An aphorism is nothing else but the slightest
form of writing raised to the highest level of expressive communication. Carl William Brown





Accurate information is a key part of motivation.


Mary Ann Allison (American author)


Do not do what you would undo if caught.


Leah Arendt (?-1991, Helped found the Cohn Family Shelter for Small Animals at OSU)


Honesty is the cornerstone of all success, without which confidence and ability to perform shall cease to exist.


Mary Kay Ash (1918-2001, American businesswoman, founder of Mary Kay Cosmetics)


Dishonesty is so grasping it would deceive God himself, were it possible.


George Bancroft (1800-1891, American historian)


Never forget what a man says to you when he is angry.


Henry Ward Beecher (1813-1887, American preacher, orator, writer)


Honesty is as rare as a man without self-pity.


Stephen Vincent Benet (1989-1943, American novelist, poet)


How desperately difficult it is to be honest with oneself. It is much easier to be honest with other people.


Edward Frederic Benson (1867-1940, American author)


Honesty is the rarest wealth anyone can possess, and yet all the honesty in the world ain't lawful tender for a loaf of bread.


Josh Billings (1815-1885, American humorist, lecturer)


Morality may consist solely in the courage of making a choice.


Leon Blum (1872-1950, French President)


Dishonest people conceal their faults from themselves as well as others, honest people know and confess them.


John Christian Bovee (1820-1904, American author, lawyer)


The best proof of love is trust.


Dr. Joyce Brothers (1927-, American psychologist, television and radio personality)


The elegance of honesty needs no adornment.


Merry Browne


No one can earn a million dollars honestly.


William Jennings Bryan (1860-1925, American lawyer, politician)


You've got to be honest; if you can fake that, you've got it made.


George Burns (1896-1996, American comedy actor)


Dare to be honest and fear no labor.


Robert Burns (1759-1796, Scottish poet)


The easiest thing to be in the world is you. The most difficult thing to be is what other people want you to be. Don't let them put you in that position.


Leo Buscaglia (1924-1998, American expert on love, lecturer, author)


Make yourself an honest man, and then you may be sure there is one less rascal in the world.


Thomas Carlyle (1795-1881, Scottish philosopher, author)


The best way to get where you want to be is to please those who own the road.


Elena Castedo-Ellerman


You can never lose anything that really belongs to you, and you can't keep that which belongs to someone else.


Edgar Cayce (1877-1945, American psychic medium)


Prefer a loss to dishonest gain; the one brings pain at the moment, the other for all time.


Chilo (560 BC, Greek sage)


It is a fine thing to be honest, but it is also very important to be right.


Winston Churchill (1874-1965, British statesman, Prime Minister)


My students, do you think I conceal things from you? I don't conceal anything from you -- there is nothing that I do that is not made known to you. This is the real me.


Confucius (BC 551-479, Chinese ethical teacher, philosopher)


A few honest men are better than numbers.


Oliver Cromwell (1599-1658, British Parliamentarian General)


Hope of ill gain is the beginning of loss.


Democritus (c.460-370 BC, Greek philosopher)


One of the hardest things in this world is to admit you are wrong. And nothing is more helpful in resolving a situation than its frank admission.


Benjamin Disraeli (1804-1881, British statesman, Prime Minister)


There is no twilight zone of honesty in business. A thing is right or it's wrong. It's black or it's white.


John F. Dodge


To live outside the law, you must be honest.


Bob Dylan (1941-, American musician, singer, songwriter)


Being considerate of others will take you and your children further in life than any college or professional degree.


Marian Wright Edelman


Don't place too much confidence in the man who boasts of being as honest as the day is long. Wait until you meet him at night.


Robert C. Edwards


The scornful nostril and the high head gather not the odors that lie on the track of truth.


George Eliot (1819-1880, British novelist)


Be true to your own act and congratulate yourself if you have done something strange and extravagant to break the monotony of a decorous age.


