What does Rigorous Honesty mean to you?
Yesterday a sponsee called with a problem. She did something she wasn't supposed to do. She asked me if she had to tell her boss. I urged her to pray for God's guidance and the strength to carry it out. I did tell her that I thought she probably needed to come clean with her boss, even though she may lose her job, because the path to dishonesty is one of small incremental dishonesty. Lies of omission. Just tweaking the truth. Telling a "white" lie. Just telling a little lie. Then telling a bigger lie. Then because you got away with the lie, telling more lies. And then needing a little drink because you feel so bad about yourself.
I remember when I was in my first year of sobriety, I worked at a large insurance brokerage firm. I worked in "small accounts." They were mostly lawyers. I had to call a lawyer one Friday afternoon and tell him that I had made a huge mistake on his policy, and it had pretty serious consequences for him. He told me that he appreciated my honesty, but what the hell was I going to do about it? He was not nice. I went to a meeting that night and told my group that this 'rigorous honesty' crap was a bunch of nonsense. It didn't work in the real world. You couldn't go around admitting you were wrong in business - especially with lawyers!
I got the problem with his account worked out in the next week. And about a week later, the CEO of the company brought me a copy of a letter the lawyer had written to him. He wrote a letter to the CEO about how wonderful I was! He appreciated my honesty and my work to get my error straightened out! I took the letter and made a reduced size copy, until it was about the size of a business card, I laminated it, and put it in my wallet. I carried that thing around with me for years as a reminder that rigorous honesty does work in the real world!
The price of dishonesty is too high for alcoholics. People at work are sometimes dismayed at the fact that I will admit when I am wrong. I will even take my share of responsibility when others are wrong. It has lately not served me well. I don't care. The price of doing otherwise is my life.
What does rigorous honestly mean to you?