The Importance of Honesty



Photo by Audrey Webster.
A person is only as good as their word. These are words everyone should live by. In the halls of a high school especially, one finds many words uttered in the halls are not necessarily true.

A common example in a high school setting among seniors is the agreement between two people to be walking partners. Students may agree days, months or even years ahead of time that they want to walk together at graduation. If both parties decide before the fact that they’ve changed their mind, then by all means they should change their arrangement. However, if one partner was to drop out at the last second, the other person would be left not only temporarily without a partner, it is likely that all other potential walking partners would be taken because of the short notice. Since graduation is such a huge event in one’s life, such a small thing as a walking partner can become a big deal, and to break one’s word in such a contract can greatly lower another’s opinion of them.

Lies often heard in high school occur between students and teachers. Students lie about everything from “forgetting” their homework to why they weren’t in class on a certain day. These lies show a lack of integrity, and were the teacher to ever discover the student was lying, the trust between them would be gone, probably forever. In that case, the teacher would be likely to disbelieve everything the student said, whether or not it was the truth.

Lies in high school may seem like they aren’t a big deal, but like chewing your nails, lying is a bad and addicting habit. It can seemingly get one out of trouble and appear to be a better alternative to telling the truth. However, this greatly lowers integrity and once labeled a liar, it is hard to earn back the perceived trait of honesty. In the workplace, a discovered lie can lead to disciplinary action and even termination of employment. In almost all cases, less strife would come from simply telling the truth; unless one’s work is extremely incompetent, in which case they don’t deserve the job anyway, telling the truth will raise standing with the boss in the long run.

These same principles can be applied in a high school setting. If staff members are viewed as employers, students may be more likely to feel a pressure to be honest. In any case, lying most often leads to bad blood and hostile relationships, whereas honesty builds trust and creates bonds between people. Honesty is important in the real world and therefore must be practiced in adolescence.