Ralph Waldo Emerson (1803-1882, American poet, essayist)


It is impossible for a man to be cheated by anyone but himself.


Ralph Waldo Emerson (1803-1882, American poet, essayist)


Honesty is the best policy.


Benjamin Franklin (1706-1790, American scientist, publisher, diplomat)


Without adversity a person hardly knows whether they are honest or not.


Henry Fielding (1707-1754, British novelist, dramatist)


The principle was right there -- you couldn't miss it. The more you did for your customers, the more they did for us.


Debbi Fields


Successful people have cultivated the habit of never denying to themselves their true feelings and attitudes. They have no need for pretenses.


David Harold Fink


No such thing as a man willing to be honest -- that would be like a blind man willing to see.


F. Scott Fitzgerald (1896-1940, American writer)

Author's website:


Being entirely honest with oneself is a good exercise.


Sigmund Freud (1856-1939, Austrian physician, founder of Psychoanalysis)


Where is the man who has the strength to be true, and to show himself as he is?


Johann Wolfgang Von Goethe (1749-1832, German poet, dramatist, novelist)


Everybody has a little bit of Watergate in him.


Billy Graham (1918-, American evangelist)


Pursue truth and people will be true to you.


Arthur Twining Hadley


No man, for any considerable period, can wear one face to himself, and another to the multitude, without finally getting bewildered as to which may be true.


Nathaniel Hawthorne (1804-1864, American novelist, short story writer)


That which is won ill, will never wear well, for there is a curse attends it which will waste it. The same corrupt dispositions which incline men to sinful ways of getting, will incline them to the like sinful ways of spending.


M. Henry


Understand this law and you will then know, beyond room for the slightest doubt, that you are constantly punishing yourself for every wrong you commit and rewarding yourself for every act of constructive conduct in which you indulge.


Napoleon Hill (1883-1970, American speaker, author, "Think And Grow Rich")


I would give no thought of what the world might say of me, if I could only transmit to posterity the reputation of an honest man.


Sam Houston (1793-1863, American soldier, statesman)


Just be honest with yourself. That opens the door.


Vernon Howard (1935-1992, American author, speaker)


Honesty pays, but it doesn't seem to pay enough to suit some people.


Kin Hubbard (1868-1930, American humorist, journalist)


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 (1924-, American businessman, former CEO of Chrysler)


Act in earnest and you will become earnest in all you do.


William James (1842-1910, American psychologist, professor, author)


Honesty is the first chapter of the book of wisdom.


Thomas Jefferson (1743-1826, American President (3rd))


From such crooked wood as that which man is made of, nothing straight can be fashioned.


Immanuel Kant (1724-1804, German philosopher)


When you accept yourself completely you do not have to maintain a phony front, drive yourself to "achieve" or feel insecure if people tune in to you and what you are doing.


Ken Keyes Jr. (1921-1995, American author)


Falsely honest men are those who disguise their faults to both themselves and others; truly honest men are those who know their faults perfectly and acknowledge them.


Francois De La Rochefoucauld (1613-1680, French classical writer)


People who are brutally honest get more satisfaction out of the brutality than out of the honesty.


Richard J. Needham


Honesty is the best policy, but insanity is a better defense.


Steve Landesberg


Men are able to trust one another, knowing the exact degree of dishonesty they are entitled to expect.


Stephen B. Leacock (1869-1944, Canadian humorist, economist)


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 (Humanistic psychologist)


If all mankind were suddenly to practice honesty, many thousands of people would be sure to starve.


Georg C. Lichtenberg (1742-1799, German physicist, satirist)


The true measure of life is not length, but honesty.


John Lyly (c.1554-1606, British writer)


Would you want to do business with a person who was 99% honest?


Sidney Madwed


People may or may not say what they mean... but they always say something designed to get what they want.


