Group discussion on Honesty is the Best Policy

The good old saying "honesty is the best policy" finds its application right from the kindergarten years of being taught, to the office days of training the newcomers and continues to be the best teaching to remember whenever an occasion presents itself with a temptation of taking the shortcut to success. Honesty in every walk of life would be ideal path to follow but then our politicians and authorities are notorious for corruption. Everywhere we find disturbing indulgence in dishonesty. Media, for instance, was supposed to present the naked truth but terms like "paid news" and "sold news houses" have taken over.

This article concentrates on facts and figures related to the proverb and presents some group discussion topics on it.

Some facts:

  • Abraham Lincoln was nicknamed "honest Abe" even before he got into politics. When he contested for President in 1859, the name stuck and he continues to be remembered as the most honest President in the history of America.
  • An experiment conducted by two University of Notre Dame professors show that being honest has an extremely positive effect on the health of the person.
  • Honesty is also known to have a positive effect on mental health of the person. An honest person's conscience is clear and has little to no guilt trips.
  • In the coin flip test among 1,500 participants from 15 countries it was found that the four least honest countries were China, Japan, South Korea and India.
  • However, the same test concluded that honesty is less important to a country's current economic growth than during earlier periods in history.

Group discussion topics on 'Honesty is the best policy':

1. Too much honesty is the recipe for self-destruction.
2. Is India ready for honesty? We ask for big changes but start complaining when we get them.
3. It is impossible for media to adapt the good policy of honesty?
4. EVMs being tampered, witnesses hampered - has honesty lost its importance in the new era of winning?
5. The art of lying and bluffing have long taken over honesty.
6. Diplomacy and honesty can never go hand in hand.
7. Lying for a good cause is better than a truth that could hurt.
8. Ashok Khemka's transfer is the evidence that honesty might not always be the best policy in modern times.
9. SC's judiciary credibility could be restored only when there is complete transparency.
10. Are lie-detectors the way to prove one's honesty?
11. Dishonesty not a legal element required to prove cheating - SC.
12. Is climate change alarmism founded on dishonesty?
13. Honest history or documented facts - what is more important?
14. Self realisation makes a person more honest than any other force in the universe.

Some quotes that can be used in the above group discussions:

"It's discouraging to think how many people are shocked by honesty and how few by deceit."
- Noel Coward, Blithe Spirit

"A truth that's told with bad intent beats all the lies you can invent."
- William Blake (1757-1827), "Auguries of Innocence"

"There is no well-defined boundary between honesty and dishonesty. The frontiers of one blend with the outside limits of the other, and he who attempts to tread this dangerous ground may be sometimes in one domain and sometimes in the other."
- O. Henry, Rolling Stones, 1912

Advantages of honesty:

1. Peace of mind and body: There are enough studies that show that an honest person is bound to live a healthier and tranquil life.

2. You would want others to be honest: Charity must begin at home. If you want to see change, you must start leading by example.

3. Less of blame game: When you have no dirt on your own profile, you don't need to be afraid of what others may get on you.

4. Makes you brave: Honesty paves the way to confidence and dignity, making a person bold and brave to face whatever may come.

Disadvantages of being honest:

1. You are at risk: Mind body peace is accepted but what about the risk that honest journalists have been facing?

2. You may not be liked: Blatant truth is going to hurt some people. Like it or not, you will attract malignancy.

3. Disappointment: You are in for major disappointment if you are too honest and expect the same from others close to you.

4. Donald Trump won! And he never claimed to be an honest man in retrospect.


Honesty continues to remain the best policy. Yes, it comes with a price but regulations on those risks are the way to stop injustice and not a cap on honesty and humility. There may be evil conspiracy happening everywhere but there are still people who choose to lead a life based on honesty and integrity.

We hope that this information helps in doing well at your group discussion on happiness or a related topic.