Perspective

Honesty: A Virtue Betrayed

... in the Theater of Ruthlessness

Honesty. A simple word. An even simpler concept. A virtue heralded through the ages, taught to us as children and carried into our adulthood as an unwritten law of human interaction. It resonates with the adage: "Honesty is the best policy". But is it always? In a world where ruthlessness and apathy have become the new norm, and humanity seems to have taken a back seat, does honesty always reward us, or can it serve as a bitter poison in our life's chalice?

Consider an example: A diligent worker, who's been earning a handsome monthly salary of Rs. 2 lakhs, suddenly finds himself jobless due to a sudden layoff or a ruthless recession. Struggling to make ends meet, he opens up about his circumstances to prospective employers, hoping that his honesty would be met with sympathy and aid.

However, in a cruel twist of fate, this information becomes a weapon against him. Rather than assisting him, the prospective employer sees an opportunity to capitalize on his desperation. By offering him a salary far below his previous income, the employer exploits the honest confession to his benefit, harnessing a man's helplessness to fuel his own gains. Honesty here, far from being the best policy, becomes a double-edged sword, with its blade turned cruelly inward.

Such instances are unfortunately not rare in our modern world. Let us consider another situation, one that reflects on personal relationships. Imagine a person sharing their deepest insecurities and vulnerabilities with a close friend, hoping for solace and support. This honesty, instead of reinforcing trust, gets misused as fodder for gossip, turning a plea for comfort into a source of humiliation.

Then, there is the honesty of an entrepreneur, full of passion, sharing their unique business idea with a potential partner, only to have the idea stolen and profited off. The entrepreneur's honesty, instead of building a collaboration, leads to exploitation and loss.

These examples illustrate the harsh truth that honesty can sometimes play into the hands of the ruthless and selfish, leading to exploitation and betrayal. However, this does not imply that we should abandon honesty altogether. Instead, it compels us to be cautious and discerning about whom we reveal our truths to and when we choose to do so.

In a world where the competition is fierce, and selfishness often outweighs compassion, we must learn to protect ourselves and our interests. We must understand that honesty, while being a noble virtue, is not a blanket policy to be applied in all situations and to all people.

The age-old wisdom of "Honesty is the best policy" needs a contemporary edit - "Honesty is often the best policy, but discernment is a vital companion." In this world where the altruistic essence of humanity often seems to be fading, this revision is not just a choice, it is a necessity. We must strive to create a balance between maintaining our integrity and ensuring our survival in this ruthless world.

Image (c) istock.com

17-Jun-2023

More by :  P. Mohan Chandran

Top | Perspective

Views: 706      Comments: 1



Comment A good writeup on practicing Honesty in this highly competitive and chicanery world. Aptly suggested how to strike a balance in trusting persons and sharing ideas!

G Swaminathan
18-Jun-2023 03:40 AM




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