Dishonesty, like cancer, starts small. One day, for instance, you learn that someone whom you considered a friend has been maligning you behind your back. On other occasion, you might act on the basis of a verbal agreement only to find out later that the other party has reneged on his word.
You will fall into many of those traps, as we all do, since few things are as difficult as assessing the character of strangers. A wise man writes off his loss as part of the cost of living and learns from experience that, on the next encounter, he should not trust the person who has lied to him.
Honesty is a thread that a man should be allowed to break only once. If you are cheated the first time, blame it on your limited knowledge and do not recriminate yourself. On the other hand, if you are misled twice by the same individual, it is advisable that you take a hard look at your fundamental beliefs.
Achievement in any field of human endeavour requires focused effort sustained through a long period. Sometimes it takes months, frequently years or decades. For many persons, the major obstacle to progress is not lack of funding, but of time. Unless you clear up the clutter from your days, you will never find the hours that you need for your essential goals.
The same principle applies to relationships. Friendship and love constitute wonderful pleasures. We all recognize them as two of the main sources of enjoyment in life. Although none of them can be purchased with money, both require substantial investments of time, continuity, and consistency.
Dealing with dishonest people will waste your energies, consume your patience, and fill your life with disappointments. Do not tell yourself that everybody is like that. Do not argue in your mind in favour of the inevitability of evil. This is not true and you know it perfectly well.
Undeniably, it takes a lot of conviction to make uncomfortable changes in our lives. To quit smoking is extremely difficult. To stop drinking might require a long process of detoxification. To rid ourselves of damaging relationships is tantamount to climbing the steep slope of high mountain.
Take heart and keep your ethical bar at the proper level. Place it low enough to forgive innocent errors. Keep it sufficiently elevated to reject attempts to miscarriage your judgement, fairness, and objectivity.
Who twists reality once to his advantage will not hesitate to abuse your confidence on the next occasion. Just say no. The sooner you see bad people disappear from your life, the faster you will clear the way towards wonderful relationships.
[Image by ellievanhoutte under Creative Commons Attribution License. See the license terms under http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/3.0/us]