CINCINNATI - Is anyone honest anymore? How relevant is honesty?
In ancient Greece, Diogenes spent his life looking for an honest man.
Would we fare much better?
"I think we've been lying as long as we've been talking," said Mark Hooten of Campus Cyclery in Clifton.
"Everybody lies," he said, "just nobody likes getting caught."
Since 1943 the rotary club's #1 code of ethics' has asked 'is it the truth?'
"If people do that (tell the truth) in their personal lives as well as in their business lives," said Rotary Club of Cincinnati president Donald Keller, "things would be a whole lot better."
It's a noble goal, but is it realistic in today's dog-eat dog competitive world?
"It happens every day," Keller said. "We know people get rewarded for success for doing things in an illegal way or certainly in an unethical way."
So why be honest?
"Does that make you a better person, or does that make society better?" he asked. "In my view, it would be no."
In the words of Michael Jackson, you have to take it up with the man in the mirror.
"You're a happier person if you do it the right way and live the right ideals versus just receiving some adulation you know deep down in your heart you don't deserve," Keller said.
Keller, however, admits he too has lied.
"Sure," he said. "We're all human. We've all lied. None of us are perfect."
Honesty isn't number one of the Ten Commandments, it's number eight.
"I owe you respect as a human being," said Stephen Trosley, Editor-in-Chief of the Catholic Telegraph. "To denigrate your reputation, to say something that's false about you, even in a political context, is not respecting you."
Yet he too confessed to lying.
"Oh, yeah," he said.
Perhaps there's a reason Diogenes never found what he was searching for. Perhaps honesty is a goal more than a reality.
As for its relevance, Hooten may have said it best.
"It is absolutely relevant," he said. "But I could be lying to you."
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