When Is Honesty Not The Best Policy?


“The Indian epic Mahabharata, teaches us that there is more to life than meets the eye. Yes, rules were broken in the Mahabharata war. An elephant, not a man, called Ashwatthama was killed. But why should we uphold rules when they prop up a society where actions are based on power not love, where the motivation is anger not affection?” concludes Devdutt Patnaik on the famous story of the killing of Dronacharya.

And another writer that I have great respect for Gurcharan Das,  in his wonderful book The Difficulty Of Being Good addresses exactly the issues that Shackman has raised. And I agree with the reviewer when he concludes “I loved The Difficulty of being Good, but I will not recommend it to everyone. You should only buy this book, if you like the Mahabharata, and are also interested in questions of morality, and sometimes ponder about the questions of right and wrong. Without such interest, I think you will find the book difficult to read and not interesting at all.”

Another book that I am currently plodding through is more relevant to our present day conditions and environment. “The Truth About Trust; How It Determines Success In Life, Love, Learning and More”, by David DeSteno which I was persuaded to buy when I read this review in the HBR.

No, after all that information overload, I have not become an expert on the topic of honesty, truth and trust. If anything I have become more secure in my own answer to the question originally raised by Shackman – Honesty is not the best policy when the action taken can cause physical or mental harm to one’s self or others.


This topic was suggested by Shackman for the weekly Friday Loose Bloggers Consortium where currently nine of us write on the same topic every Friday. I hope that you enjoyed my contribution to that effort.  The seven other bloggers who write regularly are, in alphabetical order,  AshokgaelikaaLin, Maxi, Padmum, Pravin,  Shackman and The Old Fossil. Do drop in on their blogs and see what their take is on this week’s topic. Since some of them may post late, or not at all this week, do give some allowance for that too!

Comments are closed.