"I think that's probably why we prefer the lies, Miss Remington," Mick continued, "and we do, don't
Lies. We write songs about them. We punish them. We sigh in relief when we manage to tell one without getting caught. Another day to save face. Another day to keep our mask in place. For the criminal, they are a mainstay. For those with a conscience, they are the things that torture and haunt us. They are everywhere--a part of our world and who we are. Much as we try to escape being told one or being known as one who does, they are a part of every culture on the planet and they infect us from our earliest moments of communication.
Why do we lie? There are as many reasons as there are scenarios. We don't want to get caught. We want to keep up our perfect image. We want revenge. We want to protect ourselves. We want power and political gain.
What can we say? Mick has a point... the easy to swallow lie is more appealing than the
When it comes to our world leaders and politicians, we have come to expect the lies--in all shapes and sizes, with all degrees of consequences. Many voters say they go to the polls merely to choose the lesser of two evils; we choose our leaders based on their degrees of lying. After all, we dare not expect that our leaders would completely refrain from it--that they would ever be stupid enough to choose integrity over self-preservation.
That, alone begs the question: How did we get to a place where we are willing to put our trust and hope in our most powerful figures without expecting truth from them in return? How did we get this far? Adolf Hitler once said, "If you tell a big enough lie, and tell it frequently enough, it will be believed." Is that it then? We just commit to the lies wholeheartedly until they become our new definition of "truth?"
Ralph Waldo Emerson wrote, "Every violation of truth is not only a sort of suicide in the liar, but a stab at the health of human society." If Emerson is right, I wonder: what is the state of society's health today?
This course is a study in communication, and unfortunately (or fortunately, depending on your position) lying is a part of communication in just about every realm of society. Perhaps it is naive not to expect to be lied to--even by the brightest and best--but is it wrong to yearn for truth, no matter what the cost? Is it wrong to believe that there is true freedom to be found in it?
Maybe Mick is wrong. Yes, I know, I wrote him, he is my character, but maybe he is. The truth may hurt sometimes, but is it possible that over time, the lies hurt a whole lot more? What is the cost in the end?
Below, is a link to a blog that explores the cultural tradition of lying. Read it carefully, then I would love to hear your thoughts...
My favorite song of all time about honesty (and was playing as I wrote this for inspiration)