Honesty is always the best policy!

I picked up this topic today because ‘Honesty’ is the most misunderstood and neglected value. Most of us simple don’t pay attention to this one because it feels more bookish than real. In recent times of degraded values all across, witnessed in cases of murders, abuse and violence in schools, we hardly realize the importance of value education. We expect it from schools but ironically it is us parents who can do the best job of it. ‘Honesty is the best policy’ is the lesson our generation learnt through moral stories from Panchtantra, Jataka tales and many more from our ancient Indian mythological scriptures. But in modern times as we perceive, these tales are considered to be outdated, isn’t it? Or may be Harry Potter has taken over which is not too bad either but that’s more relevant for higher age group, I think. The old folk tales are very interesting for much younger kids for the simplicity of these stories and the lessons are profound for them. While I was researching about how do we teach Honesty and Truthfulness to our children, I couldn’t come across a better way than making them familiarize with these stories from a very early age because impressions are formed during this tender age. I still remember a lesson I read in Hindi textbook where the moral was ‘koi bhi kaam chhota ya bada nahi hota, kaam karne ka attitude chhota ya bada hota hai’ (No work is bigger or lesser, it’s only the attitude that is high or low). That stayed with me. The other uncompromising method to teach honesty is to exhibit the value by being role models to our kids. Honesty is the most special value that we can teach our children to make them responsible and mature adults. It is not same as speaking the truth, it is about being truthful irrespective of the consequences. It is about being truthful to ourselves and others. It is about fairness in the game. I am 100% sure with my own experience with people, not many understand this value in its raw form. A few examples for you to find out where do you stand if you were to judge yourself:
– Have you ever truly calculated the worth of compensation you receive against the labour you provide to your employer irrespective of the market rate your peers are getting? Have you ever felt that you need to put in your best efforts even when no one is watching over you? This is pure ‘Karma philosophy’ as taught by Lord Krishna
– Have you returned the extra money to the vegetable vendor which came in your pocket by mistake? Or an extra bottle of ketchup from your kirana store in your shopping basket.
– There are so many stories around us where autorickshaw drivers or cab drivers returning mobile or documents to its owner, etc. Point these out to your children.
– If there’s a choice between a long U-turn much ahead versus a shortcut in the wrong way, you must take the right path and explain to your children why is this important to you. But first you need to understand it cos you can’t preach if you can’t believe!
It’s not difficult to be honest, it just takes a few minutes of review with yourself every night before you go to bed. It’s not about how others behave, it’s also not about how you make others feel with your actions or reactions, it’s only about how do you feel deep within.


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