August 2013 – Honesty
Sharla is not only a South Salt Lake resident but she is also a second grade teacher at Roosevelt Elementary. Sharla has a genuine love for teaching and the children she teaches. Kids of all ages are always saying hi to her as they pass in the halls. It is evident to me that she has made an impact on many children’s lives!
Being Truthful in words and actions
Here are some ways to be honest:
• Say what you mean and mean what you say.
• Make promises you can keep.
• Admit mistakes.
• Refuse to cheat, steal or lie.
• Tell the truth.
“Truth never damages a cause that is just.” -Mahatma Gandhi
“No legacy is as rich as honesty.” -William Shakespeare
“To make your children capable of honesty is the beginning of education.” -John Ruskin
“Honesty is something you can’t wear out.” -Waylon Jennings
“The high road is always respected. Honesty and integrity are always rewarded.” -Scott Hamilton
Teaching Kids to Be Honest
We want our kids to tell the truth—even when it’s not easy. When we teach our kids to be honest, we help them develop into individuals with tact and compassion.
- Create a safe home environment so when your kids make mistakes, they feel they can admit them honestly and seek out your help. When they do admit their errors, be careful in how you respond so you don’t shut them down. Approach the situation as a learning experience.
- Kids learn about honesty from the way you act. They notice when you tell lies over the phone—or to a salesperson, for example. Work on being honest yet tactful and respectful to others.
- Be honest if you’re having a tough time doing something, such as losing weight (and you’re tempted to sneak cookies) or quitting smoking (and you’re tempted to smoke away from the family without them knowing it). Talk about how lying is much more than telling lies. It also involves withholding information.
- Praise your kids when they’re honest with you (even if you’re very angry about what they told you). Notice when they’re being honest—it’s not always easy!
Kids have a lot of opportunities to be dishonest—at home, at school, with their friends, and in many other places. It’s up to you to teach them that being honest is the right thing to do, even when it might get them in trouble. Show them through your actions that telling the truth is always the best decision, and they’ll follow suit.
Two Stories to Share:
“The Dolphin and the Monkey”
(An Aesop fable)
A monkey was traveling by ship from one country to the next. One day he climbed the mast of the ship to get a better view. Unfortunately, as he was looking at the ocean, a big wave crashed into the boat and the monkey was thrown into the water. He frantically called for help, but no one on the boat heard him yelling. The boat sailed on. A dolphin, seeing his predicament, swam underneath the monkey, lifted him onto his back and swam toward land. The monkey began to talk to the dolphin about how important he was. “Everyone on this island knows me. In fact, the king of this island is one of my closest friends. I am sure to have a fine welcome when I get to shore.”
The dolphin listened politely, and looked wonderingly at the shore of the island. There were no animals, no people, no houses or palaces and not even a wisp of smoke to be seen. He placed the monkey on the shore, and then swam quietly away, leaving the boastful monkey to himself. Your lies will always be discovered.
In an AP article, the Deseret News reported that on her return flight from a five-week vacation in Greece, Viki Koutsis lost her bag containing valuables and her driver’s license. Later, Cruz Escobar, from El Salvador, found a bag containing $20,000 in gold, diamonds, pearls, and a driver’s license while cleaning a Swissair jet. She did not hesitate about what to do. Using the driver’s license, the owner was contacted and the property was all returned. Cruz commented in Spanish, “I felt sorry for the woman who had lost it. . . I always believed what my mother taught me, that you should never keep something that doesn’t belong to you.” For her honesty, Cruz’s employer gave her $100, and Viki rewarded her with a hug and $300.00
Read books that illustrate and encourage being honest. Check your library for some of those listed here. Each one provides opportunities to discuss the results of honesty.
The Empty Pot by Demi
A Day’s Work by Eve Bunting
Passage to Freedom by Ken Mochizieki
I’m Telling the Truth: A First Look at Honesty by Pat Thomas
Ruthie and the (Not So) Teeny Tiny Lie by Laura Rankin
The Boy Who Cried Wolf: A Retelling of Aesop’s Fable by Eric Blair
Teaching Honesty in the Workplace
Instructions: Read the following story at an upcoming staff meeting. At the end of the story, ask your employees to rank the 5 characters on a list of levels of moral culpability. (1- Highest moral character, 5- Lowest moral character). After rankings, a brief discussion can be held to gain perspectives from various employees on why they ranked the characters the way they did. This can be done collectively as a group or each individual can be asked to rank and discuss their individual ranking of characters.
