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Honesty is an eternal principle in the government of God; a great pillar in his magnificent house not made with hands, eternal in the heavens; an attribute of his immortal and glorious being. In a man it is a God-like thing, simple in its beauty, grand in its simplicity.


When we are not honest, we are cut off from a significant resource of ourselves, a vital dimension that is necessary for unity and wholeness.

CLARK MOUSTAKAS, attributed, Webster's Quotations

I have found that being honest is the best technique I can use. Right up front, tell people what you're trying to accomplish and what you're willing to sacrifice to accomplish it.

LEE IACOCCA, U.S. News & World Report, 1985

Honest men are the soft easy cushions on which knaves repose and fatten.

THOMAS OTWAY, Venice Preserved

A candid spirit is mightier than the most persistent dogmatism.


Honest manhood cannot be attained. It is. If a man is small, as an honest man he stands up and acknowledges he is small and only tries to do what a small man can do--and HE DOES IT. If an honest man is a blacksmith, he merely says he is a blacksmith and he tries to do what a blacksmith can do--and HE DOES IT. In all lines of life an honest man only holds himself out as being just what he is and tries to do the tasks he is able to do--and ALWAYS DOES THEM. An honest man cannot fail.

HONOR L. WILHELM, The Coast, Oct. 1906

An honest man is like a plain coat, which, without welt or guard, keepeth the body from wind and weather, and being well made, fits him best that wears it; and where the stuff is more regarded than the fashion, there is not much ado in the putting of it on. So the mind of an honest man, without trick or compliments, keeps the credit of a good conscience from the scandal of the world and the worm of iniquity, which, being wrought by the workman of heaven, fits him best that wears it to his service; and where virtue is more esteemed than vanity, it is put on and worn with that ease that shows the excellency of the workman. His study is virtue, his word truth, his life the passage of patience, and his death the rest of his spirit. His travail is a pilgrimage, his way is plainness, his pleasure peace, and his delight is love. His care is his conscience, his wealth is his credit, his charge is his charity, and his content is his kingdom. In sum, he is a diamond among jewels, a phoenix among birds, an unicorn among beasts, and a saint among men.

NICHOLAS BRETON, A Bower of Delights

An honest man is the man who keeps his own counsel, and will not divide the plunder.


There is one way to find out if a man is honest. Ask him! If he says yes, you know he's crooked.

GROUCHO MARX, attributed, The Harper Book of Quotations

An honest man is believed without an oath, for his reputation swears for him.

ELIZA COOK, Diamond Dust

No man is so exquisitely honest or upright in living, but that ten times in his life he might not lawfully be hanged.

MICHEL DE MONTAIGNE, The Essays of Montaigne

It would seem that indolence itself would incline a person to be honest; as it requires infinitely greater pains and contrivance to be a knave.

WILLIAM SHENSTONE, Essays on Men and Manners

Honesty is the best policy.

AESOP, "The Horse and the Groom", Aesop's Fables

Honest hearts produce honest actions.

BRIGHAM YOUNG, Discourses of Brigham Young

What is more arrogant than honesty?

URSULA K. LE GUIN, The Left Hand of Darkness

Affectation, or coldness, or stupid, coarse-minded misapprehension of one's meaning are the usual rewards of candour.


Sometimes honesty can be incredibly messy.


I'm going to tell it like it is. I hope you can take it like it is.

MALCOLM X, speech at founding rally of the Organization of Afro-American Unity, Jun. 28, 1964

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