I think we all hear things like, “Honesty is the best policy”, or “Honesty always pays”, but have you ever stopped to ask yourself why this is? From the Bible to the media we always seem to be getting the message that it is better to be honest than dishonest. For the alternative believers you will hear things like calmer, or universal laws, justice or karma etc – but who controls all of this, and how does it work?
I think many of us have this mystery running around in our heads. I don’t really know how it works, but what I do know is that the wheel always turns and there seems to be a set of unwritten laws that we choose to stick to, and have an easier and more fulfilled life.
There was once a businessman who wanted to promote one of his employees to CEO as he was getting older ad wanted to retire soon. He decided to test his staff, so he called a morning meeting.
“As you all know I will soon be retiring” he said. “As part of my decision making process, you will all be given a seed. In 6 months time I will call you all together and the person with the biggest plant will become my successor. Running a company is like growing a plant, and it needs care and attention. I need someone like that to run my company.”
Off everyone went, and the competition was pretty stiff. People arrived with magnificent green plants, fruit trees and lush ferns.
Except for John, who was the only team member whose plant was not showing any results. Nothing, not a sprout or anything to show. “I must be doing something wrong” he thought. “All my colleagues are getting huge results and I am getting nothing.”
Months passed and John still had nothing to show, no matter how much water, sunlight, love and attention John gave his seedling.
Finally it was time for the big announcement. John and the rest of the team carried their plants in to the meeting room.
The old man looked at all the plants, and then he said: “Ladies and gents, as you know, honesty is my highest value in business. You all have beautiful plants to show, and because of that I am sad that you are such a bunch of liars.”
You could literally hear a pin drop. “You see, the only person in this company that is honest and has integrity, is John!”
The room gasped. “I put you all to the test” he continued. ” The seeds I gave you were boiled, so that they would never grow no matter what you did. Only John was honest enough to admit that under peer pressure his plant wasnt growing, and didn’t pretend, and that is why I am making John the new CEO.”
John’s eyes filled with tears as he was awarded the position – and he knew that honesty was really the best policy.
Sometimes in life we do what we think other people want us to do, and not what is honest and true. When it gets hard and tough people follow the crowd, honesty always stands out.