“ A person’s success in life can usually be measured by the number of uncomfortable conversations he or she is willing to have” – Brene Brown.
On the whole Spo-fans are a curious bunch with somewhat morbid attributes. A few entries ago I mentioned an aborted attempt to write about lying. Spo-fans sent word for more on this topic. I am always eager to honor requests whenever I can, provided The Board of Directors Here at Spo-Reflections doesn’t snap a tether in censorious outrage.
In any large group you can find people I nickname “The Big Liars”. These are the nefarious sorts who consciously lie to gain power, hurt others, and dodge responsiblities. I hope I am not one of them: I don’t think I am.* The other 95-99% of the group are “The Little Liars”, of which I include myself. The Little Liars may be a synonym for Being Human., for we all lie. Perhaps they should be renamed Untruths to discriminate them from Lies. These falsehoods are the little fibs, the white lies, etc. we tell others and ourselves all day long.
Editor’s note – I first wrote the following using ‘we’ to make it universal, which is apt. But after careful consideration I changed the ‘we’ to ‘I’.
I lie to avoid pain. Honesty forces me to strip away my self-delusions and rationales that keep me assured I am a good man. Honesty opens me up to others’ judgment and anger. The paradox of lies to avoid pain is they impede me from Happiness.
I lie to myself about the usual things. I delude myself about my faults and how I hurt and disappoint others. I lie about how well I am; my bad habits are minimal and of no consequence.
“Yes I am listening to you” rather than ‘You caught me. I wasn’t paying any attention really, as I prefer playing Scrabble rather than you going on about your day.”
“Thank you for coming in today. I hope you are well” rather than “I am already counting the minutes to get through this as you make me want to heave”.
(Last night at the bar). “Oh, you’re the editor of the periodical I am reading? Pleased to meet you! I certainly appreciate you putting it out” rather than “ I am lost in my thoughts here and you’ve interrupted me. I am making just enough pleasant chit-chat not to sound rude, but I am already figuring out how to close this inane conversation to get back to my self-indulengce cellphone”.
I worry about lying, not from the sort of guilt one gets in Sunday School, but out of the sense it is a slippery slope to bigger and more damaging lies. If I get sloppy over little things such as “I’m happy to do this for you” how easy it could be to go to cheating on my taxes or falsifying medical records. C.S. Lewis said the best road to hell is the gradual one, a gentle descent without signs or guideposts.
I may not be able to be completely Untruth or Lie-free, but at least when I lie I try to realize I am consciously opting to do so. I am choosing to say the right thing for propriety sake or social tact. “I think you look good!” All the same I want to be more honest despite the immediate upset it may produce. “
‘I’m sorry I didn’t remember to do it, because I wasn’t paying attention when you told me about it” causes pain but perhaps to say so is better in the long run.
*Of course that could be a lie too.