Is Honesty Lost?

 

As the Holidays approach I start thinking about my favorite old time movies.  White Christmas, It’s a Wonderful Life, Miracle on 34th Street…life seemed so great during those times and whether true or not…I picture life to be more honest, caring and compassionate.  Yes I know…movies aren’t real…it doesn’t mean human beings were actually more honest and caring in the early 1900’s than they are now…but…were they?

I am an advocate for older adults and time and time again I am faced with financial exploitation issues.  So many older adults are taken advantage of because why?  Because they have memory loss or aren’t as educated?  I don’t think so.  I think it’s because people know they are honest, caring people.  They believe when someone says, “I am raising money for abandoned children in Africa,” or “I’ve been arrested and I need $2,000 to make bail,” that it’s the truth…because… well, most people were honest in their day.

What has happened?  Is honesty not seen as a valuable trait anymore?  Is honesty seen as a weakness in our society?

I came home from a job interview a few weeks ago and my husband asked how it went.  I said, “It went fine, but could have been better.”  I then explained how there were a few questions about programs that I didn’t know.  My husband was quite astonished that I didn’t just “B-S” like I did know something about the programs.  It turns out I am not a quick bullshitter in the middle of an interview, just like I was never good at lying when I was little.  Every time I tried to lie, my mother saw right through my blushing face.

So I am an honest person.  That we have established.  But is it a valuable trait?  To get ahead in our world it seems as though being a good bullshitter is a very valuable trait to have.  Isn’t bullshitting a funnier way of saying lying?  In a way, I think it is.  People care more about whether you have the right answer or close to the right answer than being honest and hard working.  Businesses have developed marketing systems that are all about falsities to get a better sale and make more money. It almost seems like the more untruthful you are the better your business does.  Marketing strategies are now all about how to “trick” people out of their money.

I have had two instances where I was viewed as being a “rude” costumer because I expressed my opinions to car salesmen.  I will admit, I don’t like salesman.  I have only met a handful in my life that were honest people when talking to me about products.  Is it their fault?  Maybe not, but I’m not going to act stupid because I know their schemes.  I will give an example:  My husband and I were interested in a used vehicle.  The salesman went through all the motions and we said, “We will think about it and get back to you.”  The salesman asked us to wait while he got his business card and when he returned, another salesman came out and started blabbing on and on about how great of a deal we were getting on this car.  He kept saying, “What was the price they offered you?  Oh my gosh that is such a great deal!  I have never heard of the Manager giving such a great price!”  Obviously I could see right through him and knew it was a marketing “trick” to try and get us to buy before we left.  I looked at the fast talking salesman and said, “I know what you are trying to do and the more you keep talking the less likely we are to buy this car.”  When we returned later in the day to continue talking about the car, every salesman in the place looked at me like I was a sour apple.

Should I be the one looked down upon because I don’t like being tricked into a sale?  What do you think?  Maybe it’s the advocate in me but I look at people like the fast talking salesman and want to put a huge “DANGER” sign on him so that my honest old people don’t get duped…again.

If our economic society is based on dishonesty…do these morals spread into our homes?  Are they taught to our children?  Do we want our mission statements to be money first, morals second?

I guess I’m ending this blog as a question to see what your feedback is.  I think honesty is now being viewed as more of an innocence and weakness than a valuable trait, what do you think?  Is honesty lost?

Self Help? Why not group Help?

I have a great life.  I know this.  I have my health, I have a loving husband and I have the cutest, funnest baby boy ever.  So why did I wake up today feeling blue?  Is it because the whirlwind we have had the last year has finally ended and all that stress is catching up to me?  Is it because I had a baby 7 months ago and my hormones are still evening out?  Is it because I’ve been to 3 job interviews, filled out multiple applications and am still home with all the defeating thoughts that fester when you don’t get the call back?

Yes, of course that’s why I feel blue!  But are these stressors any different from any other point in life?  Are they different from how you have felt sometime in your life?  The stressors may be slightly different but the outcome is likely the same emotions.  I am not a confident person…but I am confident that I am not the only person who has felt defeated! Life is hard.  There are ups and downs and you never know what challenges may be around the corner…layoffs, children, no children, marriages, divorces, death…presidential debates…  STRESS IS EVERYWHERE!

Of course there are amazing things about life too, but some people may not feel completely content again just by counting their blessings.  Yes, counting blessings are good, do that!  Meditate and exercise…do that!  And all the other good things people tell you to do when you are blue, do that!  Do you know what helps me feel better? Talking…talking it out helps me a lot.  Does it make me feel like I can take on the world and do anything?  Maybe not…but it helps.  You know what also helps me?  Empathy.  Hearing from a friend that understands that I’m going through a hard time and can say, “That really blows, I had a similar low point when X,Y,Z happened and guess what?  I’m okay.  This is what I did.  This is how I got through it”…or even, ” I really struggled for awhile, and that’s okay.  We are all human.”

Empathy and kindness are rare these days…especially when all you see on news feeds, social media feeds, and whatever other feeds I’m not privy to, are full of arguments dividing us.  It’s hard enough to get through the challenges we all have in day to day life to then also deal with the emotions of a seemingly divided world.  We don’t need the weight of the world on our shoulders while also raising a family, making ends meet, helping a friend, calling a loved one…

Am I saying we shouldn’t have any responsibility in bigger life events?  NO!  We all have a responsibility to stay up on laws, politics, community development and even world events, BUT how do we balance it all and make sure our priorities of taking care of ourselves and others stay on top?  I don’t know the answer… BUT, I’m starting this blog so maybe we can encourage each other to keep empathy and kindness at the front of our minds.

So, if any of you out there are starting to feel defeated because you have moved to a new place, left a crappy job, or were a stay at home mom now looking for a job…and you haven’t gotten a job offer yet…You are amazing.  You have talent.  Don’t give up on yourself.  It’s a competitive fight out there.  It’s hard to sell yourself… at least it is for me!  Here is an article that helped me stay positive.  Focus on the system, not the goals.  Get a system down for being proactive in your search and trust in the system.  You are doing everything you can, that’s all you can do!  And that’s enough.

This article is great, check out James Clear’s stuff:

http://jamesclear.com/goals-systems