I was asked the other day by a client what dishonesty is. Well, you have to understand that in law we take a very good look at that question. Smart people write books on the subject. We know for instance stealing money would be dishonesty but that was not the object of our discussion here, we were a bit more philosophical, I suppose.
Law as a subject is boring and for insane people since it always repeats. Really, you are not the first to get divorced, or have a problem with child support or who had signed a contract without reading it. Or, and this happens every single day, sign a contract without understanding what you are signing. In fact, I wrote about this in my book “Your Worst Enemy” that not even your bank’s attorneys get what stands in their own contracts. They take the approach of including everything and anything, mostly in old Latin phrases and it looks damn impressive, yet, legally, they have mostly no clue. Why do I say this? Easy, I asked quite a few to explain to me what clause 179, sub clause 29, sub clause 8 means and they cannot. As we say in Afrikaans, “hulle hap babbels” and the chances are zero that the person giving you the document to sign, supposedly and obliged, a positive duty by law, to explain the contract to you in terms you can get (meaning your age, your education, your cognisance levels) is able to explain the contract properly. That means you can fight it later on, the reason why I advise clients not to even bother understanding it, if you read it too closely you will anyway never sign it, it is too one sided. That too, by the way, can be used against the banksters.
Would such actions, by not explaining a contract properly, as required by law which also states it should be written in plain language, be dishonest? Yes, I think so but many will not agree, especially not those who sold their souls to banksters for a few dollars a month. It is actually remarkable to find any attorney willing to act against a bank, they are all, the larger firms, in cahoots in the sense that the bank is a good client, hence they cannot act against a client – this is logical. Is it dishonest? No, it us “business as usual” and if you wish to know about banksters doing you in, read my book, it is free and always will be free of charge to help the abused “Your Worst Enemy.”
What else is dishonest in daily life. What about watering your lawn when there is a drought and the local authorities proclaimed you may only use a bucket, not a sprinkler system, to save water. We are currently undergoing the worst drought in 200 years in South Africa, really, it is dry and plants and animals dying of thirst, not humans as some liberals in need of donations are claiming. Yet, it is serious. However, I noticed 80% of people are using sprinklers and not from a private borehole either, no, they just carry on like thieves in the early morning hours or late at night, defying the law. Sadly, they are that confused that they say they will never be caught out. Yes, they may not be caught red-handed, until the city council wake up and starts taking pictures with drones, or offering a reward to those neighbours reporting abuse. There is excellent money to be made, the fines are severe. Is this dishonesty? Yes, absolutely, the fact that you doing so at night, shows you know it is wrong. And how, pray tell me, will you explain that your grass is green? It should not be, unless it is watered.
Then we have my old pet dislike, those breaking the speed limit without any emergency to do so. No, they just drive fast because you know, they cannot manage time and are late for a meeting, or they simply don’t give a (you know what) or whatever. I travel at times, driving within the speed limit and I know, it is extremely seldom for me not to be overtaken. What does that tell me of the driver? First he has no respect for the law, he is the type who would cry like a spoiled child when caught. Secondly, he is inherently dishonest, lying to himself on what a great “Christian” he is. There is no difference between such people, the water lawn cheaters, a thieve and himself. It is dishonest.
What else? Not reporting a crime, yes, that makes you part of it in my view. I read the other day that an average of 165 people will walk past a man in the street, unconscious, before calling for help. Interesting, that means almost no one will help you if you get a heart attack, or a stroke, or you are mugged. They will walk on past, probably on their way to church. This too is dishonesty of the worst kind, being a fraud, not willing to step up and act according to your faith. Oh, we see it everywhere, Madame in her new Mercedes, treating her maid with contempt. The farmer moaning about the drought but going on a nice seaside holiday with his entire family, driving his new pickup, yes, I can see how you struggle to pay your workers. Indeed, I wonder about it and so do they.
We can carry on for pages and pages on dishonesty which is a way of life, not stealing per se. What is the point then? Live your life in such a way that you look honest and indeed are honest. Let your deeds be what your mouth confesses to be because you cannot fool your Maker, you cannot fool those closest to you and you are on the wrong road. You are fooling no one.
Koos Kotze is a former member of the South African Police Force. He served between 1985 and 1991 primarily as a sergeant in the Pretoria Flying Squad. During his police years, he was awarded the South African Police Medal for Combating Terrorism twice besides lesser awards. After leaving the Police Force he obtained the law degrees B Iuris & LLB at the University of the Free State (Bloemfontein, South Africa) and was a commercial law attorney for eight years. These days he is the owner of JKLS Africa and Associates, a specialist legal consultancy which specializes in reducing legal risk in sub Saharan Africa. He wrote several books on business, law, counter-terrorism and security issues. At times he is asked to participate on the Voice of America regarding legal forensic matters.