April 30 denotes the day that was chosen as National Honesty Day. According to sources, it was chosen to be the last day of the month of April to balance out the beginning of the month, which involves the tricks, pranks and lies on April’s Fools Day. While perhaps not readily apparent why it is necessary to create a day specifically for the purpose of celebrating honesty, it is a reminder and re-engagement of the positive side of things. The day showcases the ideology of being truthful and honest. It also may serve as a reminder to those about to make promises which they have no intention of keeping.
Ironically, the day was begun by a gentleman who wrote a book about lies. M. Hirsh Goldberg wrote a total of five books, one of them about lies and the lack of ethics in the business and political world as well as the world on a personal level. A former press secretary to Maryland’s governor, he spent four years researching and writing the book. It has since been translated into a number of different languages. Goldberg established April 30 as National Honesty Day in an attempt to end the month on a higher moral note than it begins – with the advent of April’s Fool Day.
Oddly, National Honesty Day is somewhat of a lie, itself. There are no congressional records or presidential proclamations for the day establishing it as a national day of observance. In other words, calling it a “national” day is untruthful in and of itself. Technically speaking, the day should simply be named Honesty Day.
Regardless of the usage of the word “national” in the title of the day, the day itself is about the virtue of honesty. In order for people to consider others trustworthy, there is a certain level of belief that must be extended. Should one find that lies have been told or promises broken, the chances of believing that same person again must invariably be tainted with the prior knowledge that lies were told. There is a old tale about a boy who cried wolf while he was tending a flock of sheep because he wished to have company and attention. The townspeople showed up to help him get rid of the wolf only to discover that there was no wolf among the flock of sheep. After doing this again, the townspeople realized that they could not trust the boy to tell the truth. When a wolf actually did appear to harass and kill the sheep, the boy again cried for help but no one wanted to waste more time assisting someone with a proven record of lies. They simply assumed that the boy was, once again, telling a falsehood.
The premise behind this day of honesty is to make all efforts to not tell lies and to learn to tell the truth even though it be uncomfortable or something the other person may not wish to hear. It is a day to consider whether a promise about to be made will actually be followed through. It is a day to wipe the slate clean and make it easier for people to become trustworthy and find reason to believe in each other every day and no matter what the situation.
On April 30 of each year, Goldberg gives out awards to those individuals, groups, companies and organizations that have remained honest and truthful to their own people and to others. He does this in commemoration of National Honesty Day, a day when all should strive to become better and more honest, and to become someone to be trusted and someone on whom others can count.
By Dee Mueller
on twitter @TuesdayDG