• Honesty is telling the truth
• When I am honest, I feel clear inside
• An honest person is confident and admired by others
• Honest thoughts, words and actions create harmony
• Honesty is the awareness of what is right and appropriate in one’s role, one’s behavior and one’s relationship
• Honesty makes for a life integrity because the inner and outer selves are a mirror image
• Honesty is to use well what has been entrusted to you
• There is a deep relationship between honesty and friendship
• Greed is sometimes at the root of dishonesty
• To be honest to oneself and to the task given to you earns trust and inspires faith in others
The emperor’s seed
Once there was an emperor who was growing old. He knew it was time to choose his successor. Instead of choosing one of his own children, he decided to do something different.
He called all the young people in the kingdom together one day. He said, `It is time for me to step down and choose the next emperor. I have decided to choose one of you’.
They were all shocked! But the emperor continued, `I am going to give each one of you a seed today. It is very special speed. I want you to go home, plant the seed, water it and come back here after one year with what you have grown from this one seed. I will then judge the plants that you bring to me, and the one choose will be the next emperor of the kingdom’.
A boy named Arun was also there and like the others, he too received a seed. He went home and excited told his mother the whole story. She helped him get a pot and some planting soil. He planted the seed and watered it carefully. Everyday Arun would water it and watch to see if it had grown.
After about three weeks, some of the other youths began to talk about their seeds and the plants that were beginning to grow. Arun kept going home and checking his seed, but nothing ever grew. Three weeks, four weeks, five weeks went by. Still nothing grew.
By another boys were talking about their plants but Arun did not have a plant. He felt like a failure. Six months went by, still nothing in Arun’s pot. He just knew he had killed his seed. Everyone else said that their plants were growing taller and taller. Arun did not say anything to his friends and kept waiting for his seed to grow.
A year finally went by and all he youths of the kingdom brought their plants to the emperor for inspection. Arun told his mother that he was not going to take an empty pot. But she encouraged him to go and be honest about what happened. Arun knew his mother was right. He took his empty pot to the place.
When Arun arrived, he was amazed at the variety of plants grown by all the other youths.
They were beautiful, in all shapes and sizes. Arun put his empty pot on the floor and many laughed at him.
When the emperor arrived, he surveyed the room and greeted the young people. Arun just tried to hide in the back.
`What great plants, trees and flowers you have grown,’ said the emperor. `Today one of you will be appointed the next emperor’.
All of a sudden, the emperor spotted Arun at the back of the room with his empty pot. He ordered his guards to bring him to the front. Arun was terrified. `The emperor knows I am a failure! Maybe he will have me killed.’
When he got to the front, the emperor asked his name. `My name is Arun,’ he replied. All the others were laughing and making fun of him.
The emperor asked everyone to quiet down. He looked at Arun and then announced to the crowd, `Behold your new emperor! His name is Arun!’
Arun could not believe it! He could not even grow his seed. How could he be the new emperor?
Then the emperor said, `One year ago I gave everyone a seed. I told you to take the seed, plant it, water it and bring it back to me. But I gave you all boiled seeds which would not grow. All of you expect Arun; have brought trees, plants and flowers. When you found that the seed could not grow, you substituted another seed for the one I gave. Arun was the only one with the courage and honesty to bring me a pot with my seed in it. Therefore, he is the one who will be the new emperor!’