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The post “Cultivating kind actions — ETHICS — #4 A personal demeanor that entices honest behavior from everyone.”

Honesty to oneself is critical if one wants to become a more functional being. Everyone perceives external reality through their own senses and through their own learned habitually used filters of those external inputs.

When one’s real-world filters were corrupted by poor habits that were chosen as adaptive at the beginning of the relationship with those external things, then as long as those habits are in place the relationship will be corrupted. If one develops habits while under the influence of sick environmental situations, like drugs, demagogues, or emotionally stressed people, it will take intentional reprogramming to get rid of those habits.

There are many official organizations devoted to correcting those kinds of problems,  such as Alcoholics Anonymous (AA) and their 12-step program for coping with alcoholism. Here is a list of other 12-Step programs from Wikipedia.

Those are ways of coping with an existing problem, but it would be much better to have never developed the problem in the first place. Read George E. Valliant‘s books The Natural History of Alcoholism, Adaptation to Life, and Triumphs of Experience to get a better science-based understanding of how people develop good and bad habits, and how to avoid getting on those unproductive paths through life.

One can choose to become more honest with oneself. But what does that mean? How can any progress be made? What are the tests one may apply to oneself to know if there is any improvement? Your response to the world depends on the habits you choose to create for yourself.

Your inner self is always asking, “Is this the right thing to think and to do?”