Posts Tagged ‘effective’

Honor Before Honesty Every Time

Words do matter.  Take for example the words honor and honesty.  Which word appeals to you more than the other?

For me, honor is a far stronger word both emotionally and intellectually.  Honesty, beyond being overused like many other words in society, has less emotional intelligence and less intellectual depth.

In a recent conversation with a colleague, he suggested the word honesty is a better word than honor.  My response was honesty is much like being efficient, doing things right.  Honor is more akin to being effective, doing the right thing.  To be honorable always suggests one is honest. However being honest does not mean one is always honorable.

The difference can also be explain through the actions of public officials.  Yes in many instances they are following the law, being efficient and therefore being honest in the application of the law. Unfortunately following the law is not always effective and hence does not always reflect honor.

Locally here the county officials wanted to make up budget shortfalls and one of the suggestions was to consider closing the rural libraries.  Possibly this action was honest yet with high illiteracy rates and a workforce lacking many necessary reading and writing skills, this proposed action was not filled with honor.

Yes there is a distinct line between honor and honesty. Many cross that line every day without even thinking.

I am reminded of Socrates Three Filters when it comes to the difference between these words.

  1. Is what you say kind?
  2. Is what you say truthful?
  3. Is what you say necessary?

For it is that third filter where honor and honesty may clash.  We can speak honest words, but are those words truly necessary?  Are they honorable?

When we invest the time to think about the words we think, speak and write, we can change our results for the better. Possibly you may have never considered the differences between honor and honesty. Now with a potential different perspective and even some additional clarity, you may begin to reflect not only upon these words, but others as well.

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