It surprises me still, that the notion of 'honesty is the best policy,' holds such traction. Because, as any fool knows, it absolutely isn't true.
We all lie. It doesn't matter who, it doesn't matter our age, it doesn't matter our social standing, it doesn't matter our occupation, it doesn't matter our ethnic origin or our religion. Whether we have one or not. We all lie. Lies are a matter of necessity. Without lying, we'd never be able to get through the day.
I'm not saying that being honest is a redundant option. Honesty is still a valuable commodity. If more people were more honest, the world would be in a better state.
Which comes down to our definition of honesty and the definition of the above epigram. WHEN is honesty the best policy? With only the big things or with small things as well? And who and how are these 'things' defined?
I'm thinking of the Ricky Gervais vehicle of last year; the movie where everyone was supposedly 'honest' and he invented lying. But, if truth be told (see what I did there?) the movie was less about people being honest, than it was about some strange sort of ADD crossed with Tourette's. People would just blurt out whatever came into their heads. Which is less honesty than mental problems.
For example, when he rang Jennifer Garner's doorbell, she answers it with, 'I was just upstairs masturbating.' Which may have been true but, as he didn't ask what she'd been doing, why did she feel compelled to mention it? Honesty? No, that's more of an obsessive/compulsive problem.
However, compare with the real world now. If, in our recent past, banks had have told people in the Sub Prime mortgage collapse that they really shouldn't be borrowing ANY money, let alone enough to buy a house, perhaps more people, and our own economy, would be better off. And, further to that, if government, the private sector and general common sense were involved and being honest, maybe this whole mess wouldn't have even started.
But still, there's no great answer to 'does my bum look big in this?' unless, of course, you lie.