David Mamet (1947-, American playwright)


If we put the emphasis upon the right things; if we live the life that is worth while and then fail, we will survive all disasters, we will out-live all misfortune. We should be so well balanced and symmetrical that nothing which could ever happen could throw us off our center, so that no matter what misfortune should overtake us, there would still be a whole magnificent man or woman left after being stripped of everything else.


Orison Swett Marden (1850-1924, American author, founder of Success Magazine)


There is something greater than wealth, grander even than fame -- manhood, character, stand for success...nothing else really does.


Orison Swett Marden (1850-1924, American author, founder of Success Magazine)


To many a man, and sometimes to a youth, there comes the opportunity to choose between honorable competence and tainted wealth. The young man who starts out to be poor and honorable, holds in his hand one of the strongest elements of success.


Orison Swett Marden (1850-1924, American author, founder of Success Magazine)


Honesty is a good thing, but it is not profitable to its possessor unless it is kept under control.


Don Marquis (1878-1937, American humorist, journalist)


Some persons are likable in spite of their unswerving integrity.


Don Marquis (1878-1937, American humorist, journalist)


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 (1895-1977, American comic actor)


Honesty is the most single most important factor having a direct bearing on the final success of an individual, corporation, or product.


Ed McMahon (1923-, American TV announcer, host)


If honesty did not exist, we ought to invent it as the best means of getting rich.


Gabriel Riqueti Mirabeau (1749-1791, French revolutionary politician, orator)


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


Michel Eyquem De Montaigne (1533-1592, French philosopher, essayist)


When one is frank, one's very presence is a compliment.


Marianne Moore (1887-1972, American poet)


When we honestly ask ourselves which person in our lives mean the most to us, we often find that it is those who, instead of giving advice, solutions, or cures, have chosen rather to share our pain and touch our wounds with a warm and tender hand. The friend who can be silent with us in a moment of despair or confusion, who can stay with us in an hour of grief and bereavement, who can tolerate not knowing, not curing, not healing and face with us the reality of our powerlessness, that is a friend who cares.


Henri Nouwen (Christian author)


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


Thomas Otway (1652-1685, British dramatist)


A man is sorry to be honest for nothing.


Ovid (BC 43-18 AD, Roman poet)


It is annoying to be honest to no purpose.


Ovid (BC 43-18 AD, Roman poet)


The honest man must be a perpetual renegade, the life of an honest man a perpetual infidelity. For the man who wishes to remain faithful must take himself perpetually unfaithful to all the continual, successive, indefatigable, renascent errors.


Charles Peguy (1873-1914, French poet, philosopher)


Honesty is for the most par less profitable than dishonesty.


Plato (BC 427?-347?, Greek philosopher)


An honest man is the best thing on the sod; but a mother and her babe are the noblest work of God.


Alexander Pope (1688-1744, British poet, critic, translator)


An honest man's the noblest work of God.


Alexander Pope (1688-1744, British poet, critic, translator)


A fault confessed is half redressed.


American Proverb (Sayings of American origin)


If you really want honesty, then don't ask questions you don't really want the answer to.


Burmese Proverb


Nothing resembles an honest man more than a cheat.


French Proverb (Sayings of French origin)


A gossip's mouth is the devil's postbag.


Gaelic Proverb (Sayings of Gaelic origin)


Teach your tongue to say "I don't know" instead of to make up something.


Jewish Proverb (Sayings of Jewish origin)


When con men meet a legitimately honest man, they are so bewildered that they consider him a greater con man than themselves.


Jewish Proverb (Sayings of Jewish origin)


A thread will tie an honest man better than a chain a rogue.


Scottish Proverb (Sayings of Scottish origin)


You are not being honest if you burn your tongue and don't tell everyone else that the soup is hot.


Serbian Proverb


No one is wise or safe, but they that are honest.


Sir Walter Raleigh (1552-1618, British courtier, navigator, writer)


If you give me six lines written by the hand of the most honest of men, I will find something in them which will hang him.


Cardinal De Richelieu (1585-1642, French statesman)


I grew up in New York, and I have that in me, that be-honest-at-all-costs, don't b.s. me attitude. I say, "If you've got something to say about me, say it to my face. And then we'll either talk about it or fight about it."


