Essay on Honesty is the Best Policy – Expansion of Idea
Honesty is a quality that denotes truthfulness. It is an integral element of our life. Being honest is essential as it leads us to peace and glory. A man who hones this skill is considered to have a noble character. He occupies a respectful place in this society. An honest person possesses qualities like punctuality, discipline, and obedience. People trust him because he shows good behaviour and speaks the truth.
We all have heard about the saying “Honesty is the Best Policy”. This wise phrase has been used by our teachers and parents since we were children. However, people have outlived the meaning of this phrase. They have resorted to lies and dishonesty. The world is getting more inclined towards corrupt means. Somewhere down the line, this phrase has lost its meaning. Therefore, it needs to be rediscovered.
The Meaning behind Honesty is the Best Policy
This phrase was first used by a great man named Benjamin Franklin. The literal meaning of this proverb goes like this: Stick to the truth. Being honest is way better than telling a lie. One lie leads to another, and the cycle continues. Eventually, it turns into a bad habit.
No matter how good you are at lying, one day, the truth is bound to come out. Someone rightly said that honesty is the spine of a successful relationship. Once you walk on the path of dishonesty, you will break other people’s trust, and it is difficult to regain this broken trust.
However, honesty teaches us harmony. Honest people make good friends. They are capable of building a well-developed society. Thus, honesty is a virtue that we must all try to pursue. After all, who doesn’t want to live a life full of satisfaction and content?
Benefits of being an Honest Person
Honesty shapes our lives. It is the greatest tool we can acquire to build our character. To utilize it effectively, we need to understand its importance. Here we have mentioned a few points which tell us the benefits of incorporating honesty in our lives:
- Honesty develops moral attributes like sincerity, integrity, and kindness.
- It brings us closer to our friends and family. Honesty makes our connection with other people easier and stronger. Honesty enhances the power of our conscience. It makes us grow as individuals.
- It protects us against other people’s prejudices and boosts our confidence.
- Honesty makes our lives comfortable as it takes away our worries and anxieties.
- It makes us feel free. Honest individuals hardly ever suffer from stress and other mental issues.
- Being honest is sometimes tough, but it certainly keeps us out of trouble.
- It promotes maturity. A mature person chooses to speak the truth politely.
- Self-awareness is another benefit of honesty. It reflects our thoughts and feelings.
- Honesty gives us the ability to fight against injustice.
- Moreover, honesty makes us brave. Speaking the truth under a difficult circumstance requires a lot of courage.
Examples of Honesty is the Best Policy
The best way to explain this proverb is through a story. Below, we have listed two different stories which share the same moral. They aptly describe “Honesty is the best policy”.
Story of the Woodcutter
There was a woodcutter who lived in a small hut. He made his income by selling wood. Daily he would go to the forest and cut trees. One fine morning, while he was on his way to work, he passed by a river. Accidentally, his axe fell into the river. Now the river was very deep. And the woodcutter did not know how to swim.
He was deeply saddened by this incident. As he was poor, he did not have enough money to buy a new axe. He was worried about his livelihood. He sat near the river, feeling dejected. Seeing his pitiful state, an angel appeared out of nowhere. The angel consoled him by saying that he would bring back his axe.
The angel went inside the river and brought an axe made up of gold. He offered it to the woodcutter. However, the woodcutter refused to accept this axe. Then the angel went back inside for a second time. This time he brought back a silver axe. The honest woodcutter still denied taking the axe.
Finally, the angel brought an iron axe and asked if this was what the woodcutter wanted. Seeing his axe, the woodcutter got excited with joy. He was so thankful and received the axe that once belonged to him. Looking at the woodcutter’s reaction, the angel was very much pleased. She offered both the axes as a reward for the woodcutter’s honesty.
Story of the King and his three sons
There lived a righteous king in a beautiful and vast empire. When he grew old, he started to search for a successor. The king had three sons. Choosing one amongst them was worrying him as he loved them equally. He came up with a task for each one of them. All of the sons received a seed. The king asked them to plant the seed.
One who could come up with the best-looking plant would become the next king. The sons went back and started planting the seeds in the pots. A few months passed by. The first two sons had grown lovely looking plants. Their plants had colourful flowers and green leaves. However, the youngest son had failed to grow a plant despite trying so hard.
The king summoned them all along with their plants. The youngest son felt embarrassed when he heard of this news. When they gathered, the king found his two sons boasting about their achievement. He looked at the youngest and asked him what had happened.
To that, the youngest son replied that he had tried his best to grow the plant. Yet he had failed. As he began to apologise, the king stopped him. He said that the youngest had qualified the test. The seeds were already lifeless. It was not possible to grow plants from them. The elder brothers used dishonest means to fool the king.
The youngest son had spoken the truth. The impressed king acknowledged his truth. He said that a king should always possess the quality of honesty. An honest king will serve his people and build a great empire. Hence, the youngest son was chosen as the successor.
Honesty is a weapon that helps us conquer all the battles. In today’s modern world, people are deceiving each other to serve their selfish needs. They have thrown away the moral ethics and resorted to dishonesty. What they fail to realize is that in the long run, they will be alone. Their relationships will wither away because no one respects a dishonest person. Honesty is like a catalyst that strengthens our will power. We must realize its value so that we can rebuild a stronger community.