April 30 is National Honesty Day. It seems appropriate right now with all the controversy over alternative facts and fake news. It has always been tricky to sort out truth from fiction where politicians or advertisers are concerned, but it seems especially difficult right now. Besides deliberate lying by either falsifying facts, or wildly different ways of seeing the world between conservatives and liberals, we seem to have so many people who don’t trust science and ignore the truth before their eyes.
But this day isn’t just about wishing politicians or advertisers would be honest for one day of the year, it’s also about normal folks and our standards of truthfulness. How often do we tell a white lie to keep from hurting someone’s feelings? How often do we fudge the facts to make ourselves look better? How often do we feign ignorance – such as when a police officer asks how fast we were going? Or stretch the facts a little on our income tax forms? For me, the biggest challenge is small lies to save trouble when I don’t feel like arguing the point.
The author of The Book of Lies: Schemes, Scams, Fakes, and Frauds That Have Changed the Course of History and Affect Our Daily Lives, M. Hirsh Goldberg, created National Honesty Day in the early 1990s. The former press secretary to a Maryland governor selected the last day of April in contrast to all the foolishness the first of the month brings. April 30 is also the anniversary of the first inauguration of George Washington in 1789. The concept for the day is simple, ask direct questions without ulterior motives, and expect answers of occasionally brutal honesty. Benjamin Franklin said, “Honesty is the best policy.” It may also be the hardest to live out.
Quotes about Honesty
Almost any difficulty will move in the face of honesty. When I am honest I never feel stupid. And when I am honest I am automatically humble.–Hugh Prather
Deal honestly and objectively with yourself; intellectual honesty and personal courage are the hallmarks of great character.–Brian Tracey
The foundation stones for a balanced success are honesty, character, integrity, faith, love and loyalty.–Zig Ziglar
He that loseth his honesty hath nothing else to lose.–John Lyly
Hold firmly to your word.–Maimonides
Honesty is the first chapter of the book wisdom.–Thomas Jefferson
How desperately difficult it is to be honest with oneself. It is much easier to be honest with other people.–Edward White Benson
I hope I shall always possess firmness and virtue enough to maintain what I consider the most enviable of all titles, the character of an “Honest Man.”–George Washington
It is discouraging how many people are shocked by honesty and how few by deceit.–Noel Coward
No legacy is so rich as honesty.–William Shakespeare
The real things haven’t changed. It is still best to be honest and truthful; to make the most of what we have; to be happy with simple pleasures; and have courage when things go wrong.–Laura Ingalls Wilder
The test of a government is not how popular it is with the powerful and privileged few but how honestly and fairly it deals with the many who must depend on it.–Jimmy Carter
Those occupying leadership roles who completely lack integrity are what we call “Blind shepherds.” They are not really “bad” leaders, because they are not leaders at all: they are misleaders.–John Adair
To make your children capable of honesty is the beginning of education.–John Ruskin
You learn how to do good work by being honest with yourself.–Rodney Crowell
Honesty pays, but it don’t seem to pay enough to suit some.–Kin Hubbard
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