Is Honesty the Best Policy?

Honestly didn't always seem complex to me. As a child I had pretty straight forward view of honest. Just be honest. This is of course tempered by avoiding punishments. So I'm pretty sure I've lied in my life about where I'm going after school or other such lies. As I've grown up, the need to lie has been less and less. You outgrow the authority of your parents punishments. There's some authority from your boss at work, the police or other powerful groups who I hope to never cross anyways.

But I never really grasped the idea of lying to people you're supposed to be cooperating with. Your friends, significant other, family, coworkers... These are supposed to be relationships where everyone wants good things for the other. These relationships only succeed if they are win-win I always thought. If they're not win-win, they're just not worth having as that would be an exploitative win-lose relationship.

There are so many puzzling events in life. The one I'll always remember is a funny story. I grew up Muslim, which means drinking is frowned upon. I grew up and I got to know this one guy in my community who was drinking and clubbing. We chilled a bit; never really hiding anything of that sort. Anyways, life goes on, and it's been years since I last saw him. I see him and we just start talking. A couple of guys. None of whom would rat anyone out. He basically says he stopped drinking and it was this one guy who influenced him. Silly me, I take him at his word. Alright cool. The man found religion or community or something. Anyways, a few days later, I'm I find out he just finished off a bottle with a common acquaintance. It blew up mind why he'd lie. I wouldn't rat him out or anything. The other guy wouldn't either.

Yet, life always provides lessons. I've come to realize that honesty should be guarded carefully.
If honesty is not a two-way street, you only put yourself at a disadvantage by being honest.
Why should you play by rules that the other is not playing by? That is the question.

Does it mean lying? Well I'm not quite there yet to just advocate lying all the time. But it does mean not revealing your goals, your knowledge, your motivations...

In order to have an honest conversation with someone, they have to be honest as well. They also have to be an honest listener. I'm reminded of a funny story from a friend of mine. She was dating a guy. The guy made it clear to her that this was not serious and it just for fun. She dates him, then blames him for not taking the relationship seriously, her putting in more effort... Is this person listening honestly? It doesn't seem like it.

I should point out that this withholding of transparent honesty comes from understanding the game of life, not from fear. Do not withhold honesty from those who also speak its language. Do not withhold honesty out of shame as that displays a lack of pride. As in the first, I think withholding honesty from consequence of an authority figure is a still palatable. Honesty is a good virtue, but not worth your life.

Society Without Good Male Virtues?

Sometimes I wonder about society. The older I get, the more I see the pointlessness of trying to adhere to good 'male' virtues. My wife recently gave me a chuckle. I'm going on a trip with some friend's soon. It's common in her family that her dad will give the kids spending money for the trip. So she asks me if she should tell her dad and he could give me money. That does weird me out. First, I don't generally just take free money. I earn my keep. Secondly, how can I take her dad's money and go spend it on partying? Activities he'd disapprove of. Her response, why you being so weird. As if just someone offering something means you should take it. But I suppose it is expected. How many women condemn bad things like drug dealing... but then don't mind living large off the proceeds of it?

In a way, you just take it for what it is. Why do some of  us men hold onto these 'good' male virtues. It's probably been to ween yourself off them at least in respect to the world.

Just some ramblings today. I guess I'll find a way to navigate life in all its nuances. Navigate it with pride. Not allowing the rocks of virtue to sink my life's journey.


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