FOOTSTEPS AND FINGERPRINTS
Honesty and trust
DUMAGUETE CITY – Almost daily in most kinds of media – newspapers, TV, FB, blogs, speeches – we are bombarded with phrases like “honestly speaking”, “is that the truth?”, “I am genuinely shocked”, “Can that person be trusted?” My concern is whether the one speaking really knows the meaning of those words, or is he/she just using that phrase because that is what others expect him/her to say.
With time on my hands since my fractured foot has prevented me from moving around, I have spent some time checking the dictionary meaning of these words: genuine, honest, honesty, trust, and truth.
Genuine. Something is genuine if it is authentic, legitimate, and proper. A genuine person is one who is open, sincere, and honest. He lives a decent, honorable and principled life.
Honest. This word embraces all the qualities of being genuine. The definition, however, includes other aspects of honesty to add more meaning and depth. Some of these are: fairness, just, with moral integrity, virtuous, candid and frank, upright and square-dealing.
If we say “honestly speaking…”, what we articulate should be truthful, honorable, decent, morally right, on the level and in good faith. Other adjectives used to define “honestly” include plainly, simply, straight-forward (in other words, no hidden agendas), and unequivocally.
Trust. Trust is having a firm belief in the reliability or truth or strength of a person or a thing. We can express trust as the confident expectation that what is promised or committed to will be accomplished as promised. If we trust someone, we have confidence, belief and faith in that person to be reliable in carrying out the responsibility or obligation assigned or entrusted to him.
Truth. To me this is the heart of the matter! What is meant by truth, real truth, not the assumed truth constructed according to a person’s desires? Truth, real truth, is defined as veracity, genuineness, correctness, accuracy, authenticity. It is an honest and sincere presentation of factual reality, unadulterated, true to life, and faithful to the matter at hand.
These four terms when put together form a person’s integrity of character. In a weekend training course that I facilitate in the Brotherhood of Christian Businessmen & Professionals (BCBP) on Transformational Christian Steward Leadership, a person’s integrity of character stems from and is anchored on God and His natural laws, is practiced through a virtuous life resulting from good, morally honest values and habits. This produces the person’s integrity of character.
Now, as I listen to or read speeches and political commentaries, I find that their content and meaning take on a clearer meaning. Not only that, but considering the above factors – honesty, genuineness, trust and truthfulness – I am better able to distinguish between what is and what is not true, and if there are any “hidden agenda.”
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