In some ways, we can categorize honesty on a continuum, ranging from entirely comprised of intentional untruths to completely valid, to the best of our knowledge. There are many points in between, which means that we are responsible for more than the way we answer the basic question of whether we ate a carrot at breakfast this morning (when, in fact, we ate a kruller).
But I think we are all familiar with this argument. The new argument--or one of them-- is that if we are not completely transparent, then we are somehow being dishonest.
Hmmm. I would say that relationships can bear varying amounts of truth. And transparency is at a separate level of remove from all of those. Would you tell your boss that his sweater was so bright, it felt he was trying to stab you in both eyes...or would you just say that it looked a little festive?
Telling the truth is like digging in the backyard, picking up a GI Joe figure, and calling it a day. Transparency is the equivalent of, say, finding the same GI Joe figure, but then removing three surrounding square feet of soil, just in case.
I have come to believe that there is rarely such a thing as a truth that we can all agree upon for the same reasons. But that is up to each of us to discern. The purpose of honesty, or of communication in general, is to enhance relationships of every stripe; to improve the ways in which we can connect to one another. Whatever definition of honesty we are using, it ought to support the idea that we receive better value from our relationships when we use our language to further deepen and develop them.
So, for you...what is honesty? What does that mean? How much is the right amount? And how much is too much?