dishonest or deceitful even if everyone else is. Regardless of who is telling me to do it, I will not compromise my honesty.

In situations where honesty may hurt someone, I will keep my words to myself. I would rather keep quiet than hurt someone with my honesty. Unless my job is to deceive potential criminals in order to protect others, I will not be dishonest even if ordered to by anyone.

When I tell others exactly what is on my mind, then, I should be able to handle the same from others. If I cannot tolerate frankness from others, then I shouldn’t speak frankly to anyone.

Exaggerating the truth is the same as lying. I will strive to tell things as they are, without stretching the truth or undue exaggeration.

If I don’t know something, I will say that I don’t know, rather than make up a falsehood.

I will present myself to others as I truly am on the inside. I want to be liked for who I really am, not for who I can make others think I am.

For the most part, I will try to live a virtuous life. Once in a while, I may choose vice rather than virtue. If I choose to stray, I will accept the consequences if there are any. I will live with anything I choose to do, be it virtuous or vice, without regret. What is virtuous and what is a vice is for me to decide. Just because something is considered legal does not make it virtuous, just as something illegal may not be a vice. For the most part, my moral compass will guide me. If I am unable to decide and require guidance, then I will seek it from those whom I consider to be virtuous, regardless of what their beliefs are.

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Do what is right. Can politics get any simpler than this?

“If it is not right do not do it; if it is not true do not say it.” Marcus Aurelius

Can ethics get any simpler than this? Most people understand the differences between right and wrong, the truth and a lie.

Sometimes, people rationalize going against the simple premise of doing what is right by proclaiming that the end justifies the means, that they are above rules like these.

Sometimes, they claim their lies are for the common good of others.

Neither is true.

The end never justifies the means. That is just a way for people to make themselves feel better about being unethical. They lie and cheat, claiming it is for the better good of others. They are not doing it for the benefit of others, they are trying to justify an immoral action.

Annihilating an entire race of people in order to promote your own is never justified. Bombing entire cities to end a war is never justified. Suspending moral laws for the benefit of a few or many is never justified. The means will never justify the end, no matter how many benefit. There will always be other options, suspending moral laws may just be the most expeditious, the easy way out. If tried hard enough, an ethical solution will always be found.  People just need to take the time to find it.

Those who lie never do it for the benefit of others, despite what they claim. They are lying for themselves. Maybe one can justify withholding the truth for the benefit of others, that’s what secrets are. One can never justify lying for the benefit of anyone. Lying is an unethical act which only benefits the liar.

Politicians have become notorious for making these claims. They hold themselves above others, above moral laws, that when they lie or commit an immoral act, it is for the benefit of society.

No one is above moral laws, especially politicians.

Lies and unethical acts are the tools of self serving individuals, people whose main interest is their own agenda.

People have become blinded, believing that the end justifies the means, that lying to protect the majority is okay. That is why immoral politicians continue to prosper. We believe their lies. We accept their claim that they are above moral laws and ethics.

If we, the people, begin holding others accountable to these simple rules, ethics will once again prosper.

If we, the people, simply say “If it is not right do not do it; if it is not true do not say it”, regardless of the reason, others would not be able to justify immoral and unethical actions.

If we, the people, stand up and say, “that is not right, stop doing it” or “that is not true, stop saying it”, we are saying ethics comes before your self interest.

If we, the people, remain quiet, then we are accepting the fact that others are above moral and ethical laws. We are giving them permission to cheat us and to lie to us. We are saying “you are above moral laws, do what you must”

It is not “If it is not right do not do it, unless …; if it is not true do not say it, unless…”

It is not ‘Do what is expeditious, regardless of ethics”

It is not “Do what benefits the most, regardless of ethics”

It is very simple: If it is not right do not do it; if it is not true do not say it” Period!

 

 

The path to success and happiness

“Whatever else may be shaken, there are some facts established beyond warring: virtue is better than vice, truth is better than falsehood, kindness than brutality.” Quintin Hogg

The way to prosperity is through many paths. The way to happiness is through many paths. The way to riches and rewards is through uncountable paths. There are some who would have you believe otherwise. They would have you believe that there is only one path to all of these.

For many, the way to prosperity and happiness is through riches and rewards. The way to riches and rewards is through vice, falsehood and brutality. For them, any other way is for the week and ignorant.

There are a few who will never bend, who will always know that success and happiness comes from being virtuous, kind and truthful. For them, there will never be enough riches or rewards that would alter these constants. They may be tempted, and some may even fall under the temptation, but they will all know what is right from wrong. Those who fall will be forever haunted by their conscience.

Those who acquire riches and rewards through vice, falsehood and brutality will never become content or truly happy. No amount of riches and rewards will ever be enough for them. Their misery is that they will always want more.

History has always shown that virtue is better than vice, truth is better than falsehood, and kindness is better than brutality. Men, women and nations who test these premises have always succumbed to their own vices, falsehoods and brutalities.

And yet, more keep thinking the path to prosperity and happiness is through riches and rewards. The way to riches and rewards is through vice, falsehood and brutality.

The true path to riches and rewards is through virtue, truth and kindness. The path to success and happiness is being content with whatever riches and rewards virtue, truth and kindness bestow upon you.

Be judged for the person you really are

“It is better to be hated for what you are than to be loved for what you are not.” Andre Gide

What this quote means is that it is better to be judged for the person you truly are, your inner self, your character, than for an image you portray to others. Creating an image to make people like you does not satisfy your inner self, since you are aware that they like the image, not the real you.

It is better to portray your inner self to everyone, your true character. Then you can make the judgement if you are happy with the love or hate you get. If you are comfortable with your self, with your character, then how others perceive you will become irrelevant. What is more important is how you perceive yourself, if you are comfortable with who you are.

You will always have an inner conflict if you create an outward image, a person you are not, in order to be loved. It will give you piece of mind to be honest with yourself.

 

Losing friends due to good intentions

Don’t tell your friends their social faults; they will cure the fault and never forgive you. Logan Pearsall Smith

What this quote means is that it is not always proper to say the exact truth, sometimes it is OK to hold your tongue, or to bend the truth a little. Most of us have come across this situation, where you meant to help a friend by telling them the truth, only to end up losing that friend, or never having the same type of relationship. Sometimes, it’s better to overlook certain faults, rather than risk losing a friend.