I strive always to be more honest in all aspects of my life. But that is no easy feat in today’s world which is full of deceit. Shady business practices, “sharing” digital files, cheating on tests. Dishonesty is everywhere. But even if your not dishonest out of malice, it’s often tempting to compromise your integrity to spare someone’s feelings, avoid conflict, and avoid looking bad.
In a recent situation, I lied by omission to an important person in my life to avoid conflict and spare feelings. I also compromised my integrity by keeping my mouth shut when I should have spoken up. And of course eventually the truth came out which lead to an even greater conflict and more hurt feelings than if I had just been honest in the first place. It’s made me wonder how I should have handled things differently. And I know the answer. I should have sucked it up and spoken up and told the truth leaving nothing out.
So in thinking about honesty and integrity, I’m trying to think of any situations in which honesty really isn’t the best policy. And I’m not coming up with anything. Even the rationalization of sparing someone’s feelings doesn’t really help anyone to not know the truth of the situation. How will that person feel when they eventually find out they’ve been lied to? But being honest doesn’t mean ignoring feelings either. Honesty doesn’t have to be brutal. If you are truly coming from a place of heartfelt good intentions of sharing the truth with someone, that will shine through.
Being honest often takes a great deal of courage. And in this case I failed. I let my fear of people’s reactions to my honesty be the deciding factor. But I can’t live by fear. That’s not really living. That, at best, is surviving. I don’t want to survive my life; I want to live it.
Little lies turn into bigger ones. Small chinks in my integrity can, overtime, completely compromise my ability to stand for anything. So I’ll continue to strive to be more honest in all aspects of my life.