Tell Us, East Texans: Is It Ever Okay To Lie? (Part 1)
"Oh what a tangled web we weave, when first we practice to deceive..." Walter Scott from his poem Marmion
We may be able to forgive someone who fibs a little to save the feelings of her friend when she asks the classic pitfall question, "do these jeans make me look fat?"
But. It's hard to like people who seem thoroughly dishonest. whatever reason, some people seem to have fully embraced living their lives in a dishonest manner. But, for the majority of folks, lying is a learned habit. Very often, it begins with something itty bitty. Maybe if it was even a lie for a "good reason." But so often what happens is this: You start having to tell supporting lies to cover up the original lie and so on...until you get the unfortunate tale of The Talented Mr. Ripley. *shudders* (Good movie, by the way.)
THIS is why kids get in trouble for lying about sneaking a Snickers out of the pantry before dinner. It's not that chocolate is inherently evil or that little Peggy may not be able to eat her dinner afterwards. The problem is that even the very most tangled trees of deception begin as the tiniest, harmless sprout. Side note: Kids should be taught about the dangers of deception kindly and how it could lead them to a very sad place indeed, as opposed to just yelling at them. Yelling and hitting kids often teaches kids to become more deceptive in an effort to protect themselves from the anger of an adult.
But why do we lie? Well, there are many reasons. We'll discuss more of those next time. In the meantime, let's do our very best to live as honestly as possible. For the good of others, of course--but also for ourselves.