In a recent article, I wrote about ‘living our Truth’ and what that means in terms of living authentically (http://stepoutofthemist.com/truth-or-consequences/) … but there’s another Truth that has the ability to affect our lives practically every day – the Truth whose opposite is an un-Truth … otherwise known as a Lie.
Now as we know, there are several different kinds of Lies. Some are referred to as Little White Lies, and these are apparently meant to be innocent. We also call them Fibs. When couched in this category, Lies somehow lose their seriousness. Or so we are led to believe. Because compared to other Lies – such as Whoppers – those which we call Fibs seem to pale by comparison. But do they, really?
If someone is simply trying to ‘gently guide the truth past you’ in order to conceal a surprise for you, that’s one thing. There would be no rancour or deceit in such a move. Quite the opposite, actually, since this is usually an act of love or affection.
Fibs, on the other hand – as small as they may be – are still connected to Lies. And if you are on the receiving end of one, you may not judge it to be quite so benign. For the most part, it seems that Fibs are invoked when someone’s embarrassment or awkwardness precedes the moment. Are they as serious as an outright Lie? Well, that probably depends on how charitable the receiver is. Is it easier to forgive an untruth told by someone in order to avoid humiliation than to forgive an outright deliberate Lie that’s meant to gain benefit or cause harm to you or someone else?
If it is, then the question may become “where do we draw the line?” How do we establish which level of Lie is acceptable and which is not? Doesn’t it come down to a question of trust? How can we completely trust someone who has shown they are willing to occasionally resort to subterfuge in order to achieve their objective … whether that’s the avoidance of their humiliation or the more onerous manipulation of circumstances?
Another consideration is if you are duped by someone through a Lie, does the perpetrator of the Lie hold any accountability for the results of this indiscretion? What if their Lie ended up costing you money or opportunity – or even your reputation – because you (or others) believed them? Should they get to just shrug their shoulders and say, “Yeh, my bad – sorry ’bout that …” (not that they would ever necessarily admit their culpability). Do you have any protection from that? Well, unless it’s something contractual or slanderous, you probably don’t – not usually, anyway.
So perhaps neither Lies nor Fibs are benign on any level. Each can actually be quite harmful, once told. Since we can’t project the repercussions of such fabrications after they are released, how ethical is the presumption to discount their importance? Surely a better philosophy in the process of human communication is to simply be truthful in all things – and if you cannot, then perhaps in the name of your personal integrity, that’s a good time to say nothing at all.
… and while you consider this, remember to always focus on the Good Things in Life!