An essay on the limitations of honesty- the valuable virtue

Learning values and virtues in life is essential. Without them, human life lacks perfection. There is a saying that honesty is the best policy, but it comes with limitations too. This essay discusses the constraints of practising honesty.


The first step towards human values and virtues seems to start with honesty. During early childhood, when a baby doesn't even know what human value means, it often faces a question from the adults that the baby is speaking the truth or not. The adults make a child understand not to say a lie. It is undoubtedly one of the gems of all the virtues, but it is not everyone's cup of tea. Some people do not willingly practice honesty, but there are other numerous people who in regular life do remain honest in their actions and yield respect and satisfaction in life. Now, the point is - do all truthful persons remain honest without any challenge? No; many forthright people become victims of a particular situation, and then honesty goes for a toss. It usually leads to a guilty conscience, but still helps to wipe out some troublesome conditions in life. Let me discuss all the limitations that may convert an honest person to a dishonest person in some specific cases.


Life never runs in the same way. It is natural to change and confront challenges in a lifetime, and that is when each person gets tested relating to physical, emotional, financial, psychological, and moral grounds. Many get baffled and make wrong decisions, but some do not deviate from the right path unless they are helpless. Such limitations cause inner turmoil, and following honest principles become a cause to worry.

What makes people act against truth:

  1. Conveying a piece of heartbreaking news regarding any loved one to a critical patient becomes impossible. It's always prudent to say a lie to curb any further loss.
  2. Doctors do not usually reveal the nature of any traumatic disease to the patient because the case might worsen if the patient starts worrying.
  3. The world is full of miscreants and people with wrong ideologies. It is better not to invite any problem by indulging in honest policies against miscreants as they become the greatest enemies.
  4. Even friends become foes if they lose something because of a friend's truthful practices.
  5. Sexual orientation is not a comfortable topic for discussion. It is taboo in our society, so very few dare to talk about it openly to avoid the curious eyes.
  6. Elders teach children to be truthful always, but during their growing-up days, parents and elderly members apply false statements to make the child eat, drink and sleep properly.
  7. Disguising oneself for a national cause and working as a spy is another example where being untruthful is natural.


All the points mentioned above signify that though honesty is a revered virtue, the spectrum of its use has some constraints. Teaching someone to become honest is easy, but practising it at any cost is very tough. To remain genuine, one has to pay some price in many cases, so caution is a must, and at times, it becomes difficult to pay a cost, therefore, leads to compromise. People say honesty is the best policy, but it has constraints that don't always allow it to be the best policy.


Author: Umesh16 Aug 2021 Member Level: Diamond   Points : 3

The author has very nicely depicted some situations in which we can view the limitations of honesty. Still, honesty is one of the great virtues that separate an honest person from others. Being honest does not mean honesty only in financial terms but one can be honest in one's approach to the tasks and even behaviour with others. An honest person would be an example for the whole society to lead and guide them in a good path and if others also follow him the society would progress and flourish. Honesty starts from the grassroots level and those who are not honest but preaching others for adhering to it would lose their reputation as the people would find their real intentions soon. Adhering to honesty brings frankness and simplicity in our behaviour and it makes us free from any guilt of wrongdoing. Another good thing with honesty is that it makes the commitments to be fulfilled and the cases of deceit and misleading others are reduced.

Author: Swati Sharma28 Aug 2021 Member Level: Gold   Points : 4

A very interesting article is given by the author. Just as many parts or organs make up a whole human body, in the same way, many qualities together make up our character and these qualities include honesty, love, care, patience, humanity, etc. along with them one more quality should be in every human that is the quality of intelligence or conscience. A person's conscience or his ability to think helps in deciding whether a good quality is also appropriately practiced.
Speaking the truth does not mean that you are allowed to make every person sad or angry due to your bitter truth. Similarly, the scope of honesty is not limited, but while applying honesty in the right way, one should also use his wisdom and discretion. The situations about which the author has told are very sensitive and in such a situation a person should really handle them by using his intelligence.

Author: K Mohan14 Sep 2021 Member Level: Platinum   Points : 4

The author made the right submission of essay on honesty and some times there seems to be deviations and even learned people and professionals are not honest to the good mannered people. In the course of life we take to so many lies which are not warranted yet we try to save the situation for a while and keep going. But the worst lie is of the doctor to the patient that assuring of good health and slowly it deteriorates from inside and death happens suddenly. Patient always hopes truth from the doctor but honesty is lost here. And tackling the wrong doers without mincing words with them is another way of keeping our honesty in question. There are instances when our own good suggestion was wrongly interpreted and implemented by others and got loss to which we think we are responsible and this is another type of honesty. Many a time people wants to live with faith and honesty but the circumstances and evidences suggest that they have to take other route of dishonesty to surpass the situation and then get reconciled. While Honesty is the best policy and every learned person would love to follow and preach, sometimes we are going against our wish to accommodate dishonesty for sure and even the world supports it for no reason.

Author: S.Pattavarayan16 Jan 2023 Member Level: Gold   Points : 4

Honesty is widely considered to be one of the most important moral virtues because it forms the foundation for many other virtues and values. When people are honest with themselves and others, they are able to build trust, create meaningful relationships, and make positive contributions to society.

One of the main reasons why honesty is so important is that it is necessary for trust. Trust is a crucial component of any relationship, whether it is a personal relationship, a professional relationship, or a relationship between a business and its customers. When people are honest with each other, they are able to build trust and rely on each other to do what is right.

Another reason why honesty is important is that it allows people to be true to themselves. Honesty requires people to be honest with themselves about their thoughts, feelings, and actions. When people are honest with themselves, they can better understand their own needs and motivations, and make better decisions that align with their own values and goals.

In addition to being important for personal growth and relationships, honesty is also important for making positive contributions to society. Honest people are more likely to be respected and trusted by their community, and they can use this trust to make positive changes in their communities. Honest politicians, for example, can create policies that benefit the majority of citizens, while dishonest politicians can only benefit a select few.

Author: Reena Upadhya16 Mar 2023 Member Level: Gold   Points : 5

There is no point in blaming situations for being dishonest. We always have a choice. Either we can be honest or else choose dishonesty. Situations will always arrive in front of us, and they will not be favourable sometimes. Making an excuse for the situation and blaming others will only decrease our power. All that matters is our intention. If our intention is right, no matter what our honest actions or words are, they are not going to break anyone's heart. Our honest actions are not going to drift our near and dear ones away from us. It is the fear that creates inner turmoil. When we choose to be honest and at the same time create fear within ourselves that our honesty will create a wall between us and the other person then that is ought to happen. If we feel inside that by being honest, we are going to invite more trouble for us and worsen the situation, then nothing can stop that from happening. Thus, before speaking the truth, we need to set a clear intention that is free of fear.

Also, sometimes we feel that we are not lying if we are hiding. Not speaking the truth or concealing it is also dishonest behaviour. It is because we are scared from the inside. If we are honest, we don't have to wear a mask. We don't have to hide anything and if we are hiding then we are not honest. Sometimes, we are dishonest with ourselves. We can only be honest with others if we are honest with ourselves. Sometimes, we don't care how we are feeling. We lie to ourselves that something is bothering us. We pent up our emotions by telling ourselves that we are supposed to feel it that way and we are too strong to emote in that particular way. It is also a kind of dishonest behaviour.

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