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If you’re like most people, you’re utterly sick of the complete lack of honesty that exists in the world today. Whether it’s companies using misleading language on their products (Blueberry Muffins, contain no blueberries) or politicians being incapable of telling the whole truth of a situation, today’s society is utterly inundated with a world of people and companies trying to sell us a line. And, honestly, it can get pretty exhausting!

National Honesty Day exists to encourage people from every walk of life, and especially those who are powerful and in charge, to try being honest with their constituents and customers.

So now is the time to learn about and get ready to celebrate Honesty Day!

History of National Honesty Day

Former press secretary M. Hirsh Goldberg of Maryland brought this day into existence back in the 1990’s. The idea for the day was developed as part of the process of writing his book The Book of Lies: Fibs, Tales, Schemes, Scams, Fakes, and Frauds That Have Changed the Course of History and Affect Our Daily Lives.

The concept for the day was simple: it’s a day to ask direct questions without ulterior motives and expect answers of occasionally brutal honesty. While these situations can create difficult relations between people sometimes, it’s the first step on the road to utterly healing relational wounds and creating clear communication that allows for proper understanding.

In fact, failing to be honest, whether with family, in relationships, in politics, or even in historical education has led to so many misunderstandings that all of society can be affected by them.

When people speak with their friends and partners, they often choose to withhold certain words, not because they aren’t true, but because they can’t see past the hurt they’ll cause to the boils they lance by no longer being held within.

While being honest on National Honesty Day, it is important to remember that being honest requires honesty with yourself first. Once a person is able to accept their true feelings and motivations, they can clearly speak with others, and do so with complete forthrightness.

As the month of April begins with April Fools’ Day, where tricks and dishonesty reign supreme, the end of the month brings the opportunity to redeem those white lies and enjoy National Honesty Day!

National Honesty Day Timeline

1500s

April Fool’s Day tradition begins 

The antithesis of Honesty Day, April Fool’s Day is the day to tell fibs and outright lies to make ‘fools’ of other people.[1]

1861

“Honest Abe” becomes US President 

Abraham Lincoln is elected president and embraces this nickname that imbues a feeling of trustworthiness.[2]

1972

Watergate Scandal is uncovered

Richard Nixon is at the center of this infamous example of political corruption,  dishonesty and abuse of power.[3]

1990s

First National Honesty Day takes place

Started by author M. Hirsh Goldberg, this day is inspired by research for his book, The Book of Lies: Fibs, Tales, Schemes, Scams, Fakes and Frauds That Have Changed The Course of History and Affect Our Daily Lives.[4]

2012

The Honest Company is founded 

Created by Jessica Alba with her newborn daughter in mind, this company provides baby products with natural alternatives to synthetic ingredients.[5]

How to Celebrate National Honesty Day

When coming up with ideas for how to observe and celebrate National Honesty Day, consider some of these tips to enjoy the day:

Listen to Songs About Honesty

This is a great time to create a playlist on Spotify or another platform that includes songs that will remind everyone that honesty is, indeed, the best policy! Try out some of these songs to get started:

  • Honesty by Billy Joel (1978). A classic, released as the third single from Billy Joel’s sixth studio album 52nd Street.
  • Truth and Honesty by Aretha Franklin (1981). This one comes from the Queen of Soul, from her album Love All the Hurt Away.
  • Gimme Some Truth by John Lennon (1971). This protest song was written and performed by John Lennon and originally released on the album Imagine.
  • Policy of Truth by Depeche Mode (1990). This alternative rock song is from the popular English synth-pop, electronic music band.

Practice Being Honest

While celebrating National Honesty Day is pretty simple on the surface, it may be one of the hardest things a person can do in their life. Honesty between self and others can be extremely difficult, as it requires baring parts of ourselves that may have been kept hidden behind carefully constructed half-truths and lies of omission.

Perhaps people are afraid that what they have to say will hurt those they love, and possibly even cost them their job if they speak out about the dishonesties that exist within their workplaces and families. It can be especially difficult with those who have truths they have withheld, perhaps in the interest of sparing another hurt.

Learn More About the Benefits of Honesty

When practicing for National Honesty Day, take into consideration these benefits of being honest:

  • Honesty is Healthy. Telling the truth, as opposed to a lie, can significantly improve a person’s mental and emotional health.
  • Honesty Leads to Better Relationships. Honesty creates trust which means that people can rest and feel safe in relationships.
  • Honesty is Simple. Instead of having to keep track of which lies were told to whom, incorporating honesty and truth is much easier to keep track of.

Watch Films About Honesty

In addition to telling the truth personally, National Honesty Day is the perfect time to watch some movies that feature the idea of honesty:

  • Honesty Weekend (2020). To help their struggling marriage, a couple is prescribed a weekend of complete and utter honesty. This comedy is made complete when a group of their raucous friends join in. 
  • Lincoln (2012). This biographical historical drama is produced and directed by Stephen Spielberg, based on the life of US President Abraham Lincoln, portrayed by Daniel Day-Lewis. 
  • Jerry Maguire (1996). Featuring a character who is willing to say anything in order to sell anything, this film starring Tom Cruise and Renée Zellweger shows the benefits of truth and honesty. 
  • Nanny McPhee (2005). Emma Thompson’s take on the story of Nurse Matilda, this story features a snaggle-toothed nurse who gets less haggard and old-looking as the children learn to practice honesty and integrity. 

National Honesty Day FAQs

What is National Honesty Day?

National Honesty Day is a time to encourage straightforward honesty and communication in politics, relationships, commercial marketing and historical education.[1]

When is National Honesty Day?

National Honesty Day takes place each year on April 30th.[2]

How to celebrate National Honesty Day?

Observing National Honesty Day is easy! Simply focus on telling the truth with direct and honest communication.[3]

Why is honesty important?

Whether in personal relationships or business, honesty is vital for building trust, avoiding problems, and even avoiding fraud and legal troubles.[4]

National Honesty Day is the time to lift the burdens from those shoulders, and let the chips fall where they may as you share your truth!

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