Tim Robbins (1958-, American actor, director, screenwriter, producer, writer)


To make your children capable of honesty is the beginning of education.


John Ruskin (1819-1900, British critic, social theorist)


Honesty prospers in every condition of life.


Johann Friedrich Von Schiller (1759-1805, German dramatist, poet, historian)


Honesty is the best policy. If I lose mine honor, I lose myself.


William Shakespeare (1564-1616, British poet, playwright, actor)


Though I am not naturally honest, I am so sometimes by chance.


William Shakespeare (1564-1616, British poet, playwright, actor)


We must make the world honest before we can honestly say to our children that honesty is the best policy.


George Bernard Shaw (1856-1950, Irish-born British dramatist)


False words are not only evil in themselves, but they infect the soul with evil.


Socrates (BC 469-399, Greek philosopher of Athens)


Rather fail with honor than succeed by fraud.


Sophocles (495-406 BC, Greek tragic poet)


Every man who says frankly and fully what he thinks is doing a public service.


Leslie Stephen


The truth is the kindest thing we can give folks in the end.


Harriet Beecher Stowe (1811-1896, American novelist, antislavery campaigner)


Each time you are honest and conduct yourself with honesty, a success force will drive you toward greater success. Each time you lie, even with a little white lie, there are strong forces pushing you toward failure.


Joseph Sugarman (American businessman)


When a man appears before the Throne of Judgment, the first question he will be asked is not 'have you believed in God' or 'have you prayed and observed the ritual?', but 'have you dealt honorably with your fellow man?'


The Talmud (BC 500?-400? AD, Jewish archive of oral tradition)


Oh for someone with a heart, head and hand. Whatever they call them, what do I care, aristocrat, democrat, autocrat, just be it one that can rule and dare not lie.


Lord Alfred Tennyson (1809-1892, British poet)


You shall not steal, nor deal falsely, nor lie to one another.


The Holy Bible (Sacred scriptures of Christians and Judaism)

Source: Leviticus 19:11


Be true to your work, your word, and your friend.


Henry David Thoreau (1817-1862, American essayist, poet, naturalist)


Honesty is the best policy -- when there is money in it.


Mark Twain (1835-1910, American humorist, writer)


Honesty is a question of right or wrong, not a matter of policy.


Author Unknown


Honesty shines like a light through your eyes.


Author Unknown


If you follow only one rule, let it be this one: Be yourself. The really strong boy-girl relationships are based on what people really are, not on what they pretend to be.


Author Unknown


Look a man in the eye and say what you really think, don't just smile at him and say what you're supposed to think.


Author Unknown


On this mounting the scaffold to be beheaded: "I pray you Master Lieutenant, see me safely up, and for my coming down, let me shift for myself." To the executioner: "Pick up thy spirits, Man, and be not afraid to do thy office; my neck is very short; take heed, therefore thou strike not awry, for saving of thy honesty."


Author Unknown


The woman who does not choose to love should cut the matter short at once, by holding out no hopes to her suitor.


Margaret Valois


There is no right way to do something wrong.


Author Unknown


The great consolation in life is to say what one thinks.


Francois-Marie Arouet de Voltaire (1694-1778, French historian, writer)


I hope I shall possess firmness and virtue enough to maintain what I consider the most enviable of all titles, the character of an honest man.


George Washington (1732-1799, American President (1st))


You can't make wrong work.


Gerald Waterhouse


I have done more harm by the falseness of trying to please than by the honesty of trying to hurt.


Jessamyn West (1903-1984, American author)


Honesty is the best policy; but he who is governed by that maxim is not an honest man.


Richard Whately (1787-1863, British prelate, writer)


Be prepared and be honest.


John Wooden (1910-, American basketball coach)


Honest hearts produce honest actions.


Brigham Young (1801-1877, American Mormon leader)


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