Truthfulness is the bedrock of integrity on which we build all our other virtues. It is an ongoing commitment to live by what is real, authentic and true for us. We make realistic decisions. We do not lie, cheat, or deceive. We tell the truth kindly. Our words and actions are trustworthy. Our promise is our bond. We do not allow others to have undue influence on our perceptions. We investigate the truth with our own eyes. Truth tells us that we aren not here to live another’s dream or to be all things to all people. We live our own true nature.


Truthfulness is the foundation of all the virtues…When this holy attribute is established in man, all the divine qualities will also become realized.

— Abdu’l-Baha

 The Practice of Truthfulness

  • I speak only the truth.
  • I have no need to impress or deceive others.
  • I use discernment to make good decisions.
  • I tell the truth with kindness and tact.
  • I investigate the truth for myself.
  • I know I am enough.
Definitions and practices of virtue are used with permission from the Virtues Project™.

In the Family

In a family, the virtue of truthfulness takes the form of a steadfast commitment to authenticity and integrity. It means family members make decisions rooted in reality, refraining from lies, deceit, or dishonesty. Truthfulness is demonstrated through honest and kind communication, where words and actions are reliable and promises are kept. In this family, the influence of others doesn’t overshadow individual perceptions, and the pursuit of truth is a collective endeavor.

Each member is encouraged to live according to their true nature, fostering an environment where genuine selves are embraced and celebrated. It is a family where trust is built upon the unwavering dedication to living by what is real, authentic, and valid for each member, strengthening the bonds of love and respect.

Balancing Truthfulness

Balanced Truthfulness is a guiding light in our pursuit of living authentically and honestly. Here are some balancing virtues.

      • Compassion: This virtue tempers the harshness of unbridled truthfulness by reminding us to consider others’ emotions and feelings. It encourages us to speak the truth kindly and empathetically, fostering healthier relationships.
      • Tact: Tact helps us convey the truth effectively and constructively. It empowers us to find courteous ways to express our thoughts and concerns, facilitating better communication and understanding.
      • Integrity: Integrity protects against underdeveloped truthfulness, reminding us to stay true to our values and principles, even when facing difficult choices or challenges.
      • Honesty: Honesty reinforces our commitment to truthfulness, encouraging us to confront situations with candor and transparency, ultimately building trust and authenticity in our interactions.

Balanced truthfulness is this delicate equilibrium in which truthfulness’s true power shines, nurturing our inner integrity and outer relationships.