“Honesty is such a lonely word, everyone is so untrue. Honesty is hardly ever heard and mostly what I need from you.” This is the refrain of Billy Joel’s song Honesty, which I happen to like. However, since my last post about honesty, the lyrics seem a little incomplete. Is honesty only an exchange of information? I often hear people say they like a person because he or she “says it like it is”. But is that it?
Last time a wrote that an honest person is someone who “clearly expresses, if convenient, to the appropriate person and in the correct moment, what he has done, what he has seen, what he thinks, what he feels, etc., concerning his personal situation and that of the other people.”
I believe we sometimes forget the words in bold. We never stop to think if what we are about to do and say is convenient, appropriate, and correct. And when it comes to “saying it like it is” we always apply it to other people and certainly never to ourselves!
We often forget the purpose of honesty. Why are we supposed to be honest? Honesty is essential if we want to grow and improve ourselves. In order to do that, we have to be able to see reality, we have to be capable of distinguishing the important and secondary things in life. Honesty is only a virtue if it is meant to guide us in our effort of reaching our purpose in life, and in my case is to become a daughter of God.
“Saying it like it is” and “blunt truthfulness” are not honesty. It is just being impolite and downright arrogant, because this attitude does not differentiate: what is a fact from what is an opinion, what is important from what is secondary, who needs to know the truth from who does not, and when to speak from when to stay silent. And it certainly never answers the question why, because this attitude never has any reasoning behind it.
Honesty has been so a misunderstood word. We reduced it to nothing, but deep inside it carries so much hope. Hope? Yes, because if everybody were honest just imagine what we could accomplish… we would never get in the way and we would collaborate better. Man would know his place in the universe and with Gods help we would achieve everything.