We need to teach our children that it is more honorable in life, to be honest than to be a clever trickster! - WTVideo.com
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We need to teach our children that it…
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We need to teach our children that it is more honorable in life, to be honest than to be a clever trickster!

May 01, 2019 • By Shirley Marie Bradby

Is it better to be honest or "smart" (a clever trickster)?

In the past, answering this question in public had only one possible answer which was to prefer the first hypothesis and to keep the latter as an intimate and personal thought.

In any case, being pure and transparent was an important value, both when it represented a real conviction and when it was only a display of false morality.

Today, that same question would have a very different result, perhaps diametrically opposed.

This is because being cunning is now a value, a skill, and even a quality that is necessary to excel. Moreover, it is ostentatious, promoting the idea that after all, in the end, being honest is a good thing but unfortunately not very useful. 

Relational skills are neither good nor bad and as always everything depends on the use made of them. The ability to be cunning can be a great ally, but in the modern era it is mostly reduced to representing the "dark side of intelligence". 

Intelligence, or rather "relational intelligence", refers to the ability to understand and act using the experience and resources available to achieve a given goal in various social settings. "Cleverness" aka being "smart", in its current meaning, is knowing how to take advantage of the weaknesses of others or finding ways to cheat and not adhere to a set of rules created to bring and maintain order in human society. 

Therefore, an honest person would never dream of performing actions or even formulating thoughts contrary to the common good or others, regardless of religious, political or ethical beliefs. A "clever person" instead uses any means, lawful or unlawful for their own advantage, without scruples or remorse in harming those who are in their way.

A material world in which everything and everyone has a given a price, in which the fundamental values ​​are fame, success, notoriety, wealth, etc., to what end can it be useful to teach a child to be honest instead of clever and cunning?

Beyond any utilitarian opinion or reflection, one might think that those who are honest, in spite of everything, are like this simply because they were born that way. In part it is true but it is also the ability to decide to do what is right, in spite of everything and everyone, transmitting what one truly believes to the next generation.

Consolatory or self-gratifying phrases seem almost a way to guarantee that there are always enough honest people in the world that the "clever" ones can take advantage of.

So, it would be better to say that being honest is a choice, the choice to honor what is noble in human beings, but also knowing how to make others respect you when necessary --- especially when dealing with clever tricksters when and wherever they present themselves.


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