Lesson
11

Living in an Interdependent World

4 of 5

The role of honesty and justice

Universal responsibility leads to a commitment to honesty.

Why is honesty important in the quest for a compassionate interdependent world?


How do you know when you are being honest?

We are honest when our actions are what they seem to be. When we pretend to be one thing but in reality we are something else, suspicion develops in others, causing fear. Ethics for the New Millennium

If we pretend to be one thing and our actions reveal something else, that causes suspicion and fear. when we commit ourselves to honesty, we help reduce the level of misunderstanding, doubt, and fear throughout society.


When our interactions with our neighbors are open and sincere in everything we say and think and do, people have no need to fear us. Ethics for the New Millennium

Does this seem true? Important? Does this hold true for communities as well as individuals?

We create the conditions for a happy world.

When we understand the value of honesty in all our undertakings, we recognize that there is no ultimate difference between the needs of the individual and the needs of whole communities. Their numbers vary, but their desire, and right, not to be deceived remains the same. Thus in a small but significant way, we create the conditions for a happy world. Ethics for the New Millennium

Universal responsibility and honesty require us to act when we perceive injustice.  If we don't speak, is it out of fear about what others will think?  Not speaking could be unethical if we are ignoring the wider implications of our silence.

What about the objection that honesty is not always possible, that circumstances may prevent us from always acting in accordance with our responsibilities? As an example, what if your own family might be harmed if you spoke out when you witnessed injustice?