Can you be honest while feeling guilty? – 23 Nov 12


In the past week I was writing much about inner peace, finding oneself and everything related to reflections about one’s attitude, feelings and thoughts. When we received an email this week inviting us to take part in a survey – I think it was about consumer behavior and environment – Ramona decided to take part. When she told me about some of the questions, I was imagining what people would answer – and as it is related to this week’s blog entries, I decided to share my thoughts with you.

Usually I believe that your answers for any kind of survey are different if they are given anonymously or if you have to give your name for your answers. This is one of the reasons why creators of surveys often decide to go for the anonymous version – it gives much more honest results! The reason is easy: everybody knows what they ‘should’ answer.

If the question is ‘Do you switch off the lights when you leave the room?’, everyone knows that they should be doing that. If people have given their name in the survey, they most probably decide to tick ‘Always’. In an anonymous survey however, they might decide being more honest and tick ‘Mostly’ and some maybe even ‘Rarely’.

Are you conscious about not throwing food away? Do you separate your garbage for recycling? Do you save water when possible? Do you try to use alternative energies? Do you buy locally and avoid imported goods or vegetables that don’t grow in the season?

You want to shout out ‘YES!’ and I know many of you can honestly say ‘Yes, always’ to most of these points. There are many people however who would only do that if their name was written there. If they were really honest, they would have to answer differently though.

Why is that? Are you ashamed that you are not as environmental-friendly as you should be? It is not only about the environment, it can be any survey about any topic! You know what is right – so why don’t you act like it? You know all of this but when you read the question you feel guilty that you cannot honestly choose the right answer.

Whenever you are in such a situation, make a change. This is the right point to reflect about your behavior and realize that you are not doing what you know is right. There is no question that you want to do the right thing, too, but maybe until today you were too lazy to do it. Life as it is was just too comfortable for a change, you did not bring up the energy to change or it caused you too much stress.

Don’t let any of this prevent you from making a change now! Don’t let the issue fade away again but actually do something so that the next time this question comes up, you don’t need to feel guilty, ashamed or like hiding behind the anonymity of the crowd.

Do what you feel is right. That will make you happy.

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