When you break this universal concept of ‘truthfulness’ down, it can be done so on a few different levels. At the most ‘basic’ level, think about the communication that we seek in our daily lives, i.e., telling the truth about what we see, feel, need, and so forth. even though this is at a ‘basic’ level, doesn’t necessarily mean that it’s easy. Secondly, think integrity. While driving in the car one day, a little girl asked her mommy, ‘ what’s integrity?’ the mother went on to explain that if you were at the park and several others saw a man drop a dollar bill, she would return the money to the man and that was honesty. But if no one else saw that the man had dropped the money, and she still returned it, that is integrity. Integrity is internal honesty… it’s telling the truth when no one would ever know; integrity is refusing to tell a lie for yourself or for others.
There’s another little story I’d like to share about a lady who was asked by a friend why she didn’t have a radar detector in her car. She responded by saying that if she used one, she would be sending her children a message that it is okay to break the law (lie) as long as you don’t get caught. What a model of integrity!
Lying is a form of disrespecting self or others – even think ‘little white lies’ – the next time you’re tempted to tell a lie, ask yourself to whom you are disrespecting at that moment.
okay, so what if someone wants an opinion about a brand new dress, which you think is one of the least attractive dresses that you’ve ever seen? If you practice satya and tell her the truth, you may end up leaving ahimsa (non-harming) behind. If you find yourself in such a predicament, before speaking, ask yourself, ‘is it necessary, is it true, is it nonharming?’ You will need to weigh what is the right action in the situation.
If you tell the truth, you don’t have to remember anything. – Mark Twain