Dictionaries define righteousness as “behavior that is morally justifiable or right.” A behavior that is defined by accepted standards of morality, justice, virtue, or uprightness.
As humans, how much righteous can we be? We strive to be as righteous and honest as possible, but is 100% righteousness possible?
Research says, an average person tells about two or three lies a day. No matter how well-meaning or harmless it may be, a lie is a lie. Not to say that the person uttering the lie is “bad” or “immoral”. Everyone falls for it sometime or the other. A little bit of bluffing doesn’t hurt, does it?
Fibbing to save face may be diplomatic or tactful at times, but beyond a point, it can backfire. While we assume that manipulating the truth will keep others closer to us, it can actually distance us from the people we wish to be close to. Telling small lies may not seem perilous at first, but when done frequently, it can accumulate, and slowly snowball into a reputation of lying. A saying goes,
A single lie destroys a whole reputation of integrity
Lying in any aspect of life should be avoided at all times. Initially, it may seem innocuous, but that is only as long as you don’t get caught. Righteousness is not just about “not being caught”, it is more about “doing the right thing when no one’s watching”.
Every lie, big or small, eventually catches up, and can cause more harm than good. It can lead to burning bridges and loss of reputation, especially at workplace. A reputation is really fragile. If you live up to your reputation 99% of the time, but fail to do so 1% of the time, you still risk damaging your reputation. Building a good reputation requires effort, patience, and time. But sadly, it takes only a single moment’s misstep to destroy it.
Of course, here the expectation is not to be 100 percent honest all the time. Being too upfront and honest all the time, without a care of how they affect you and others can be just as deleterious as telling too many lies. Key lies in balancing. Being tactful in your delivery of the truth, braving the awkwardness of disclosing your vulnerabilities, and analysing why you’re inclined to tell lies (small or large) in the first place can go a long way in maintaining your integrity and cultivating a character of genuineness.