Be honest ... choose to not lie

LUKE AIR FORCE BASE, Arizona -- "Whoever is careless with the truth in small matters cannot be trusted with important matters."

~ Albert Einstein

What is your truest definition of honesty? Is it simply telling the truth? Is that all there is to honesty? If honesty is simply telling the truth, do you understand what telling the truth entails? We all know it's wrong to lie, but isn't not telling the entire truth or not telling the entire story wrong?

I ask these questions because people have grown careless on the truest definition of honesty and the value it holds. If honesty is something you value, I would offer that you are an individual who refuses to lie, steal or deceive in any way.

As we work our way through life, we often lose sight of our values. We pay bills, immerse ourselves in social media, take care of our children, hold a marriage together, write enlisted personnel reports and plan for retirement. With all of this absorbing the majority of our time, we can lose sight of our values, which in turn affects our honesty, even if we didn't mean for it to happen.

We all need to have a good understanding of who we are as individuals, and what each of us stands for. We all have strong feelings concerning certain issues, such as the new enlisted performance review system, retirement benefits, physical fitness and so on. These are issues that you are either on one side or the other.

Where do you stand in the small day-to-day stuff? There may be times when speaking the truth may create conflict and tension, but there are ways to recover. If you deny someone portions of the truth, it is the same as lying and not being honest.

If we choose to be dishonest, we will not only have to justify our dishonesty to others, but we will have to justify it to ourselves. I have seen people defend their dishonesty solely on the grounds that the truth may hurt others. I would offer that it is better to be honest upfront with someone rather than them learning the truth from someone else.

Anyone can lie, but we can choose not to. It is possible to fib your way to the top; however, remember you cannot go back to that place and time. Knowing who you are and what you stand for will help you live your life centered on honesty and values. Ensure that on a daily basis you are not doing anything that may conflict with your values.

Mark Twain once said, "If you tell the truth you don't have to remember anything."