Be honest and ethical

In the short term, lying is an easy way to solve a problem. If you get caught, people might dislike you, or you might be arrested — but, many times, you will get away with it. So why should you tell the truth when no one is looking?

Because, in the long run, honesty benefits you. Not by avoiding some consequence, or abiding by some “Golden Rule” — but because when you cheat, the only person you are truly cheating is yourself. Just examine any scenario where you are considering a lie, and you will find that being ethical will help you more than lying in the long term. Honesty makes you stronger.

Take, for example, a history exam. If you have a chance to cheat, and you are guaranteed to get away with it, why should you pass up an easy A? Because, in the long term, you will have a weak understanding of history. Therefore, it is better to earn a C honorably than to earn an A by lying.