Looking in the Mirror

Spiritual Revelations for those seeking Humanity in Humans ~~CordieB.

Archive for Sports

The Truth, The Whole Truth and Nothing But the Truth

Picture from AP

Sister Shirley Buxton http://shirleybuxton.wordpress.com/ blogged recently on the confessions of Mrs. Marion Jones on her use of steroids. My father advised me at a very young age, “What a wicked web we weave, when first first we try to deceive.” I’m sure that Ms. Jone’s confessions sincere, and pray that the public will show her mercy.

One of the commentors, Anna, provided an insightful link to an essay on lying, which I would like to share.

The Ways We Lie – an essay by Stephanie Ericsson

 The bank called today, and I told them my deposit was in the mail, even though I hadn’t written a check yet. It’d been a rough day. The baby I’m pregnant with decided to do aerobics on my lungs for two hours, our three-year-old daughter painted the living-room couch with lipstick, the IRS put me onhold for an hour, and I was late to a business meeting because I was tired. Itold my client that traffic had been bad. When my partner came home, his haggard face told me his day hadn’t gone any better than mine, so when he asked, “How was your day?” I said, “Oh, fine,” knowing that one more straw might break his back. A friend called and wanted to take me to lunch. I said I was busy. Four lies in the course of a day, none of which I felt the least bit guilty about. We lie. We all do. We exaggerate, we minimize, we avoid confrontation, we spare people’s feelings, we conveniently forget, we keep secrets, we justify lying to the big-guy institutions. Like most people, I indulge in small falsehoods and still think of myself as an honest person. Sure I lie, but it doesn’t hurt anything. Or does it?I once tried going a whole week without telling alie, and it was paralyzing. I discovered that telling the truth all the time is nearly impossible. It means living with some serious consequences: The bank charges me $60 in overdraft fees, my partner keels overwhen I tell him about my travails, my client fires me for telling her I didn’t feel like being on time, and my friend takes it personally when I say I’m not hungry. There must be some merit to lying. But if I justify lying, what makes me any different from slick politicians or the corporate robbers who raided the S&.L industry? Saying it’s okay to lie one way and not another is hedging. I cannot seem to escape the voice deep inside me that tells me: When someone lies,someone loses. What far-reaching consequences will I, or others, pay as a result of my lie? Will someone’s trust be destroyed? Will someone else pay my penance because I ducked out? We must consider the meaning of our actions. Deception, lies, capital crimes, and misdemeanors all carry meanings. Webster’s definition of lie is specific: 1. : a false statement or action especially made with the intent to deceive; 2. : anything that gives or is meant to give a false impression. A definition like this implies that there are many, many ways to tell a lie. Here are just a few.

The White Lie

A man who won’t lie to a woman has very little consideration for her feelings. — Bergen Evans

The white lie assumes that the truth will cause more damage than a simple, harmless untruth. Telling a friend he looks great when he looks like hell can be based on a decision that the friend needs a compliment more than a frank opinion. But, in effect, it is the liar deciding what is best for the lied to. Ultimately, it is a vote of no confidence. It is an act of subtle arrogance for anyone to decide what is best for someone else. Yet not all circumstances are quite so cut-and-dried. Take, for instance, the sergeant in Vietnam who knew one of his men was killed in action but listed him as missing so that the man’s family would receive indefinite compensation instead of the lump-sum pittance the military gives widows and children. His intent was honorable. Yet for twenty years this family kept their hopes alive, unable to move on to a new life.

Facades Et tu, Brute? —Caesar

We all put up facades to one degree or another. When I put on a suit to go to see a client, I feel as though I am putting on another face, obeying the expectation that serious businesspeople wear suits rather than sweatpants. But I’m a writer. Normally, I get up, get the kid off to school, and sit at my computer in my pajamas until four in the afternoon. When I answer the phone, the caller thinks I’m wearing a suit (though the UPS man knows better). But facades can be destructive because they are used to seduce others into an illusion. For instance, I recently realized that a former friend was a liar. He presented himself with all the right looks and the right words and offered lots of new consciousness theories, fabulous books to read, and fascinating insights.Then I did some business with him, and the time came for him to pay me. He turned out to be all talk and no walk. I heard a plethora of reasonable excuses, including in-depth descriptions of the big break around the corner. In six months of work, I saw less than a hundred bucks. When I confronted him, he raised both eyebrows and tried to convince-me that I’d heard him wrong, that he’d made no commitment to me. A simple investigation into his past revealed a crowded graveyard of disenchanted former friends.

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