I mean it.
Certainly the first part.
Most everyone remembers the Seinfeld episode with the really ugly baby. It was what Jerry called a “must lie situation.” What the show demonstrates is that everyone acknowledges the importance of social lying. Everyone except Kramer.
Judging from our culture, our judicial system, our many religious beliefs, lying is a big deal. Apparently. It is also is dealt with in an unrealistic, fairy tale kind of way. The stories about Honest Abe or young George Washington and that cherry tree are telling us not to lie? The last time anyone checked, politicians were not the gold standard on honesty. Honestly.
Lying is a means to an end. But sometimes it is just damage control.
Here is another clip about the prevalence of lying, especially when one is young and you lied to your parents. About everything.
Doesn’t it come down to what you want versus what is expected of you?
The difference being an adult is that you don’t have to lie about what you want. If you are lucky.
Honesty rocks the boat. Honesty upsets people. Honesty will make other people angry, or sad, or worse. Being honest has consequences. And no one seems all that interested in being honest about consequences these days.
Sometimes the hardest times to tell the truth are to those close to us, about what we really want. Or feel. Lying is easier. We have history with it. We do it without thinking. But what does it say about what you really want?
Maybe the impetus for this post is that today is the Iowa Caucus—a culmination of months of campaigning by many politicians who, if anything, have this one thing in common. Is the lying so over the top now for politicians because they assume most of us won’t remember or keep track of who said what about whom? Yes. Probably. So for these folks, lying could potentially get them the nomination to have a chance to become President. That’s quite an incentive. Who doesn’t lie to get that kind of opportunity?
What do you lie about?
The person we lie to the most, with both frequency and fervor, is ourselves. Of course it is. Why do you think people love to tell others to always be honest and behave? Because we can’t even do it ourselves. That’s called being human.
Next time: how to stop lying to yourself, or learn to love the bomb.