How to be honest

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I value peoples honesty and I’m trying too. But there are levels of honesty that are accessible to a different level of intellect and will.

The most basic honesty level would be – not purposely deceiving your opponent. It sounds good but in some particular cases (subjects) you would lie to (delude) yourself, so even you think you are honest you’re simply making your delusion public. So being honest doesn’t get your opponent any closer to the truth. Never underestimate the power of wishful thinking.

The next level is “speak your mind”, but your mind is usually overwhelmed with thoughts and most of them contradict each other. So what to pick is a question of intent (make a particular impression) and a chance. In this case, speaking some of your thoughts don’t fully represent your opinion. To be really honest at that level you have to capture the maximum of your ensemble of thoughts which will allow your opponent you be aware of your opinion (even a contradictory one) and the process (or logic) of its formation.

The last level of honesty is the level of intentions. We have opinions in order to prepare ourselves for action, maybe not an immediate one or maybe an indirect one (e.g. by influencing other people to act). That level of honesty is the deepest one and the most revealing of your natural one. The problem here is that most of the people are not really aware of their long term intentions (short term – maybe, from time to time). So to be honest at that level apart from goodwill, you need intellect in order to analyze your strategy and long term goals.

I’m not writing this to give a set of excuses for your inability of being honest. Honesty is a virtue in my book and everybody should be honest except if you are hurting somebody just for the sake of being honest.

Nevertheless, it is not that simple, to be honest, even you are determined to be so.

Categories human condition


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