Honesty is a virtue that is slowly fading from society

by Jermelle MacLeod, Staff Writer

Honesty is a virtue that is fading from our society.

People are constantly saying things they don’t mean, doing things they don’t love and tolerating people they find intolerable. Honesty is one of the most important and powerful virtues a person can have, but it’s also the deadliest due to its power and the responsibility that comes along with the power.

When I refer to honesty, I’m referring to honesty in all aspects of life. Interpersonal and internal. Being honest with your peers and being honest with yourself; even if the truth hurts.

The mark of an honest person is that they say what they mean, and mean what they say. For example, if one of your friends is constantly coming home drunk and wonders why they’re failing classes, an honest person is willing to tell them the cold truth — they need to stop drinking and work harder. Another example, your professor makes a mistake, or says the wrong answer,  an honest person is willing to raise their hand and correct the professor in order to be honest to oneself and stop the spread of ignorance around them.

Another example, this one being more personal, let’s say you’re failing a class. Are you willing to lie to yourself and say that everything is fine even if you aren’t doing everything in your power? If you aren’t doing everything in your power, then you must be honest with yourself and do better. Are you getting tutoring? Are you studying enough? Are you asking the professor for help?

All of these are questions you should ask yourself before assuming the worst; that your professor hates you, or that they’re bad at their job. Of course, there are rare cases when they truly are bad at their job, and if that’s the case, you must have the courage, to be honest with the administration and the professor.

Of course, honesty requires bravery. It’s extremely hard, to tell the truth, because of the possible consequences that may arise. Are you truly willing to tell your significant other that you cheated on them? Are you truly willing to admit to cheating on a test? If you aren’t able to be honest about such things, it’s due to your own cowardice and fear.

The problem is, everybody is afraid of the consequences of honesty, and from this fear comes more and more falsehood. For example, workers are never willing to tell their boss the truth out of fear of being fired, and thus the boss believes that their horrible leadership is good leadership. Now, we have an entire body of workers unhappy, and a very arrogant boss.

Abraham Lincoln, the sixteenth president of the United States, was revered for his honesty. On one account, When Lincoln was younger he accidentally short-changed a customer when he was working as a cashier in a store, instead of keeping the extra money like most of us would do, he ran all over town to find the customer to give him his change back.  

Not only was he honest in his business affairs, he was also honest in his personal affairs.

Lincoln was very nervous around women, and in one letter he wrote:

“I want in all cases to do right, and most particularly so in all cases with women.”

And, as far as we know, he was never unfaithful to his wife.  

If Abraham Lincoln, arguably one of the best presidents in history can manage to be so honest, even with the weight of the world on his shoulders, I believe you can too. What’s stopping you from being faithful to your significant other? What’s stopping you from speaking up in the face of dishonesty? What’s stopping you from being the “Honest Abe” in all of your personal affairs? Nothing is stopping you but yourself. You can choose to constantly lie and spread more distrust among the human race, or you can be an example of what’s possible, a view of what man and woman can be if they learn the importance of honesty.

I intend to be the light of truth and honesty in a room of liars that darken the light of truth by spreading ignorance and falsehood, will you join me?


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