Happy Monday! Ok, not so happy Monday, but hey, you’re reading this, that means that you probably survived it. Or are taking a break from work. Or maybe you’re “working.” Whatever it is, I appreciate you reading this. That being said, it probably is in your best interest to put this on hold and get back to work, if you are reading this at work. It’s dishonest to claim to be working while you are lounging (ironic, since I am writing this at work). Which brings me to my discussion topic for today: Honesty.
Honesty is something that we often put aside in order to succeed, or sometimes just to avoid blame. As we grow older, we are prone to lie less about small things like breaking a cup or stealing candy. Seriously, I have little brothers, they used to lie a lot more than they do now, even though they still lie a lot. It isn’t their fault though. They are afraid that if they tell the truth there will be some horribly punishment. Louis C.K. (really Cassady? Another Louis reference?) has made a perfect analysis of this, which I have put below:
But really, we lie because we need to get something. It’s a natural reaction. Which I think is something that a lot of people don’t understand. They like to contort lying with inhumanity, when it’s the opposite. People lie. People cheat. People steal. Of course, this does not justify their offenses or leave then unaccountable, but it does mean that some amount of lying is to be expected.
Which brings me to honesty. Why do we value honesty so much? Seriously, it is one of the golden standards of being a human being. Be honest. It’s something we are told time and time again. I think it’s another lower brain/upper brain battle that is on going. I think honesty is something that isn’t intrinsic to people, but we have nurtured people to do the morally correct thing for so long that it has produce guilt, and become a natural thing to do. At the very least it is a harder thing to do—and it is the more noble thing to do. Sometimes, however, some people try to lie about being honest.
One of my favorite examples of this is during a presidential debate, or during a public address by a politician. Apparently, a black coat with a white shirt underneath and a red tie somehow triggers the idea of honesty in our minds. So almost every candidate will wear these colors—it’s why they all look the same. Candidates do this to get votes—and can we really blame them? If we are that susceptible, then it is in their best interest to do so. Especially since candidates have to lie so often to succeed. Since lying is the bedrock of politics, why do we elect the candidates we do? The reality is that lying is often centered around a truth. For Hillary, it’s that she’s trying to do the best thing for the average person life without too strongly affecting the successful. For Trump, it’s that he doesn’t want to see America turn into a country that cares about its majorities first when the Big Businesses will be hurt. For Cruz, it’s that he wants to keep America as a bible thumpin’ country. For Sanders? Well, he honestly wants to see people not suffer. Which is admirable. And that’s why he’s such an outsider—because he is respectable. Honesty begets admiration.