Many pathways lead to happiness. One of these, I believe, is honesty. Parents should build it early in the mind and heart of their children.
A perceptive parent can find good reasons for cultivating honesty early in his child’s life. One, is to take advantage of the stage when the child’s sponge-like mind absorbs information quickly. Another, is to plant the seeds of virtues in the child’s heart while it is still a fertile breeding ground for positive values to take roots and flourish easily.
I believe that a child who matures into an honest person holds superior possibilities for a good life compared to a dishonest person. Honesty may not ensure wealth. Scores of honest persons have ended up poor while their dishonest counterparts have made it to the millionaires’ list. However, the honest person will most likely find contentment in a life built by honesty.
An upright person has more opportunities to gain public approbation. Society is often keen on applauding integrity and penalizing dishonesty.
That may be the reason every now and then media regales us with stories of honesty that make us swoon over the honest person and his good deed. The celebrated case of honesty of an elementary-age girl, living in a tumbledown house, is one such heartwarming story.
This is not to take away from the honest girl’s credits, hosannas, public paeans, and financial help she has been receiving since her good deed broke into public consciousness. She deserves all those for returning, instead of keeping to herself, a bundle of cash and checks she found on a street.
I’m sure returning the money is worthy of our applause. But the way the press jubilates over her deed and turns it into a media event worries me. Has honesty become so uncommon that when one exhibits it, it strikes awe in the heart of society?
In Christian nations, honesty and other virtues should be the norm and not the exception. A media ecstatic over an honest girl’s deed may help spread a national culture of honesty. However, it also underscores a glossed-over fact—that honesty has become so scarce that when someone demonstrates it, it blows everybody away.
I’m happy for how things have turned brightly for the honest girl. It proves that honesty is still alive (and appreciated) by society, although she may be a vanishing breed.
However, i f Christians practice Christian virtues, as they should, then media need not be convulsed with euphoria over an honest deed. Honesty, if one turns it into a way of life, need not bring in the drum-and-bugle corps every time someone practices it.
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