Why Honesty Leads to Success and Happiness in Life – 2
edited Nov. 22, 2007
(”Whenever one speaks, trustworthiness（xin 信）comes first; lying and pretending to know, how can one do such things? 凡出言，信為先；詐與妄，奚可焉。” Di Zi Gui, p.20 )
Now let us look at why honesty leads to success and happiness in life.
It’s all because the fundamental feature of human society is mutual help. Thus, to be as successful as one’s ability warrants, one must maximize both the help one gives to others and the help others give to one. Of course, a lot of this occurs as buying and selling, including the buying and selling of labor, i.e. going to work for an employer, and a lot of this occurs as non-monetary mutual help among family and friends.
No matter, for the mutual help to be maximized, one must give an open and complete picture of what one can offer. Only thus can one maximize one’s “customers,” whether monetary or non-monetary, whether stranger, acquaintance, friend, relative or family.
Only thus then can one maximize one’s return, again whether monetary or not. When one helps others, others will help one. With monetary mutual help things are priced beforehand with each exchange, with non-monetary mutual help among friends and family things are fixed beforehand as part of the Cardinal Obligations (see my blogs Mar. 2 – April 5, 2007). Either way, for others to help us maximally, they must be able to see clearly what our needs are. Only by being open and honest with them can they best help us.
It’s a mutual help world out there, and to be as successful and happy as one’s ability warrants, one must be honest.