Honesty, is it the best policy?

“I pray Heaven to bestow the best of blessing on this house (the White House) and on all that shall hereafter inhabit it. May none but honest and wise men ever rule under this roof!” John Adams

Too bad this quote has not held true.

John Adams was the second president of the United States. He was a leading advocate of American independence from Great Britain. Adams played a leading role in persuading Congress to declare independence. He assisted Thomas Jefferson in drafting the Declaration of Independence in 1776.

Before the presidency Adams felt acutely that he had a responsibility to live up to his family heritage: he was a direct descendant of the founding generation of Puritans, who came to the American wilderness in the 1630s, established colonial presence in America, and had a profound effect on the culture, laws, and traditions of their region. Journalist Richard Brookhiser, drawing on the relevant historiography, has written that these Puritan ancestors of Adams’s “believed they lived in the Bible.”

My first thought when reading a bit of Adams biography was about honesty. Is honesty learned when we are young or is it something that we need to learn as we get older? I remember as a kid, I got in trouble for being dishonest. It was almost that my parents were embarrassed that I even thought about doing such a thing. I know that in my life it took several situations for me to recognize honesty from dishonesty. In fact, in my family honesty was learned at a young age.

Can you recollect your childhood and remember if you were taught honesty at a young age? I have no scientific proof, however, I think it is harder to learn honesty when you’re older or especially if your parents and siblings were not honest.

What does it take to be honest? Is honesty always the best policy? Do we think about the importance of honesty in our lives?

I think there are a couple ways to answer these questions. Many people believe in a supreme being or a God. For believers it is a desire to want to do better because God would not be dishonest with us. It is through that example that makes us want to follow. For those of other faiths or no faith at all, sometimes it is a moral or an ethical code of conduct in which they follow. Either way you think of this, mankind, generally speaking, wants to be honest and we want to be treated honestly.

Here are a couple ways to keep yourself honest. One, before you act, think about how you want to be treated. Two, understand that all your decisions bring great responsibility.

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