Common Outlook
December 2013 - Issue # 13-12

Founder's Message


One of the central themes of most of the books we read and movies we see, the news we consume and the politics we observe, is the struggle between Honesty and dishonesty. We, as a species, are keenly interested in finding the line between the two, for public examination of our moral laws - our beliefs and decisions, judgments and actions - helps us make ethical personal decisions. As such, we have chosen to examine it in this month's article.

Some say Honesty is a directive of the divine and as such, must be used in all situations and with all people ... no matter the circumstances. Others say that Honesty is based on that inherent pervasive human and animal(1) sense of fairness; that it needs no celestial edict; that its universality indicates importance. Lastly, there are those who argue that Honesty springs solely from the collective's need for order; that there's nothing inherently natural about it; that it's a learned behaviour subject only to the requirement to discover one's own truths.

When it comes down to it, I believe that ideologies about truth matter less than the impact of actually practicing it - with oneself and with others. It seems there is value in the on-going decision to hold Honesty close. For in its embrace we find strength and peace.

May strength and peace be yours.

(1) Monkeys reject unequal pay: Research Article; Video 




Be honest but not brutally so, for as R.J. Needham says: "The person who is brutally honest enjoys the brutality quite as much as the honesty. Possibly more."




"The truth needs so little rehearsal."
~Barbara Kingsolver, Animal Dreams 





It is said we live three lives: a public one; a personal one, and a secret one. If so, is it possible to follow the principles we've set for ourselves in each of those lives, or should we allow some wiggle-room depending on where we are, who we're with, and what needs to stay hidden?

Take the principle of Honesty. It informs and colours everything we do and think. It governs our public lives-our laws and mores (mȯr-āz). It guides our personal lives, for the degree to which we can express truthfulness, sincerity, and candour determines the kinds of relationships we have with others. In our public and personal lives, expressing the truth as we know it and playing by the rules frames how we operate within a culture. But what about Honesty and a secret life? What happens to honest discourse and action then?

Read More 


Peter Hiddema


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