by Dr Gonzo
Tongue in cheek at times on why we lie & the varying degrees of deception we all do.
|What is truth? Is it fact? Or is it our own take on things...with a little garnish on the side to add pizzazz?
Everybody has lied at some point in their lives. Even a Buddhist monk was once a child who was caught with his hand in the proverbial cookie jar. Then to cover for his indiscretion, lied about it to his angry parents.
Truth is often perceived as the hard road because it does come at a price...a price that may to some seem too high, and a lie as the easier option. There is a saying that the truth hurts, and pain is one of the best teachers. And so it is from childhood to old age, the truth is we never stop learning.
If a child knows the word “No!” but is testing boundaries, responsible parenting must teach...and a tap on the hand is better than a burn. But, if the tap is not given with some degree of reinforcement, the child learns that he/she can disobey without consequence. Yet, if he/she touches something hot, that lesson will never be forgotten...or repeated.
But, they are not defiant children for long, and once they reach the milestone of 'teenager', they know everything there is to know...except anything parents or teachers might ask. By now, a teenager has honed the skills required for deception. But when these skills are not fooling anyone, a distinct lack of regard for authority will exist in its place. A tap on the hand will not teach a teenager anything...except his/her rights. So, we must think and treat them not as children, but as somewhat dysfunctional young adults. Although, they do have an excuse for acting the way they do...and it's called puberty. Seems the hormones are to blame. But I do wonder...what are the adults excuse.
So, how DO we teach these hormone suffering tyrants if we cannot legally (or for that matter morally) assault them if they do not do as they are told? Which differs from doing what they are shown...by us...the alleged responsible adults. Because in general, that is exactly what they are doing.
Should we ignore their antics and not play into their games? Or should we punish them for their indiscretions? And by punish, I mean punish ourselves...for being such incredibly unsuccessful role models.
Perhaps boarding school could help. But really, if you can afford the outrageous fees charged by these institutions, then perhaps bribery is a more cost-effective way to keep them in line. And besides, with the number of days per year students are on break, you would be better off keeping them around so you don't become soft...and keep developing that hard exterior for when your baby turns into a monster.
But, if our teenage years taught us anything, then lying is one thing we should keep on practising. Because telling a good solid lie remains one of the hardest things to do in life. Although when we get it right, the satisfaction of deceiving those whose trust in us was wasted, is more satisfying than a good cold beer on a hot summer's day...or is it?
Questions are made so as lies have a place to rest. So, if were are not asked if her bum looks big in whatever it is she is trying to hide said bum in, then an answer would not be needed...or perhaps even wanted. Especially if truth sticks its head up for a look at the bum situation, and decides to voice its own stupid opinion.
Or what about, “How much have you had to drink tonight?”
This question could be asked by an inquisitive wife (and we know it will not matter if we admit it was too much or not. Because we are drunk...and drunk people should never be believed anyway).
Let's just hope that same question does not come from a police officer with an alcohol breath tester, to prove it one way or another. We see this often on the TV. Wouldn't it be nice if just one drunk driver would come out and say, "Officer...I had about ten...then I lost count."
Nice...so long as we don't meet 'Mr Lost Count' out there on the freeway.
I lie...and that's the God's honest truth. But I do try to limit my deceptions to an absolute minimum. Not because I am some golden boy who is all morally sound, because I am neither. No, I limit lying to avoid those difficult to remember 'who I said what to' situations that all liars invariably run into.
“Don't we liars?”
“What...no liars willing to admit they are liars?”
Well, if you're going to be a liar, then I suppose one more lie isn't going to hasten your way to hell.
Telling one lie actually creates two lies. How? Glad I asked.
When we lie, we lie to that person, but we are also lying to ourselves. There are many liars who think they are clever...and wouldn't believe that last statement...but the fact is if you need to deceive someone who loves or cares about you, that is not an easy thing to have to live with...denial is rampant among people who cannot face their own truth...to look in the mirror and have any chance of liking what they see.
And there are of course, varying degrees of lies.
Like the one we should all acknowledge, "I only lied to protect YOU."
Which is such a great lie even I could almost believe it. But, being a liar myself, puts me at an advantage...knowing another liar as soon as they (or should I say we) open their (our) dirty lying mouths.
While lying to protect someone else sounds admirable, please...let's not sully up the muck by saying it is to protect others. Because the truth is, the only reason we lie is to protect ourselves.
And from what? Responsibility? Ownership? Dirty deeds? Insecurity? There are almost as many reasons to lie, as there are lies themselves (which is good news...to know we will never run out).
But, there is one type of liar that justifiable reasons to lie do not cover...and they are the compulsive liars. I shudder when I even mention them. They are the liars who give us decent, hardworking and morally sound liars a bad name. It makes me sick to think of all the lies getting used up for absolutely no good reason...a total waste of lies.
Which begs the question. Is there such a thing as a good lie? Well, I am sure at the time they all seemed like a good idea. Then comes reflection (reflection...when lies are exposed). At which point, more lies are the preferred way to proceed. Then comes realisation (realization...when the goose is cooked) and it's time to face the music.
But, when all is revealed and confessions are done, along with the obligatory and oh so slight variations to the truth (more lies) on matters that cannot be proved otherwise (and hopefully help paint us in a more favourable light), then a strange feeling washes over a liars psyche. Something akin to having a hot shower after a week away camping.
But, if the liar is inexperienced, they will show this sudden easing of guilt (by placing the burden of the truth on whoever the lie was told to) by displaying a vigorous gate and a happy smile. But, showing your hand too early is a rookie mistake, and is all part of the learning curve of becoming a better liar. The correct way (but far from the right way) being to feign guilt and remorse, but to never actually feel them. This feeling of lightening the load of guilt, by dumping the bitter truth upon the victim by being honest (only when caught please) does not however last, and soon we are again covered in the filth that exudes from the guilt and shame we deny but is by and large, inescapable.
I am not bashing my bible here (mainly because I don't own one) or telling anyone how to live their lives. But, I am attempting to show that truth is almost always the better option for finding self-respect and an easier way to live.
Fear is a strong motivating factor in most peoples lives...and is a common reason for people to lie. But, lying only brings more fear. Because telling lies is like putting money into a get rich quick scheme...where a person needs to keep pouring more and more money in to keep it afloat. Lies need to be supported by more lies, and in the end, even if a person is not caught (that time), the effort, the fear and the time wasted perpetuating them, could perhaps be better spent thinking about the reasons why lies have to be told in the first place.
Understanding that everyone makes mistakes, and everyone tells lies at different times. But that most people try not to do things which make lying likely...or should I say...necessary.