Quotes: On Honesty

“It’s discouraging to think how many people are shocked by honesty and how few by deceit.”
-Noël Coward, Blithe Spirit

“Make yourself an honest man, and then you may be sure there is one less rascal in the world.”
-Thomas Carlyle

“Integrity is telling myself the truth. Honesty is telling the truth to other people.”
-Spencer Johnson

“Honest hearts product honest actions.”
-Brigham Young

“No legacy is so rich as honesty.”
-William Shakespeare

“The greatest way to live with honor in this world is to be what we pretend to be.”
-Socrates

The Five Levels of Truth-Telling: First, you tell the truth to yourself about yourself. Then you tell the truth to yourself about another. At the third level, you tell the truth about yourself to another. Then you tell your truth about another to that other. And finally, you tell the truth to everyone about everything.”
-Neale Donald Walsch, Conversations with God (Book 2)

“The biggest consequence to telling a lie is, it leads you to telling another one.”
-Gary King

“Every man has his fault, and honesty is his.”
-William Shakespeare

“Honesty: The best of all the lost arts.”
-Mark Twain

“As they always say, honesty is the best policy.”

“The best measure of a man’s honesty isn’t his income tax return; it’s the zero adjust on his bathroom scale.”
-Arthur C. Clarke

“Lie to a liar, for lies are his coin. Steal from a thief, for that is easy: lay a trap for a trickster at his first attempt. But beware of an honest man.”
-Arab Proverb

“It is the responsibility of intellectuals to speak the Truth and expose lies.”
-Noam Chomsky

“One of the hardest things in this world is to admit that you were wrong; and nothing is more helpful in resolving it than its frank admission.”
-Benjamin Disraeli

“It pays to be honest, but slow pay.”
-Proverb

“You can fool some of the people all of the time, and all of the people some of the time, but you can not fool all the people all the time.”
-Abraham Lincoln

“Honesty pays, but it don’t seem to pay enough to suit some people”
-Frank McKinney “Kin” Hubbard

“The more you lie, the less people will believe you when you tell the truth.”

“I was brought up to believe that the only thing worth doing was to add to the sum of accurate information in the world.”
-Margaret Mead

Life Lesson: On Honesty

image from http://www.dailyclipart.net

from Paulo Coelho’s book “Like A Flowing River” (he got this stoty from Maria Emilia Voss, a pilgrim to Santiago)

A FAIRY TALE

In ancient China, around the year 250 BC, a certain priest of the region of Thing-Zda was about to be crowned emperor; however, according to the law, he must first get married.

Since this meant choosing the future empress, the prince needed to find a young woman whom he could trust absolutely. On the advice of a wise man, he decided to summon all the young women of the region in order to find the most worthy candidate.

An old lady, who had served in the palace for many years, heard about the preparations for thie gathering and felt very sad, for he daughter nurtured a secret love for the prince.

When the old lady got home, she told her daughter and was horrified to learn that her daughter intended going to the palace.

The old lady was desperate.

“But daughter, what on earth will you do there? All the richest and most beautiful girls from the court will be present. It’s a ridiculous idea. I know you must be suffering, but don’t turn that suffering into madness!”

And the daughter replied:

“My dear mother, I am not suffering and I certainly haven’t got mad. I know I won’t be chosen but it’s my one and only chance to spend a few moments close to the prince, and that makes me happy, though I know a quite different fate awaits me.”

That night, when the young woman reached the palace, all the most beautiful girls were indeed there, wearing the most beautiful clothes and the most beautiful jewelry, and prepared to do anything to seize the opportunity an offer.

Surrounded by the members of his court, the prince announced a challenge.

“I will give each of you a seed. In six months time, the young woman who brings me the loveliest flower will be the future empress of China.”

The girl took her seed and planted it in a pot, and since she was not very skilled in the art of gardening, she prepared the soil with great patience and tenderness, for she believed that if the flowers grew as large as her love, then she need not worry about the results.

Three months passed and no shoots had appeared. The young woman tried everything; she consulted farmers and peasants, who showed her the most varied methods of cultivation; but all to no avail. Each day, she felt that her dream had moved farther off, although her love was as alive as ever.

Atlast, the six months were up, and still nothing had grown in her pot. Even though she had nothing to show, she knew how much effort and dedication she had put in during that time, and so she told her mother that she would go back to the palace on the agreed date and at the agreed hour. Inside, she knew that this would be her last meeting with her true love, and she would not have missed it for the world.

The day of the audience arrived. The girl appeared with her plantless pot, and saw all the other candidates had achieved wonderul results: each girl bore a flower lovelier than the last, in the most varied forms and colours.

Finally, the longed-for moment came. The prince entered and he studied each of the candidates with great care and attention. Having inspected them all, he announced the result and chose the servant’s daughter as his new wife.

All the other girls present began to protest, saying that he had chosen the only one of them who had failed to grow anything at all.

Then the prince calmly explained the reasoning behind the challenge.

“This young woman was the only one who cultivated the flower that made her worthy of becoming the empress: the flower of honesty. All the seeds I handed out were sterile, and nothing could ever have grown from them.”