The Face of Honesty

Sister Mohini holds up a mirror which can provide us all with useful reflection

Sometimes ambition without aim, purpose or clarity can be dangerous.  Ambition is fine as long as there is discrimination as to how a desire will affect others.  This is real honesty.  Honesty is something that neither brings harm to the self nor hurts others.

Most of the time, when we think of values like humility and lightness, thoughts turn to the self; but when we think of honesty, the thought turns outward.  Conflict arises when we begin to think that honesty means fulfilling all our own desires.  When honesty is understood as bringing satisfaction only to the self, this is not total honesty.

People who are addicted sometimes feel as though they can’t feel the pain. It’s the same with thoughts: there are certain thoughts that are not beneficial for us, but we allow them to continue because we don’t feel the damage these thoughts bring.  Honesty is not just being natural, but giving to ourselves what is good and positive.

When a person uses abusive language, they often feel that they are just being ‘frank’.  However, this frankness is a form of dishonesty because the person is not only hurting others, but the self as well.  The power to discriminate is needed to determine which words bring relief and peace to the self and others.  This is honesty.

Each part of the body is assigned a place.  The tongue is supposed to be behind the bars of the teeth.   It is said that before you speak, think many times because the wound caused by the sword of the tongue heals very slowly.

If you are honest, any little difficulty only comes to make you more honest. In performing various day to day tasks, we should ask ourselves: “Am I really being honest?”  Any difficulty is because of lack of honesty
The more honesty, the more feelings of lightness we have and the burdens are taken off us.

We need to make sure that there is no selfishness mixed in with our honesty and that we are not trying to manipulate a situation or person in the name of honesty.  Whatever is true or real should not be mixed.
Honesty—with the self, in our words and in relationships—is very important.

No one can take what belongs to us and we cannot take what belongs to anyone else out of greed or fear. Ghandi’s clothing was simple because he believed that if it were more than simple he would be guilty of taking someone else’s share.  When we learn to share then we are free from jealousy and things seem to come to us.

Before most of us became spiritual seekers or practitioners, we experienced disharmony because of breaking certain laws of the universe.  Once we learn to adopt honesty not only does disharmony dissolve, but there is never fear of what is going to happen to us.  When we lack honesty, we live in fear.  Lack of honesty creates sadness and insecurity.  An honest person will always feel secure. 

Respect is the essential core of humility and we should respect a person for whatever or whoever they are, while knowing that they need to change a few elements in their characters.  According to the respect we give others, that much respect will be given to us in return.

The converse of humility is ego.  We can develop ego from having many things, or from having nothing at all.  Inferiority is also considered ego.  In order to destroy ego, the consciousness of being a trustee is necessary. Trusteeship means that we don’t own something, but it has been given to us.  No one has brought anything with them to this earth.  When we came we were not wearing our clothes even, they were given to us.  As much as we can be caretakers or trustees with honesty, that much we can experience abundance and then there is no need for arrogance.

We witness heaviness because we walk around in ‘title consciousness’: “I am this, I am that.”  This makes us feel burdened.  If we perform our tasks as trustees, we can be very, very light.  Another reason we experience burden is because we do not have enough tolerance or patience, and so we respond negatively in our relationships with others and we don’t know how to forgive.  Forgiving means for giving.  We become so light when we give.  Take what is useful, and don’t create a file of anyone’s negativity.

Sister Mohini is the Director of Brahma Kumaris Centres in North and South America and the Caribbean.