Honesty

Billy Joel might be right. Honesty probably is a lonely word. But its also a interesting measure of things in life.

I once worked at a local takeaway business. It was in a wealthy area, though who worked in the area to support the wealthy families were not the wealthiest people. So we received the whole range of customers at the shop.

Working at the shopfront like that proved to be a great way for people watching. It was interesting to observe all kinds of human behaviours. And what I noticed relatively quickly was the level of honesty in people. I begun noticing this, and it was affirmed by another staff member who had worked in takeaways his whole life.

He was rather convinced that rich people lied and the poor people were honest. I don’t like it when a person is so certain about things as it usually means that they are wrong. But he was talking about the experiential statistics he gathered over the years. He said the ones who cheated or “forgot” to pay were often driving the big expensive cars. A woman who worked in a local supermarket would regularly come and complain how tired she was, yet she was the one who could be trusted down to a dollar.

Who knows, if she ever became wealthy, she would remain as honest. Is it the upbringing, purest of the soul, or is it the money that makes people different?

I grew up in a place where I did not have to learn to lie to protect myself. I was also raised that there was no point in lying because they never let me get away with my attempts when I was testing my boundaries as a child. But there are people who come from similar background whom only cared to manipulate others and make profit using the inheritance they did not even earn themselves. They would have been though a similar sort of education, but they learn different things out of the same materials.

Some grew up in an environment where they would have to lie and steal to earn their everyday living. Some learn watching their parents lie that lie was only a part of their communication. And yet, some of these people crave to be shown another way of life. Some would make their own way out, while others would have to be led out of it; either way, they make their way out of the miserable falsehood. Others just become more proficient at lying as they grow older. Lying become their business, and they are often successful at that as they have been doing the lying all their life.

I just wonder. What would happen if we made an honesty the expectation of a project of an employment. Just like the expectation at my old ( my first) “profession” demanded us to always be on the move; that if you slouched from point A to B, you lost your job, so we used to jog everywhere. It was actually a great way to get young kids fit. I recently notice  some job advertisement raising ‘honesty’ as one of their criterion. I use to think those appeared rather basic, but maybe they had their point.

 

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