Guest Column: February

Honesty by Jackson Redder, Cheney High School Senior

Jackson Redder, Cheney HS Senior

Honesty. We all probably know what it means and have heard the clique “Honesty is the best policy”. This is something that has been instilled in us since a young age. It means to tell the truth, but what does this mean? How can we apply this to our lives?

An important first step to think about honesty is realizing and appreciating honesty in others. Your friends, parents, and fellow humans are faced with the choice to be honest with us every day and that decision should be valued. “Keeping it real” and sincerity is a powerful tool people use to build a relationship and it shows that they are trying to put effort into their relationship with you. They want to be their authentic self, and they are sharing that with you. We should be authentic back.

Human connection. It makes life worth living. We look forward to seeing our friends and family every day. We might not think about honesty always, but it is always a subconscious choice we make. We make the choice every day, in every conversation, in every interaction. People rely on us to be honest with them, and it is what builds trust. Trust is what makes our interactions with other humans so special, and that is what makes honesty with others so important. Breaking that trust can lead to poor (and breaking of) relationships. This is something that I have struggled with. I have thoughts of “It would just be easier to lie” or “If I said this, it would just be easier”, but I have come to realize this is not the easiest thing to do in retrospect. At the moment, it might solve the problem, but what happens when the lie gets discovered? What happens if they call me out? What happens if they believe me, now I must keep up the lie? If the truth would have been told in the first place, it may be awkward at first, but it avoids so many problems. At the very least, the person can be happy you told them the truth. This also builds trust (whether you see it or not). Being honest to others is the first step to building and keeping relationships, because without relationships and our fellow humans, who are we?

Honesty with others is super important, but there is another side to that coin. Honesty goes both ways, and being honest with ourselves is just as important. Being honest with ourselves is putting higher importance on how we think about ourselves than what others think about us. It is not letting others dictate how we dress, act, and live our life. All of this is us, and nobody should be able to change that…seriously. To be honest with yourself makes life so much easier and less complicated. It truly shows the beauty in life and makes one more confident. Some of the best advice I have been given is, “The second you stop caring about what people think about you, your life immediately is much happier.” I had to be honest with myself and take this to heart. I used to not be honest with myself, and it took a toll on me. I dictated my life around what I thought would make me “cool”. When I started just being me for me, I was almost immediately happier and was able to be happy with who I was, which is the goal, right?

Honesty can be a tough thing, and that is perfectly okay if we realize the value and importance in it. The sincerity and realness of our honesty is what makes it such a powerful thing. Honesty is what makes or breaks relationships with our fellow humans and shows us who we truly are. As James E. Faust once said, “Honesty is more than not lying. It is truth-telling, truth speaking, truth living, and truth loving.”


Jackson Redder is a senior at Cheney High School (CHS) and is very involved in his school and community. Jackson has been an officer in CHS High School Health Helpers (a division of the community coalition) since 2019. He enjoys making others happy and works to assure his fellow students have a voice in their school. In his free time, he enjoys Marvel and “The Office” along with spikeball and ultimate with his friends.