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May 19, 1997 10:58 PM
by Thoa Thi-Kim Tran

Hi Doss,

Thank you for the post on honesty.  Yes, I find that honesty takes a whole
lot less energy and thinking than deceit.  However, I find that where there
is fear, there is dishonesty.  For example, a person may fear being
ridiculed, fear loss of job, fear loss of love, etc.  Dishonesty becomes
part of the survival instinct.  Based on my experience and observations,
it's easy to be ideal about honesty when your life is basically sane.
However, when you are in an environment in which you are impoverished or
abused, dishonesty is a saving factor.  For example, take a situation of a
child who gets beaten for every single innocent act just because a parent
could not control rage.  For that child, dishonesty about any action,
however innocuous, is a self-defense reaction.  In this way, the child can
present a very narrow acceptable range of behavior to the parent in order
to avoid any punishment.  That child can grow up conditioned with the fact
that dishonesty is a savior, and continue that behavior.  On the other
hand, the child, as an adult, can remove him/herself from that situation,
and can start to realize about the beauty of honesty.

Anyway, let's say that although I now find honesty to be like swimming in
clear, clean water, I also find the beauty in dishonesty.  For some,
dishonesty may be the only way they can stay alive and sane.  Don't judge
until you've walked a mile in another's moccasins.  The way to help another
is, first, to help him/her get out of a bad situation, and second, once the
person is out of the bad situation, to help him/her realize that the
self-defense reaction need not continue.  Another sad If This Was a Perfect


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