In the sylvan setting of the land of Ethos runs the sinuous Alligator River1, named for the reptiles who populate its water and banks and who dine upon any local denizens unfortunate enough to fall into their gaping maws. On one side of the river lives Sylvia: sensitive, demure, and chaste: across the river lives Hector, Sylvia’s love, proud and strong in spirit and mind. No wall of stone or statute more effectively separated this Thisbe from her Pyramis than did the Alligator River. No Hero pined more for her Leander, no Juliet longed more for her Romeo, than did Sylvia for her Hector.
Independent and resourceful, Sylvia determined to discover a means of transporting herself safely across the Alligator River to join her lover Hector. Sylvia’s first encounter in her quest was with Sinbad, the Sailor. Sylvia explained to Sinbad her plight, testified to him aloud her great love for Hector, and implored Sinbad to lend her his boat, the only means of transport across the river. Sinbad, opportunistic and wanton, agreed to the loan of his boat upon the condition that Sylvia first spend the night with him.
Sylvia’s indignation at Sinbad’s promiscuous proposition and its challenging of her chastity and of the fidelity to Hector provoked her to tears, and she turned from Sinbad in anger to pursue other alternatives for crossing the river.
Still distraught, Sylvia next encountered Ivan, the Uninvolved, to whom she related her predicament and Sinbad the Sailor’s coarse recommendation to her. Ivan listened impatiently, and a slight frown of disdain crossed his face as he issued forth his reaction: “Don’t bother me with your problems, Sylvia; I’ve enough to worry about myself without carrying the burden of your petty hardships.”
Separation from Hector was hardly a “petty” consideration for Sylvia, however, and she departed Ivan more hurt and distressed than ever. Confused, lovesick, and dispirited, Sylvia decided reluctantly to return to Sinbad to accept his bargain, rationalizing that the end, being with her lover Hector, justified the means, compromising her fidelity and chastity. Sinbad the Sailor, true to his bargain, accepted Sylvia into his cabin for the night and lent her his boat the following day so that Sylvia soon crossed the Alligator River for a joyful reunion with Hector. Hector welcomed Sylvia into his arms, for he loved and admired her deeply. For one full day Hector and Sylvia enjoyed the blissful peace of their warm and tender regard for one another. Yet soon Sylvia, nagged by her conscience for the expedient she had adopted for realizing her purpose, admitted to Hector the tough bargain Sinbad had insisted upon.
Hector was not sympathetic. In fact, his rage at Sylvia’s betrayal of him culminated in his casting aside of Sylvia, vowing never again to look at her for her infidelity. Sylvia’s remorse, shame, and dejection at Hector’s reaction soon festered into rage at his harsh lack of understanding. As Sylvia wandered about, she happened upon Atlas, who listened to her story and completely empathized with Sylvia’s ire at Hector: in fact, Atlas suggested that Sylvia retaliate against Hector. She agreed, and Atlas assumed upon his shoulders the task of becoming the agent of Hector’s punishment. Sylvia led Atlas back to Hector, and Atlas brutally beat Hector, a spectacle that was accompanied by Sylvia’s scornful laughter, for now she had bruised Hector physically as he had bruised her emotionally.
When the King of Ethos, Solomon the Wise and Just, heard of the Alligator River incident, he proclaimed that all five of his subjects, Sylvia, Hector, Sinbad, Ivan, and Atlas, were morally culpable, that all five had made immoral value choices and judgments, and that all five should suffer some consequence for their sin. Solomon, wise enough to avoid confusing principle with practice or confusing the proclaiming of judgment with the executing of justice, delegated responsibility to his nine high magistrates to make the punishments fit the crimes. Their first task was to declare who of the five was guilty of the most heinous crime, who was guilty of the next most odious sin, and so forth until they had listed all five subjects in order of most morally reprehensible to least morally reprehensible. The high magistrates, after much painful deliberation, presented to King Solomon the following list:
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