So how honest are we?

Honesty is defined as “fairness and straightforwardness of conduct,” according to the faithful dictionary. Another calls it “free of deceit and untruthfulness; sincere.”

Which begs the question - just how honest are we? Individually, we all strive to teach our children to be honest, to tell the truth, to keep their word. To not run with scissors. Honesty is a trait we admire in others. When defining one’s character, one is honest or not.

But how do we stack up as a state? One company - Honest Tea - set out to find out. Their experiment involved placing unmanned kiosks stocked with beverages in hundreds of cities across the nation, including all 50 states and Washington, D.C. The kicker was the drinks cost $1, but purchases were based on the honor system.

So how did it turn out? Americans, by and large, are honest. Overall, 92 percent of the people paid for their beverage. Want to guess who was the most dishonest? If you said Washington, D.C., please step up and collect your prize. Citizens there scored a lowly 80 percent. But honestly, would we expect anything else?

But we are going to have to take great exception to how Georgians scored. There was obviously a miscalculation. Georgia scored in the top 90th percentile - 93 percent, which is good. But some states that, honestly, should be well below us scored higher. Overall, Georgia ranked 24th. That obviously means the majority of those involved in our state’s test were tourists from out of state.

Hawaii scored 100 percent. We can believe that. Our 50th state is all about beaches, leis and hula dances. There’s nothing to be dishonest about.

But another state also scored 100 percent - Alabama. Excuse us, but the only rating Alabama should ever beat us in is in the illiteracy rate. It goes without saying that it was probably Georgia visitors driving through as quickly as possible on their way to New Orleans that took the test and boosted Alabama’s scores.

There’s other interesting information from the test results. Men with glasses were the most honest among men. For women, blondes were more honest than brunettes, followed by redheads. (Insert blonde joke here.)

In Alaska, 100 percent of women were honest; only 85 percent of bald men in California are honest. The company’s co-founder’s bicycle was stolen - and yes, it was in D.C., and one man in a suit stole 13 bottles in Boston.

But all turned out well in Texas, where an Elvis impersonator paid for his drinks. Honesty really is the best policy. And if you want to check out your honesty level, head over to http://thenationalhonestyindex.com/ and find out. We know all Cowetans will hit 100 percent.



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