We have been taught since childhood to be truthful and not to tell lies. All the great Saints and religions too taught the same. There are many examples of people in mythologies alike Ramayana and Mahabharata, who practiced truthfulness in spite of difficult situations. But it is not easy to always tell the truth and telling lies seems the easy way in some situations. Some of us feel managing our lives with lies is easy.
Lying gives temporary relief from problems, but in the long run, it brings various issues in life. Below are the problems with lying.
1. When we start lying, we will be forced to tell more lies to cover up the first lie, and the result is we end up becoming an eternal liar.
2. When we lie, we think others cannot find it out, but they get a feeling that we are lying, and they don’t trust us though we do a very good job in covering our lies. Trust is a key ingredient in the recipe for success. In businesses or workplaces, trust is the underlying secret of success. When we lose the trust of others, it indirectly means our success in life is impacted negatively.
3. Lying makes us feel bad because we know in the heart of hearts that we are lying. Lying is not the natural behavior of a human, and it hurts to go against nature.
4. Lying drains our energies because when we lie, we should remember every lie. It is an unnecessary burden on our mind and energy.
5. The Law of nature says that we get back whatever we give. So, when we start lying to others, others, too, start lying to us. And when truth is presented to us, we will not be able to see the truth.
6. We generate negative karma when we lie as we are preventing others from seeing the truth.
7. When we lie, deep within, we experience the fear of being caught. Any fear brings stress in life.
8. Lying breaks down beautiful relationships when lies are exposed. It takes many years to build a great relationship, but few lies are enough to break such a great relationship.
9. Lying brings short term success and long-term failure.
10. It creates a conflict in mind.
11. Lying to someone is equal to disrespecting that person, and it amounts to hurting their trust, intelligence, and feelings.
These are some problems faced due to lying. So, choosing truthfulness is a better option. Below are the benefits of staying honest and truthful in life.
8 benefits of being honest
1. When we are honest, we gain the trust and respect of others. Trust helps us grow to great heights in our professional life.
2. Our family members rely on us because they know that we are honest.
3. We become a healthy role model for our children when we don’t lie.
4. Truthfulness avoids many unnecessary problems in life.
5. Being honest gives us peace of mind.
6. Truthfulness boosts our self-confidence.
7. Honesty helps us build better relationships with others.
8. It brings clarity of thought.
So, as it is often said, honesty is the best policy in life. When we practice honesty in life, our life transforms wonderfully. Below are some pointers on practicing honesty and truthfulness in daily life.
1. Practice honesty in thoughts, words, and actions.
2. Keeping up our word is an outcome of honesty. When you promise someone something, try your best to keep up the word or communicate in advance why you cannot keep up the word. When we break our word, it becomes lying. So be careful before promising something. Think thoroughly if you can keep up your promise, and only when you are certain, give your word. Some of us have difficulty in saying no. So, we say yes, but we don’t keep up our promise when the actual moment comes. An honest no is many times better than a dishonest yes. So, say no when you know that you cannot do something.
3. For simple things, parents lie to children thinking it does not matter, and it is only for the good of children. Children trust their parents deeply. When parents lie to children, they end up breaking the trust of children, and children lose respect for their parents. They stop taking their parents seriously. So, being honest with children is important. Honesty starts from home.
4. When we make a mistake, lying feels easy than honesty, and it needs courage to admit our mistakes. One thing we should remember with mistakes is, others will anyways find them eventually. So, it’s a smart thing to accept the mistake than lie and be caught later.
5. Honesty or truthfulness does not mean we use honesty as a tool to hurt others. For example, when someone got a new haircut, and it is bad, we need not comment about it just because we are honest in life. We can choose silence in such situations.
6. In some situations, in life, our honesty might harm the other person. Whenever there is a conflict between honesty and kindness, kindness should be chosen. Honesty should never be used to hurt others. We should practice mature honesty.
7. We should practice honesty towards our self too. We should know what our strengths and weaknesses are and be realistic about ourselves.
8. Sometimes, in our excitement, we exaggerate things. Exaggeration is also a form of lying which needs to be avoided.
9. Some of us lie and do want to change this habit. So, how to go about it? Below are some ways.
1. Choose silence over lies.
2. Practice awareness while speaking. Consciously, choose your words.
3. Practice meditation. When you meditate, you find the courage to practice matured honesty in life.
4. Pray to God every day to give you the inner strength to practice matured kind of honesty in life.
These are some pointers on practicing the virtue of truthfulness in life. Ancient scriptures summed it up beautifully saying – “Satyameva Jayathe” which means truth alone triumphs. So, let us incorporate this virtue in our daily life.