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Truth vs Honesty

For most of my younger years, I believed these two words to be synonymous with each other, or one generated the other.” Speak of the truth and honesty comes naturally” someone said. According to Webster’s dictionary TRUTH: real things, events or facts. HONESTY: refusal to lie, deceive, incapable of being false.

Through the years I have learned that these can be evolving states of being, and possibly not the complementing relationship of black and white that I originally thought they held. The definitions are still the same as it will always be. The variable or the reason why this is not a math calculation with a repeatable answer is these terms are perceptions and more of feelings or an emotional state.  If you believe something it is “true”. Anything but devote belief in a given thing is the only way it can be true. Truth can only exist in the belief of the individual.

What about honesty? It too has the same weakness. The individual who is being honest based on the information he or she has is being as honest as they can be based on the beliefs of the “truth” that they hold.

The point to any of this is that Truth and Honesty are an evolving emotion and feeling that exists within an individual. The things I believed in when I was a youth are not the same as today. The truth that I hold today is my current beliefs and I remain honest in my behavior to keep my conscience clean and in hopes to receive the same from those I interact with.

All of us hold individuals to a standard. This line with which we don’t allow ourselves to cross and assume others will not either. We assume that they are being Honest and Truthful. If we find a false statement, belief in the individual is weakened. Let us make sure what we hold to be True is not simply our opinion and that we give everyone the same scale to measure their truth against.

As I continue to grow and remain open-minded to the world around me, I challenge you to do the same. Remain open to ideas, take information as it is and create your Truth and stay Honest. Even if you make a mistake you should be absent from guilt or shame. Correct when you’re wrong, own up to the error and share what makes your world easier to live in.  


“Lawyers must be honest, but they don’t have to be truthful. Honesty and truthfulness are not the same thing. Being honest means not telling lies. Being truthful means actively making known all the full truth of a matter. Lawyers must be honest, but they do not have to be truthful. A criminal defense lawyer, for example, in zealously defending a client, has no obligation to actively present the truth. Counsel may not deliberately mislead the court, but has no obligation to tell the defendant’s whole story.”

Taken from Forbes article regarding the difference in our legal system between Truth and Honesty. March 4th, 2016

Why do we mistake honesty for truth when we’re on the same page? Because we all tend to see ourselves as the standard for the truth about reality. We assume we’re unbiased. When we’re with like-minded people they must be unbiased, too ­– in direct contact with the truth.” Psychology Today aug.1st 2018

Article by Shane Hamilton