Is Honesty Still the Best Policy

Topics: Meaning of life, Sarvepalli Radhakrishnan, Zakir Hussain Pages: 2 (592 words) Published: July 28, 2012
‘Honesty is the best policy’ – this is a statement that we have heard most often since as far back as we can remember. But its implications have been changing for us with the changing times. At the very onset we had learnt this statement only because we were told to do so by our society and the family. It had little meaning for us then. A little later, when we started school the import of this proverb was – not to steal others’ things and not to tell lies. By the time we reached middle or secondary stage the implications had been altered altogether. For our convenience we took it as a statement that excluded those lies that were spoken for someone’s good or those that did not cause harm to others. That is to say we could utter those lies. But as we reached college or university level, the statement began to seem more and more bookish and superficial to most of us. Here the question arises – Is this the correct approach? Certainly not. Honesty is still the best policy and will continue to stay so for all time to come. Let us have a look at the concept of honesty. It is not an external quality. Being honest to ourselves comes first and then to those around us. Dr. S. Radhakrishnan, former President of India, had rightly remarked, “Only the man of serene mind can realize the spiritual meaning of life. Honesty with oneself is the condition of spiritual integrity.” The policy of honesty works on the principle of give and take. If we are honest to others, only then can we expect others to be honest to us. It’s not very rare when we read in the newspapers that a person returned someone’s lost bag even knowing that it contained lakhs of rupees or other valuable things. If we want to get back our lost bags safely, we will have to return others’ bags gracefully. The virtue of honesty is not at all a bookish concept. It is this honesty only that assists in taking the world forward in times of widespread corruption and falsehood. We generally believe that poverty leads to...
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