Being honest means that what we say or do is in line with our conscience. If we are not honest, it means that we try to deceive our conscience. Therefore, we, as God’s creatures, are supposed to uphold the value of honesty. No religion preaches its adherents to be dishonest. Having an honest attitude is actually the reflection of moral awareness.
- You are standing in front of your house. A woman is running towards you, out of breath. She asks you to do her a favor. Her husband is running after her. He is furious and wants to kill her because of their family problems. And then, because there is no more time to talk, the woman hastily get into your house and hides in it. Not long afterwards, comes the woman’s husband, taking along a sharp sword with him. His emotion seems to be uncontrollable. He asks you if you know where his wife is. What are you going to do then? Are you going to be honest by telling him where his wife is? If you are honest in this situation, I bet it will be very hazardous.
- Johny (just call him so) is your friend. You know each other’s personality very well and you always share your feeling with each other. One day something happens with Johny. He comes to you and tells you that his girlfriend is in the family way. He also tells you how it happened. Unexpectedly, this news spreads out. Some of your friends ask you about it for they know that you are his close friend. You don’t want to disclose Johny’s disgrace. So you are not honest by saying,”I’m sorry I know nothing about it.”
- You are invited to have dinner by your prospective mother-in-law. The meal was cooked by her herself. She wants to serve you with her own cooking. When you eat your soup, it tastes insipid. Your mother-in-law asks,”What do you think of the soup?” In order to make the atmosphere good, you reply,”Oh… it’s so delicious. How good you are at cooking, Mom!”
(My article above was published in Dialogue English Magazine No. 3/XXII/1997)