Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Honesty Makes Me Happy


Yesterday, my post was a poem about the humility and teachability of children. This picture of my grandson and his "I can be honest" hat (taken by his mother on her iPhone at church) brings that truth to mind. I wish every child were being taught the principle of honesty in such a direct way. It seems as if most schools (and even some families) have sort of abdicated any responsibility for imparting moral standards, and with religious influence on the wane, I don't see anyone or anything stepping in to pick up the slack. As a result, I fear that our society is changing for the worse.

My sister is an educator, and she is troubled by the way her student population has altered over the course of her long career. In fact, she and her peers speak of this frequently. A few years ago, discipline in and out of the classroom became such a problem that she took a sizable cut in pay and moved to a Catholic girl's school, where expectations of good behavior are firmly placed upon the children and enforced by parents and teachers alike. Cheating is not tolerated, and there is a concerted effort to teach every girl there the importance of holding herself to the highest ethical standard. In this environment, my sister is free to impart knowledge in a milieu of mutual respect and honor that used to be the norm and is now becoming the exception.

It's not too late to turn the "anything goes, if you don't get caught" tide that is swirling all around us. Of course, it begins in the home, but there's no reason why like-minded people can't spread the message through their communities. With some active consciousness-raising by parents, maybe those in charge of curriculum in our educational system could realize that there are still a few principles that can and should be deemed "politically correct"––basic tenets with which every individual ought to agree––universal codes of conduct that can and should be upheld and yes, even taught in the schools.

Teaching honesty, patience, respect, compassion, fairness, perseverance, forgiveness, generosity, helpfulness, gratitude, and honor does not violate our constitutional requirement that church and state be separated. Surely one should not have to be religious to stand behind and support these virtues.

Benjamin Franklin, Signer of the Declaration of Independence, said: "Only a virtuous people are capable of freedom. As nations become corrupt and vicious, they have more need of masters."

From Benjamin Franklin's lips to our ears. I just hope we can hear him.

{virtue makes me happy}

And so does the birthday of a very dear and virtuous friend.
HAPPY BIRTHDAY, LINDA!

for more happiness, click below

30 comments:

Music Notes said...

I agree with every word. I've discussed this topic on many occasions with friends and family.

Great post!

Eva Gallant said...

I agree, 100 per cent!

Nancy said...

Sue, what a beautiful, thought-provoking topic. I agree with everything you said and appreciate your skill in expressing it so well. Perfect background selection too!!! Wish you were here.

cj Schlottman said...

Sue. This post really nails down the sad truth we are facing. I honor you for putting the very timely and essential reminder out there.

Namaste..............cj

Kelly Lund and Kids said...

I couldn't agree more!! What a cutie in your pic :) Happy Tuesday!!

Kristin said...

What a wonderful topic! So important to teach these basic virtuous principles and be examples of them in our homes . . . certainly not always an easy thing to do but so worth it!

Kristin

Laraine Eddington said...

Great essay Sue. What pain dishonesty brings both upon the innocent and the guilty!

Tima said...

I think I need to share this with my students. We often have conversations about honesty.

anitamombanita said...

oh my...sooo important. Honesty and integrity, twins really. If only there were more of it in the world.

Momza said...

Honesty is the best policy.
I do think that Ben Franklin said that. It's true! So much easier to remember the facts rather than a lie.
So well said, Sue. Thank you for your kind comment too!

karen said...

I couldn't agree with you more. In times past we could be more passive on the subject - content with just teaching our own children properly. But today I think we all need to stand up and be counted - there are just too many people that feel entitled to have everything they want at any cost - as long as they don't get caught.

Susan said...

Hi Sue, Thanks for stopping by my blog. The antique shop is in Davenport. Just off of Highway 1, and next to/behind the Taqueria. It’s a small little shop but is packed with all kinds of cute!

Dina @ 4 Lettre Words said...

Wow...so lovely, Sue. You know we just moved and it was 100% for the schools...especially Middle School (our 6-8th grades), which scare me most. It's such a scary world, period. Of course, we have to keep faith!

And that pic is too sweet! Hope she frames it/puts it on a card/etc.

Brian Miller said...

i think one big issue today is a lack of accountability...i see it in many of the homes i work in...it is too hard to keep the children under some kind of management and many parents parent out of guilt...allowing your kids to not have accountability is not love it is neglect...ok, off soap box now...smiles.

Grandma Honey said...

I think the greatest way to teach children honesty is by example of the parents. Unfortunately many parents think it is just fine to say.
"Tell them I'm not home!"
"Don't tell them your age, I think we can get you in for a year younger."
etc etc etc

JDaniel4's Mom said...

I agree. JDaniel has already tried to share untruths and truth. We are working on it.

Secret Mom Thoughts said...

Well said. Honestly is so important.

Pieni Lintu said...

Great post!!!

Lisalulu said...

what a great gem you speak of!!! And it is hard to not be judgmental of the dishonest or what we perceive as being dishonest.

Stacy Crawford said...

Amen! Our school has a character word of the month and our guidance counselor does a fantastic job of teaching those roles. We do work hard on those behaviors in the classroom because not all come with it learned.

Leovi said...

The best way to teach a child honesty is the example of the adults around him, if he sees honesty will always have them inside.

Jessica said...

Love for honesty! He is a cutie!

Grandma Yellow Hair said...

Working in the field of law enforcement that I did I can tell you we really do have need to be concerned.
The problem should be addressed at home but so many children today have only one parent and in a lot of cases the other one is in prison.
Sad the direction we seem to be going.
Love
Maggie

Donna said...

Honesty is such a huge virtue!1 It afffects every asecpt of our daily life as well as how those around us deal with us.
The photo of your grandson is stinkin' cute! (hard to beleive it's a cell phone pic) It's never too early to learn this lesson!!

Sarah said...

I love this. I agree. Cute photo too.

Stef said...

Amen. It is sad how things are changing and ever crutial that parents teach their children virtue and honesty and integrity.

AJ said...

I agree honesty is so important and also a problem in Holland.
Cute pic.!

Joy For Your Journey said...

What a great quote! I used to tell that same thing to my kids. :-)

I agree with your post. Honesty does appear to be a vanishing virtue in many ways. What a sad thing that is. And to think there used to be a day when a person's word was his bond.

Heather said...

Very good post. I really like the quote at the end.

Caroline said...

Sue,

Your posts like this are so important to me. I read every word with appreciation for your wisdom. I agree with you TOTALLY here and I see it too. It also doesn't help that most parents are too distracted these days to discipline. And they, unfortunately tend to focus on the wrong things. For example--children have much fancier toys and dress much better than they did, sY 20 years ago (does anyone ever remember what hand-me-downs are?) but the behavior, in general, tends to be much worse.
I think you hit the nail on the head with this one.
They teach respect, responsibility and safety at my daughter's school (they recite that each day)--but I think "honesty" should be included within those three principles as well.

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