There are a couple “hiding spots” where police cars sit in my town, presumedly taking radar. I’m one of these people who follows the speed limit signs, and I dare say this lesson is ingrained in me because I know police are lurking around any corner.

Do I drive the speed limit? Yes, of course I want to follow rules for the sake keeping my city safe. But I also know police have certain “hiding” spots. Other drivers are in a perpetual hurry and/or could care less about the rules of the road. Do they worry about getting caught?

The other day it occurred to me that the only reason police cars are in their hidden spots is to keep people honest. Seriously, that’s really how we’re motivated. We are good when people are watching, but not always so when the cameras are off and judgmental eyes are closed. It is as if we need each other to keep ourselves in check.

One of the virtues of Indian religions is Satya, the Sanskrit word for truth. One should be truthful in thought, speech, and action. Satya is one of the five yamas in Yoga. It asks practitioners to restrain from saying or even thinking falsehoods and to not distort reality.

Satya teaches us to be true not only to ourselves, but to each other. Being truthful means that we must know and accept ourselves and our intentions. This interesting article in Psychology Today explains that, as a society, we are 20% dishonest. We lie to each to make ourselves look better, or smarter, to avoid accusations, and just to keep the peace. Sincerity is not always easy when we are concerned with how others perceive us.

If you can be true to who you are, and consider the effect of what you say has on others, you will probably be more honest in general.

Being true to yourself is even more important than being truthful with others. If you can’t look at yourself and be honest about your mistakes and inadequacies, then how can you be honest with others? When you can learn from your mistakes in a non-judgmental way, you can help move the world forward.

When you know someone has lied to you, you have a hard time trusting them again. And what’s worse? That distrust reflects onto completely different people. How can I possibly trust Sally when Mary spouts lies daily? It is sad, but true. And the more the cycle is perpetuated, the longer it takes for us to be truly truthful.

Honesty can give you an almost unimaginable lightness. Truth means you don’t have to hide behind anything. You can live guilt-free, knowing that you are an open book. Chances are if you radiate with honest intention, you will end up surrounding yourself with other truthful beings.


Celebrate your Satya with some truthful jewelry: