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Honesty is probably one of the most translatable words in the dictionary because you can’t really get the definition wrong; either you told the truth or you didn’t. In every country there is a word for honesty and I don’t think that is a coincidence. In every modern country and culture there seems to be this need for the truth. People don’t like to be taken advantage of or lied to; and that’s why so many people value honesty when they pick their friends and relationships. Honesty is a life-long value with long-term impact. Although you might receive short-term consequences for being honest, you will gain long-term trust from people because they know you’ll tell the truth.

I’ve been faced with many situations where I had a choice to be honest. Usually it is easy for me to be honest when I know the consequences are slim to none. When I know there are serious consequences for my actions it is harder to come forward and be transparent about my mistakes. In my opinion, the hardest type of honesty is to be honest with myself. I can easily lie to myself and state that I’m doing everything possible to receive scholarship money for college; but by being honest with myself and recognizing where I can improve, I am able to grow and become a better person.

A very powerful quote I found in The Book of Virtues was written by a late 16th century playwright, Ben Jonson. Writing about truth, Jonson states it “gives power to faith to tread all falsehood under feet.” I was moved by this quote because I realized everything that I believe in and have faith in has truth and honesty backing it up. All my goals for life and after life have been exposed to me because people I knew spoke the truth about the greatness of education, family and God. I have to credit my goals to my positive influences: my Mom, Dad, Sister, Grandma, third grade teacher, and God.

-Shalom

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