The Last Words on Honesty

An award winning essay by K.B. Khushalani



25. Divine punishment[1]

Folk stories about honesty and its benefits are told in every language. Poets and prose writers have eulogized on the one hand its charming effects and, on the other, censured dishonesty. The average man believes in them, but forgets them when the time for action comes. Nature adopts its usual methods and reminds him by some punishment; she has no power of speech, but has greater power to act, and so she teaches man by action and never by words. Every one of us must have heard of several cases of sudden fires, thefts, earthquakes and such other heavy calamities to individuals or classes or locali­ties. Sometimes one fails to unearth the cause, but often it is so apparent, manifest and definite that none can ever mistake it, and it is from such instances alone that men understand. Dishonesty, like all other bad qualities, brings its results and the punishment is as sure as Death. Man may for the time being rob others, and amass many treasures by thousands of tricks and dishonest methods, but nature snatches them with one stroke in a moment, exposing him and his acts mercilessly. The reason that honest dealers are also sometimes subject to such calamities deprives in no way honesty of its beneficial blessings, for it may be that they may have been penalized for some other crime of theirs, belonging to the past. It may also be that the punishment has been lightened, because of his professing honesty. lt should then be taken as. an admonition.


26. Religious injunction

Besides, there are commandments in every religion prohibiting cheating of others. Honesty talked of by all. religious books is really speaking honesty in trade, for all dealings in money and goods come under trade and we will not be far wrong in saying that general honesty means honesty in trade.



In a few words, honesty establishes business, helps in maintaining and expanding it; it leads to prosperity and peace of mind, enhances social status, international reputation and is sure in its effects though seemingly slow


[1] This Paragraph was inserted by the publisher of the text in 1936 and the author wanted to make it clear by putting this footnote

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