I think that no word can be a policy because if you dissect any word and try to shove the pieces into all kinds of shaped boxes, there will be at least one bad fit. It is dangerous to categorize exceptions because if they can be completely generalized, they would be part of the rule. That is why it is important to recognize what a word means to you. You don’t have to have a sweeping, all-encompassing definition. If you have only the traffic signal point you in one direction without the following roads to plod your feet across, you are already getting somewhere.
For me, honesty is foremost to understand and accept myself because only then can I handle external situations with honesty. I lash out and hurt others when I feel inner dissatisfaction. It’s all pettiness in my case but generally, the magnitude of people’s external hatred depends on how they have been marginalized. Dealing with your own dissatisfaction is honesty. Dealing with other people’s dissatisfaction is empathy. Dealing with the marginalized is something that history tries to achieve.
Honesty is more than just telling the truth. Truth is an abstract ideal because what seems like a universal truth for me may not be a universal truth for you. A quote from Cloud Atlas, one of my favourite books, is that “truth is singular” and “its versions are mistruths”. Even though it seems contradictory to my opinions, I feel like it speaks about the bare truth, or the bare ideal. When truth is stripped from the different perspectives that clothe it, it becomes universal for it is something we all inherently believe as “good,” regardless of whether we value it. The character who speaks of this, therefore, intends to softly, but sternly chide her interviewer, reminding him how futile it is to reassure her that her version of truth is all that matters when he knows of her imminent execution. Truth is abstract, bare or not. Its versions are tangential rather than centripetal because truth has no universally accepted core. Honesty is more personal than truth.
A word more important than honesty is authenticity. Honesty takes courage, but authenticity takes confidence, complete acceptance, a bit of naivety, and yet another spoonful of courage. Authenticity absorbs honesty and allows others to view you as an individual when their lives involve thousands of individuals and people tend to sort and group together things with great numbers.
Day 3 of Daily Post