“Truthfulness is the foundation of all human virtues.” That quote has always caused me to pause. For anything to be “the foundation of all human virtues” is pretty amazing. And wouldn’t we want to get good at something that was so foundational?

Generally I think of myself as pretty honest. But, I have also offered the white lie or the truth stretch. You know – you wake up feeling dull and slow and decided that you really need a day at home, so you call in and say you think you are coming down with a cold and you don’t want to spread the germs so you are going to stay home. Simply, that isn’t the truth. The truth would be to call in and say you are wiped out and you need a day at home to re-energize yourself. And we all know how well that would go over! But that is the truth (and that is valid but that is a whole other discussion!).

To start our discussion, here are some questions. Feel free to add your comments and questions below.

1. What are your thoughts about the quotation? Do you agree or disagree? Where does the quotation take you?
2. When is it hard to be truthful?
3. What do you think it means that truthfulness is such an important foundation?
4. How can we foster the development of truthfulness?


  1. Loretta Adderson

    I agree with Truthfulness is the virtue foundation. As long as I can remember, your words and a hand shake were all you needed for legal contract. Man’s word is his bond. This is how you are view everywhere all the time. I’m hoping I will learn something from this discussion.

  2. Jan

    Thank you for the comment, Loretta. What would it mean if we got back to the idea that your handshake or your word was your bond – how would life be different? What is needed to get back to that level of trust?

    Twenty years ago our son (20ish) borrowed our truck and had a mechanical problem. He got it to the people we dealt with for car “stuff” and they fixed it. They let our son drive away saying they “knew where we lived” and would get in touch with Bob to take care of the bill. What is required of society – or a community- to have those kinds of dealings? What do we have to give up to have that level of trust? What do we gain when we have it?


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