Honesty can manifest itself in many ways but in its truest form, honesty only exists in yourself. You can showcase to others how upstanding you are and how you always do the right thing. But that is only a glimpse at what you truly are. It’s easy to do the right thing when others are watching. It’s also easy to be honest when others are watching. And it means nothing. Why? It’s no different than obeying the speed limit on the highway when a police car is driving behind you. I think we all can say we would follow the speed limit in that instance. But we wouldn’t always say we always follow the speed limit.
The most important thing is being honest with yourself and doing the right thing when you can get away with doing something, well, not so right. It’s what truly determines our character. We all seek acceptance from our peers, our friends, our family and go to great lengths to please them. When compliments flow when we’ve succeeded, we feel good about ourselves.
But if the compliments arise as a result of acts we wouldn’t replicate if no one knew about them, then we’re only fooling ourselves, and our peers, friends and family will eventually catch on. And then the gig is up. Being honest and doing the right thing shouldn’t be about gaining the acceptance of others or appearing to others as an honest individual. It should be about making ourselves feel good, regardless of what others think or see.
It means not littering when no one is watching, It means letting a senior citizen sit down on a subway when no one you know is around. It means giving to charity when no tax deduction is received. It means going the extra mile when you know the extra half-mile is all that’s needed. I could go on and on with examples but I think you get my drift.
Your honesty and goodness are defined by yourself. Act in a way that keeps you happy and makes you feel good. You don’t need to seek acceptance. It will find you naturally.