Honesty is a subject about which I hold strong views, even though it’s an unpopular subject these days.

Honesty is a very important quality to have; it is also a very important practice to keep on a daily basis through out one’s life. My thoughts are strong on this subject whose practice, it seems, has never been more necessary than it is now.

Why should our public servants, responsible persons in business, commerce and industry, and everyone else have and practise this quality? Can every normal person effectively have and practise this quality irrespective of their social and economic standing? What are the benefits of having and practising this quality?

Honesty should be practised because it is necessary for the enjoyment of fairness by all parties equally, who are committed in any transaction involving the exchange of property or the offer or use of services.

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Yes, every normal person can effectively practise honesty irrespective of their social and economic standing. Normal persons who do not practise honesty choose not to practise it.

The benefits of practising honesty fall within a wide range. Some of these benefits have national social and economic implications; and some are more private and personal in nature. Some of these benefits are mentioned below in more detail.

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Those who are in public life, or hold responsible positions in business, commerce and industry should be very careful to practise honesty in their respective fields.

The practice of honesty as private citizens is important for the reasons mentioned above, and because this is the pool from which public servants and those in responsible positions in the private sector are drawn. At the private level, we have all, at some time, experienced a sense of deprivation of justice and property at the hands of dishonest persons. Petty thieves, muggers and burglars also remind us of the need for honesty in private life.

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 The benefits of practicing honesty include: Fairness: The practice of honesty ensures fairness of behaviour in situations which involve: the collection, storage, or distribution of goods, and the provision of or the benefitting from services.

Example: An international lending institution once said that a certain kleptocratic country could repay its national debt in full, if its leaders returned the country’s money that they stole and deposited overseas.

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Under colonial rule, the country was well run and had a very promising economy. Following independence, the country became a notorious kleptocracy. This resulted in its having to incur a huge national debt which unfairly fell on the backs of the mass of the people.

During this period, the cost of living increased greatly and the standard of living decreased to an even greater extent correspondingly, among the mass of the people. The small ruling elite and their senior civil service supporters enjoyed a degree of unfair opulence at the cost of the unfair suffering of the rest of the population.

After conviction and sentencing to prison, following a court trial, such dishonest politicians and other public figures should be required to write a piece titled, “Honesty: My Thoughts.

 

Economic prosperity: The practice of honesty in situations involving economic activity contributes to the economic prosperity of those involved by allowing them full access to their fair share of goods and services. The relationship between honesty and economic prosperity is well known but often overlooked for the sake of expediency. The story that is mentioned after the word “Example” above, indicates some of the economic deprivation that can result from the absence of honesty in public life.

The connection between financial dishonesty and failure at the micro economic level is also well known. Most of us know of a case where a business failed due to the absence of the practice of honesty in some aspect of its financial activity. Such failure to practice honesty has resulted in instances of investors loosing large sums of money and experiencing financial ruin.

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 Political stability: The practice of honesty in the political economy helps to prevent persons from being unfairly deprived of their fair share of opportunity for socio-economic advancement. It also helps to allow them full access to their fair share of goods and services, according to the capacity of the economy to produce them. These conditions foster a sense of understanding of and sympathy with the efforts of those in power. This in turn helps prevent the growth of dissent, social unrest and political disruptiveness.

Spiritual growth: Constant practice of honesty, which is the eighth commandment in the Bible, as well as the practice of the other nine commandments (Exodus 20:3-17), will contribute greatly to our spiritual growth and development.

 

Honesty always serves the fair advantage of all concerned. Dishonesty always serves the unfair advantage of the few and the unfair disadvantage of the many. The choice is clear whenever there is a requirement to choose between honesty and dishonesty by persons in the public sector, those in responsible positions in the private sector, and private citizens.

By Edward Fagan

They need help sometimes following release from penal institutions and except in certain cases, we should accommodate them.

They need help sometimes following their release from penal institutions. When our relatives and friends seek our help and support after their period of incarceration ends and they return to society, except in certain cases, this help should be given to them; and when it s given, it should be given selflessly.

The nature of the offence committed and the known disposition of the offender are important points to consider when deciding whether or not to offer help. These and other points will determine whether or not help is offered, the type of help that may be offered and the duration of any help that is offered. These and other points will also determine the terms of any help that may be offered.

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Those who are offered help are going to be first time offenders only. They are going to be persons whose offence did not involve any kind of violence except in a case of self defense within the law.

They are also going to be persons who display an ability to control their temper and navigate situations involving minor tension and conflict between others and themselves. They are going to be persons with a known disposition toward normal behaviour. For example, the type just mentioned is going to be capable of performing in a job at the checkout point of a relative’s or friend’s retail business. (One’s self control is sometimes tested in this kind of situation.)

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 Those who are known to be honest and whose offence did not involve stealing money. Those whose offence did not involve sexual misconduct and whose past behaviour did not indicate a disposition toward that kind of misconduct.

The type of help offered can include food, clothing, shelter, employment, personal transportation, a spending allowance and money for start up business.

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The period of time during which this help is given will be determined by the needs of the recipient, the nature of the help offered and the terms under which the help is offered.

The help mentioned here is supposed to be of a temporary nature only and may be offered on a short or long term basis. It is intended to help recipients achieve a level of stability and basic self reliance and allow them to live normally without a permanent need for this help.

By Edward Fagan

 

 

Taking personal responsibility in stride is a great step in the right direction.

Taking personal responsibility in our own life can be a good and useful approach. It is an approach that can determine and shape how and what we and the circumstances of our life become now and in the future.

This approach can involve setting deliberate (and idealistic or practical) but achievable goals. It can involve deciding on and putting in place, carefully thought out and workable plans to achieve such goals. It can also involve actively working according to those carefully thought out plans until those set goals are achieved.

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This approach is one of the most effective ways in which we can demonstrate our sureness of the value and worth of the individual person.

This approach is also a very effective way for us to develop, utilize and benefit from, our own natural gifts and abilities.

Taking personal responsibility in our own life can have a lasting and beneficial effect on all of the important areas of our life.

Taking personal responsibility in our own life can favorably affect us in relation to such important areas as: our relationship to God and religion; education, career, retirement, income and finance; diet, exercise, recreation and health; marriage, family, home, property and personal transportation.

The rights and freedoms of the individual in relation to our being able to take personal responsibility in our own life are important. In order for us to be able to take personal responsibility in our own life we must have the right and sufficient freedom to do so.

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The current circumstances of our life in relation to taking personal responsibility in our own life are also important. The circumstances of our life determine the base from which we will start in our attempt to take personal control of our own life.

The circumstances of our life can help indicate what we need and do not need to change. These circumstances of life can be used to determine general and detailed areas of emphasis, specific actions to be undertaken, the order in which actions should be undertaken, desirable outcomes etc.

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It is necessary that we clearly identify to ourselves, our needs and preferences, our natural abilities, our physical resources and other relevant aspects of our circumstances of life. It is necessary also that there exist the necessary individual rights and freedoms mentioned above. When these conditions are met and we get the call to start taking personal responsibility in our own life, we should heed this call.                 .

By Edward Fagan