The power of honesty

African Sisters Education Collaborative (ASEC)
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Sr. Sarah reminds us to be honest like children. A reflection on the importance of honesty and what it can bring to you.

Honesty is a mark of greatness that defines a person and makes the person outstanding.

It is part of our culture for parents to raise their children in a way that ensures they will mature into great men and women in our society.

Children are expected to emulate their parents, and it is unfortunate that children learn values like honesty only to forget them as they grow older and associate more with their peers. Some children, however, are so honest and innocent, even when surrounded by their peers, that it is hard to believe they will lose such virtues with age and socialization.  

The St. Murumba Nursery/Primary School in Jos, Nigeria commended a young boy last May for his honesty. The six year old boy stepped forward in front of his peers to confess his mistake to the Head teacher.

The School Management of St. Murumba completed a series of repairs to the school on Wednesday, May 3, 2017. Several restorations were made within the school, including the toilets. The following day, however, someone reported that a toilet located in the boy’s bathroom had already been broken.

When the children arrived back at school after the broken toilet was discovered, the Head teacher gathered the students and asked them who was responsible for the broken toilet. Before she had to repeat the question, Okeke stepped forward and whispered to her, “It was a mistake.”

Okeke explained how he was trying to help his friend and classmate, David. David was actually the one who broke the toilet trying to lock it.

Both Okeke and David felt guilty about what happened and immediately apologized to the Head teacher. She, in return, assured them that they would not be punished for their honesty.

The Head teacher then took the opportunity to stress the necessity of honesty at all times.

“I tell you, there is a great reward and blessing for these children in the future. Any child who is not truthful will not be a friend of Jesus and will not be rewarded.”

The following week, during a general assembly, the Head teacher informed the whole school about this incident. Okeke was recognized and awarded a prize for his honesty.  

Jesus often used little children in this same context to teach us how to emulate his virtues of humility, innocence, honesty, sincerity, and truthfulness. God reveals himself to those who possess these virtues and sends them to carry out his mission (Pope Francis, Evangelii Gaudium, 41).

Jesus believed in the pureness of children and their ability to be an example to the rest of society.

 “…I bless you Father, Lord of heaven and earth, for hiding these things from the learned and the clever and revealing them to little children. Yes, Father for that is what it pleased you to do.” (Matthew 11: 25-26)

Dear friends, what way has this story challenged you and I? We should not continue to conceal the truth for fear of losing our vocation, job, or position.

Another example of honesty I have witnessed is when a fellow sister was once threatened by her boss. Her employer said that if she shared her challenges with other sisters then she would lose her job. The sister replied, “If vocation means concealing my challenges, then I’m ready to lose it.” She stood firm in her faith and shared her experiences with others because she was open to the grace of God.

We do not experience peace in moments when we hide the truth, so it is better to be brought down and accept the potential consequences of our actions.  

It is quite difficult and challenging to do this in our modern day world. If one stands for the truth or what they truly believe to be the truth, however, then he or she will find a greater peace than others.   

We must let the Holy Spirit possess us by laying aside our old selves (Romans 8) and allowing God to reveal the mysteries of his Kingdom to us so that we may find success.  

This article is addressing the following UN Sustainable Development Goal(s):

Ensure inclusive and quality education for all and promote lifelong learning

Article Submitted by:

Sr. Sarah Egbai, SHCJ

- Nigeria  

ASEC Web Content Intern - USA  

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