Honesty? Can anyone “honestly” come close to defining that particular word? Honesty… a value among many applied to your set of morals since an early age. Since learning how to speak I and many others have learned to do everything but that. I have learned to deflect the culpability from myself by any means possible. Parents and superiors have tried to drill honesty and other principles into our daily behavior and habits. Did we turn out how they had intended? Our culture is an evident answer to that question.
Is Honesty a lost cause? No, honesty is what links our society together, whether that is in relationships, treaties, or agreements. I believe, and know, that when honesty and trust is broken we experience a moral decay in all aspects of our lives. One of many examples of this, we can see just before the start of World War II. When Hitler took over a neighboring country, he promised every inquiring nation that he had a right to that territory and that it would stop there. Blindly we and many other countries put their trust in a decaying civilization. Decaying morally that is. Hitler obviously broke our trust and the world that was linked by treaties fell into a state of high chaos and distrust.
All it took was one deceptive promise to cause a sequence of distrust and alarm between countries around the world. Granted other things did lead to an all out war, but Hitler was the main instigator in this situation. As a result of his and others actions in that time period, the world will never be the same. Global economies plummeted, nations dissolved in a torrent of violence, and the lives of billions were changed or ended forever. If we lose all sense of honesty and dependability, what would our world look like? That is a scary thing to think about.
Dishonesty and deceitfulness obliterate everyone involved or linked to it. I have many great examples of this in my life. The one that seems the most relevant for this short rant is what happened to my church a few years ago.
There arose an issue in my church a few years back where the pastor had not been entirely honest with the congregation in the term that he had been leading. I will not go into the specific details because it is not my position to speak about. In a broad, vague sense my pastor was saying one thing while doing another. He was living a two faced life, one that was a facade for his other darker, dishonest side. When the news broke, my church was torn in half. One side wanted to give him another chance, while the other was broken and unbelieving. To summarize, the church was damaged deeply. It, as a whole has not been able to regenerate the confidence and faith it once valued.
Dishonesty, the culprit behind many of the issues that we face today, has torn society apart innumerous times. All that we must do, together, is wake up and care for the major issue here in order to solve the smaller side issues caused by our gradually diminishing morals. It is not an easy solution to establish in the community but “a single drop of water into a body of water creates ripples for miles.” Honesty in the smallest circumstances will cause change. Start small and the influence will spread. We need a resolution to our current condition and honesty, this I believe, is our best bet.
If you enjoyed this essay, please consider making a tax-deductible contribution to This I Believe, Inc.