Honesty cannot be only a policy. It can be a principle. There is a difference between policy and principle. A policy changes. You change a policy when it does not pay. But a principle does not change. You do not and cannot change a principle even if it causes loss.
Can honesty, then, be only a matter of policy?
No. Honesty is the best of wealth. The reward of honesty is honesty itself, for there is nothing better than honesty. Character is the crown of life and honesty is the crown of character itself. No one can be good or great without truth and honesty. So, all great men have always led an honest life.
Honesty is necessary for real happiness. A dishonest man may cheat the whole world but how can he cheat his own soul? A dishonest person is always in fear of something. This sense of fear cannot give him rest. An honest man may be poor. He may have to lead a hard life. But still he is happy.
But today almost everybody is dishonest. Honesty does not give wealth and power. Honest persons have to suffer a lot. But dishonest persons have become very rich and powerful. Dishonesty, and not honesty, has become their policy. But it never means that dishonesty is better than honesty.
Even dishonest persons claim that they are honest. What does it prove? It proves the greatness of honesty. Who can hide the sun of honesty? The cloud of dishonesty may hide this sun for some time. But can a cloud hide the sun forever?