Is honesty really the best policy?

Have you ever decided to be the bigger person and tell the truth, but been burned by doing so?

Maybe you lied and got busted big time. Is it really better to be honest or use the greatest social weapon of all… the lie?

Honesty has multiple colours and can either make or break someone. I’m sure many of us have been burned by the horrifying and terrible truth we find out about, after those beautiful and irresistible lies people tell us, reveal themselves. Growing up, “No matter what you do tell the truth” is something we’re told on the regular. But as we grow older, does it remain relevant to consider anymore? Does it no longer apply to our current century? Lying may be the greatest social weapon of all and don’t get me wrong it can get you to your ambitions dreams faster – but, what’s the point when getting to a place isn’t as satisfying or when the people around you and important to you find out your innermost secret. Life becomes a whirlpool of lies upon lies upon deceivable lies.

Yes, honesty is the best policy. No matter what happens, at least you won’t live with the burden that someday your lie will haunt you or that one day someone will have the power to point a finger at what you once did or said.

My parents used to encourage me to tell the truth. After being torn to shreds by people, except my mother who appreciates being told the truth no matter what, for being honest, I now think to myself – ‘Is there really any point of being honest when you can lie and easily get your way out of things?’ However, to add fuel to the fire, no there isn’t any point in telling a lie – all it does is just create more and more barriers in your path to success. Or, maybe telling the truth just promotes the fact that we, as individuals, should not do things that we aren’t proud to say we do – we’ll be more careful of what we say or do next time.

A lie that I once told, lead to so many more lies, that I kept going in circles just to prove I was not lying. The lie was killing me from inside and I could feel my insides giving up on me. It was just a little white lie but there was no doubting that the psychology of my mind had been tampered with. What was the lie you ask? I lied about how I maxed out my credit card. This may sound insignificant, but a financial burden of having a debt on your shoulders is quite a traumatic experience. I bought photography equipment by maxing out my credit cards and was unable to pay the outstanding debt back for a very long time, which I hid from my parents by the way. Despite getting strict instructions to only use the credit card for emergency purposes and nothing else, I couldn’t help and couldn’t resist buying things to fuel my passion. I told my parents that I needed money for something urgent, and when they asked I mentioned that something at home needed repairing, or I needed money as I’ve run out (keep in mind that at this stage I had not found a job). I told them similar stories again and again until one day my mother caught one of my lies and said, “Isn’t that what you told me two weeks ago?” I stuttered and replied, “Er…um…no you’ve got it wrong, I meant something else.” But, I forgot one of life’s most universal truths, mothers are smart. So she inevitably made me confess the truth. I apologised and she helped. My parents said that all I had to do was tell them the truth and they would have helped me ages ago. This anecdotal experience of mine is an example of how telling the truth is so simple.

There are people out there who believe that if they only stick to the truth, then there will be a time they will succeed – believe me that time will come, just have patience. It’s sad that people around these honest angels tell lies and get what they want much faster and easier – almost as if it were just handed to them on a plate. Don’t get me wrong, this is in no way encouragement to lie, it’s just an observational truth. These truthful people feel left out, after which some of them then turn to the dark side for help, to lie. Society has been tampered with by the liars who get to the top, I mean can you really trust anyone anymore? What people say, how many of them actually tell the truth? Honestly, it’s only a matter of time, till someone’s web of lies is finally exposed. Hence, as they say, ‘The truth will set you free’.

There are people who demonstrate honesty in their everyday lives who you can trust and believe in. Therefore, our actions should speak louder than our words in a peaceful and truthful way – then you will realise that being honest is the only way to be. So yes, honesty is the best policy. Honesty is the greatest social weapon of all!

Words by Bilal Syed

IG – @2087bilalsyed

Art by Qiaoze Yu

IG – @auskeke

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