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Honesty

  • The change of life is the time when you meet yourself at a crossroads and you decide whether to be honest or not before you die.

  • The only appropriate reply to the question 'Can I be frank?' is 'Yes, if I can be Barbara.

  • What is more arrogant than honesty?

  • ... honesty dies in selling itself.

  • We may argue eloquently that 'Honesty is the best Policy' — unfortunately, the moment honesty is adopted for the sake of policy it mysteriously ceases to be honesty.

  • 'Honesty' without compassion and understanding is not honesty, but subtle hostility.

  • ... nobody can boast of Honesty till they are try'd ...

  • Be honest and poor, by all means — but I shall not envy you; I do not much think I shall even respect you. I have a much greater respect for those that are honest and rich.

  • ... the last degree of honesty has always been, and is still considered incompatible with statesmanship. To hunger and thirst after righteousness has been naturally, as it were, supposed a disqualification for affairs ...

  • In its natural state, the child tells the literal truth because it is too naive to think of anything else. Blurting out the complete truth is considered adorable in the young, right smack up to the moment that the child says, 'Mommy, is this the fat lady you can't stand?'

  • Honesty has come to mean the privilege of insulting you to your face without expecting redress ...

  • Honesty is a virtue, but not the only one. If you're in a courtroom you need the whole truth and nothing but the truth; in the living room, sometimes you need anything but. Often.

    • Judith Martin,
    • in Susan Goodman, "Judith Martin," Modern Maturity ()
  • Smart people duck when they hear the dread announcement 'I'm going to be perfectly honest with you.'

  • Miss Manners has never cared for the argument that it is honest to do something unpleasant in plain view and hypocritical to do it out of sight. There is nothing honest and a lot that is rude about leaving the bathroom door open.

  • When one is frank, one's very presence is a compliment.

  • Honesty — however dangerous — should be as valuable as radium it seems to me ...

    • Marianne Moore,
    • 1942, in Bonnie Costello, ed., The Selected Letters of Marianne Moore ()
  • The best thing for you, my children, is to serve God from your heart, without falsehood or shame, not giving out to people that you are one thing while, God forbid, in your heart you are another.

  • Honesty is probably as necessary to a successful relationship as having both partners' parents live in another state.

  • Honesty is the best policy, in love as in law ...

  • Never do anything which you could not do in the sight of all.

    • Teresa of Avila,
    • "Maxims" (1581), in E. Allison Peers, tr., The Complete Works of St. Teresa of Jesus ()
  • Sincerity is not a spontaneous flower, nor is modesty either.

  • I never knew Eileen to be honest about anything in all her life unless the truth served her better than an evasion.

  • My mouth is effective in its speech; I do not go back on my word.

    • Queen Hatshepsut,
    • "Speech of the Queen" (c. 1450 BCE), in Margaret Busby, ed., Daughters of Africa ()
  • Faultless honesty is a sine qua non of business life. Not alone the honesty according to the moral code and the Bible. When I speak of honesty I refer to the small, hidden, evasive meannesses of our natures. I speak of the honesty of ourselves to ourselves.

  • You have to learn to love honesty, but when you have, you've killed two birds with one stone, because you've learned to love life, too, all in one stroke. Life and honesty can't be separated.

    • Ida Jerome,
    • in Luella B. Cook, Using English: Book Two ()
  • ... if the word frankly or sincerely is not uttered in the first ten minutes — or let us speak openly — then you are not in the presence of a genuine businessman, and he will certainly go bankrupt: take care ...

  • Strict honesty was the policy of most of them; although there were a few who were said to 'find anything before 'tis lost' and to whom findings were keepings.

  • You better not compromise yourself, it's all you've got.

    • Janis Joplin,
    • in Michael Lydon, "The Janis Joplin Philosophy: Every Moment She Is What She Feels," The New York Times Biographical Edition ()