Though the whole world grumble, I will speak my mind." -Cicero
The third Landmark of Truth is honesty.
Honesty requires that we are fair, just and morally upright. This demands that Visionmakers act with personal integrity at all times to ensure that our very being is an expression of truth.
Three standards apply to the practice of honesty. The first is that we do not lie, steal or act in a deceitful way. Second, we tell the truth, and respect what belongs to others or to the common trust. Third, we do not conceal or misrepresent the truth.
To act in accordance with these principles supports the development of self-respect and leads to honor. Honor is the respect that comes from other people in response to honesty and integrity. This is the Visionmaker's way.
Today, we are living through an economic crisis that has been brought on largely by a failure to act in accordance with honesty and integrity. Greed, self-interest and personal gain have led us to a dangerous instability in the world economy.
We have placed a higher cultural value on wealth and power than we have on character. Vision has been co-opted by the pursuit of money, sex and power, the three measures of success in our current mythology.
We have entered an age where the addiction to wealth and power and the status that they convey has gained a currency and intensity not seen since the 1980's.
Remember the character Gordon Gecko, played by Michael Douglas, in the film Wall Street? He appears to be alive and well.
Greed can never rest; it couples a ravenous appetite for more with the increasing inability to feel satisfaction. Hence the closed-loop that keeps the addiction going.
Truth and honesty require that we adhere to a higher value than personal gain. In our parents time, honesty and integrity in your personal and professional life were the badges of honor. You conducted yourself in accordance with timeless principles, values and ethics. These practices led to social currency, meaning your place in civil society was secured by the honesty of your character.
We have lost sight of this standard.
In the Four-Fold Way, Angeles Arrien provides simple and effective guidelines for honesty and integrity:
• saying what you mean
• doing what you say
• saying what's so when it's so
Many times I have been confronted by those that wish to argue that the only way to make one's way in a corrupt world is to be corrupt. It is strategies and defenses such as these that have led us to the brink of financial collapse.
Visionmakers see the development and maintenance of honesty and integrity as central to acquiring enough personal power to act with purpose.
Energy that goes into sorcery-deceit, greed, and manipulation of others and the circumstances–is a misuse of that power.
Ultimately, it is an act of self-betrayal and self-sabotage. The path of Visionmaking leads us in the opposite direction towards self-trust and self-esteem.
© Patrick O’Neill 2009. All rights reserved.