Advice For My Son: Honesty
Albert Einstein once said, “Whoever is careless with the truth in small matters cannot be trusted with important matters.”
Honesty is an essential component of a person’s character. An honest person both seeks and tells the truth; even when the truth makes life harder for them.
There are a handful of qualities that go hand-in-hand with being a good person. These qualities include integrity, trustworthiness, kindness, empathy, and honesty. One of the most critical of these being honesty. It’s a cornerstone virtue on which others will judge your character on.
A person’s integrity is measured by their honesty in the face of adversity. Trust is built on a foundation of honesty between you and those around you.
Honesty is How you Avoid Mistakes Becoming Failures
Everyone makes mistakes. We have all stepped out of line at one point or another and done something we regret. The difference between a mistake and a failure is whether or not you’re honest about them.
Whether it’s breaking a lamp while horseplaying in the house or forgetting to bring your homework to school, an honest person takes responsibility for their actions and owns the truth about what they have done.
By doing so, they show their character. It’s much easier to forgive mistakes if the person that made them shows a willingness to accept responsibility for them and learn from them.
If you tell a lie to get out of trouble, it demonstrates to the person that you lied to that you aren’t willing to learn from your mistake. That is how a mistake becomes a failure.
Honesty Will Help You Build Relationships
When I was a child, I thought I had to lie about who I was or where I came from to be interesting enough to be accepted by my peers.
In Elementary school, I told fibs about my after school activities, so my classmates would think I was cool. But in reality, I was setting myself up for trouble down the road.
You see, when you tell the truth, you don’t have to remember your lies. Your story is the one you lived, and you know it. If you say a lie, that lie follows you throughout your life, and one day someone will call you on it. You’ll no longer be interesting to them, you’ll be a liar.
By being an honest person, the people around you will trust you. They’ll take you for your word and count on you to be straight with them if they ask you a question.
Your real friends will be the ones you are the most open with. The ones that know you for who you really are. If you start those friendships off by telling a lie, then you miss out on the opportunity to make a real friend.
Honesty Makes You a Better Leader
If you want to be a leader in life, you have to be an honest one. Integrity is part of being a good leader. The people around you need to trust that you won’t lead them astray.
Think about the last time you were on a team. What if you couldn’t trust your leader to tell you the truth? Would you follow their lead or be worried that their directions are meant to trick or fool you?
If you’re honest, your team will trust you. If your team trusts you, they’ll believe in you and follow your lead.
Honesty is the best policy. You will come across situations where it will feel as though the only way to avoid trouble is by telling a fib. But, take it from someone that has learned from their mistakes, it’s far easier to fess up and be honest in the long run.
Your friends, family, peers, and other loved ones will respect and appreciate you more for it.