I Want To Tell You

Being employed, in some ways, is a nice change because I finally get some thinking time to myself. In school, there’s always more work or studying that should get done, instead of self-reflection. When I walk out of the office, I am done. All my thoughts are my own and I can focus on whatever I please.

I’ve gotten to thinking about lying. Everyone tells white lies (your hair looks… different?) but I am talking about bigger lies, hurtful lies, lies that shouldn’t be told. Lies break trust. Lies change relationships. Lies kill (WMD anyone?)

Also, what about this concept of lying by omission? Technically, you aren’t lying, per se, as you have not said anything that isn’t true. However, let’s not ignore that there is clearly some information you are withholding that the other person should know. You know you’re obligated to tell them… but in their state of ignorance, you’re safe and potentially better off. So you keep your mouth shut and pray they’ll never know.

For the record, I am not a notorious liar. I have lied big lies before. However, more often than not I end up revealing the truth sooner or later, and rarely, it’s because I am about to be caught. I almost always end up admitting my lies because I don’t like being deceptive. Somehow, I developed a conscience (without religion, mind you!) and feel bad about these so-called “untruths.”

So you decide to bite the bullet, tell the truth, handle the consequences. You look at the person, and you feel physically ill, because you’re about to turn yourself in for the fraud you are. You tell them, and this sort of glaze passes over their eyes. There’s not even a good reason. I wanted to benefit from the situation? I was selfish, and wanted to have my cake and eat it too? I thought you’d never need to know? These only make the lie more disgusting. At least admitting lies is freeing… sort of.

Maybe admitting lies is a sign of some sort of maturity… or not. However, as I’ve gotten older I have lied less and revealed sooner. I don’t like the responsibility, the moral weight, and the memory required to maintain that lies require. I revealed one of my last remaining lies a couple weeks ago, and it’s a relief, I’ll tell you that.

Why do I keep telling them, is the real question. To a certain degree, it means that you are now more important. Whatsmore, that secret is yours. You’ve got a secret, and nobody else knows. When you tell a secret, it’s over. You lose something.

Maybe maturity is like the tide – comes and goes, but over time there’s definitely an impact. Take a Geology class if you don’t believe me. Well, geology will focus more on the impact (think sea stacks) and less on maturity, unless we’re talking about geologic age…

It’s a weak connection. I’m working on it

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One comment

  1. The Good Reverend

    Lies! All lies!

    OK so I’m taking Legal Theory, and for some sad reason we’re trying to figure out what “the law” is and what a “rule” is. One of the examples involved two rules: “don’t lie” and “don’t break a promise.” But there are some situations in which you can only avoid lying if you break a promise, and others in which you can only avoid breaking a promise if you lie. You can’t really say one rule is the exception to the other, since they are both equal rules. But when they conflict, you have to weigh them against each other.

    Also, unrelated: In the words of the great Costanza, “Remember: it’s not a lie if you believe it.”

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