Period 48 – Honesty

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Honesty is the best policy

Gandhiji never told a lie. Once the inspector visited his school class and gave a few words of dictation. The third word was “kettle.” Gandhi’s friends were able to spell the word properly, but Gandhi didn’t know how.

The inspector began going around to check each student’s paper. While the inspector moved from student to student, the teacher saw that Gandhi’s spelling was wrong, so he touched Gandhi’s leg with his foot to get his attention. With his eyes he urged Gandhi to look at someone else’s paper. But Gandhi didn’t want to copy from anyone.

When the inspector came to Gandhi, he said, “Here’s a mistake. This boy doesn’t know how to spell ‘kettle.’ He has written it ‘ketle’.”The inspector wasn’t angry, but he was disappointed that Gandhi didn’t know the answer.The teacher was very angry with Gandhi. I told you to look at your friend’s paper, but you wouldn’t listen to me. You’re a disgrace to my class.”

Gandhi said, “I may be a disgrace, but I can’t tell a lie.”Gandhi was sorry he’d made a mistake and had displeased his teacher, but he had pleased himself by being honest.

Everyone knew that Anita was the best speller in the whole class. She could spell difficult words like “rhythm” and “millennium” very easily. She used to get perfect scores during each weekly spelling test.

Her English teacher made a rule for the spelling tests that any child who doesn’t get at least 60% correct spellings would have to copy each word fifty times for next week’s spelling test.Sunita who sat next to Stuti always struggled in spellings. Last Thursday, she received 50 percent which meant copying each word fifty times.

Anita was so confident in her spelling abilities that she had felt and decided not to study for her next spelling test. The test began. Teacher pronounced each word and then repeated it. Everything was OK until she spoke “Handkerchief”. Anita scribbled h-a-n-d-k-e-r-c-h… what?? i??…or…e?? Her mind was blank.

Teacher started to move on to the next word. It occurred to Anita that Sunita knew how to spell it!! Sunita had written this word fifty times. There was wide open space between Anita and Sunita. Anita’s eyes rolled to the right. There it was, spelled out in Seema’s handwriting. Her eyes went quickly back to her own paper and finished the word with the letters “i-e-f”

Anita remained tense and nervous as teacher read the last spelling word. She had cheated just for the first time in her life. She thought, “Is this the way I want to keep my perfect record – by being a cheater?”

Frantically, she erased what she had written earlier and replaced it with what she knew was the wrong answer. She wrote “e-i-f”. As her sweaty hands released pencil and passed the test up to the front, she sighed with relief. She thought, “So, what if my perfect scores are no longer intact? At least my honesty is.”


There is a saying, “Honesty is the best policy.” Know dishonesty as dishonesty & repent for it. Without doubt, one who repents is an honest person.

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