Wednesday, October 15, 2003

Unwanted: Public enemy º1

It is blind to race, age, culture, sex, religion, language, colour or beliefs. This enemy is the evil that does not sleep, the evil that creeps up at you when you are at your lowest, and pulls you farther into darkness. A timeless enemy that has survived through generations of victims... you cannot run from it, you cannot hide from it... sooner or later you will come face to face with the enemy... once, twice and perhaps many times in lifetime, in a month, in a day, in a sentence. The truth is that sooner or later you too will lie and be lied to.

The lie is the enemy that has no purpose but to distort reality.It begins as a means to get us out of trouble, a way to keep from being punished. It then grows into a way of escaping situations that force us to change and before we know it the lie grows into a monstorous addiction that overtakes our sense of right and honesty.

A white lie is only served to simplify the complicated truths in life. How many times have you told someone that their new haircut doesn´t look too bad just to keep from hurting their feelings? Or told a suspicious birthday boy/girl that you had no idea about any party when the whole gang was planning a surprise party? These are the lies that we consider white because they are meant for the good of mankind. So when does a lie change colour?

How many times did your dog chew your homework to keep from being punished? Or you had something really important to do so that you could skip those plans you made with your neihbour? Perhaps you missed your bus or you had to work late? You could consider these to be innocent lies too, until your teacher, mother, friend or partner finds out that you made up excuses to avoid your responsibilities.

The lie intelligently fools you into believing that it can relieve you from unnecessary stress but fails to remind you that should you be caught, the initial stress tends to double. It also fails to reveal to you its purpose. It lives to spread insecurity, the lie is the virus that destroys trust. Love and trust are the foundation to any kind of relationship, and lies are the termites that have the ability to destroy it. It either eats away at it slowly, waiting for wind to blow it down or it eats right at the core causing the whole house to crumble. Once the walls of a relationship falls, it is nearly impossible to rebuild.

The newspaper will never tell you of the role the lie played in the bankruptcy of a company. It probably began with a tiny lie to a client or perhaps the boss. Then whilst overlooking important details, the lie fooled the colleague next door that all was well. The lie then went as far as to convince others that things were as they should be and suddenly when reality could no longer be distinguished between all the lies, all that was left was the remains of a company that is no longer trusted by its clients or the community. They will blame corruption but what is corruption really if not the accumulation of lies?

We all get confused at times and need time to set our minds straight. In the jungle of choices, we all have the ability to search for the truth anyway we see fit. Some isolate themselves in their shells whilst other feel the need to go out and embrace the world. We may not be able to control the world, but we control our attitude towards it. This distinguishes every word that comes out our mouths and it´s intention.

In one particular case, our friend felt that he needed time out at night with his friends away from the girlfriend who was beginning to confuse him with all her mind games. In this cauldren of thoughts and feelings he failed to find the words to explain this to his girlfriend this need, and so decided to rather tell her that he was staying home. What she doesn´t know won´t hurt her. Unfortuntely for our friend and thanks to gossip, his girlfriend found out that he´d been out that night, and after bitter arguing the relationship ended. What had made the situation worse was the fact that when confronted, our friend made the same mistake by denying that he´d been out. If he´d just told her where he was going in the first place the would the results have been the same?

What you probably didn´t notice from the story above was the lie´s ally... gossip. When I was a child I played a game called "broken telephone". A group of friends would sit in a circle and a person would choose a sentence and whisper it into their neihbour´s ear. You weren´t allowed to repeat your sentence to your neihbour and you had to be as quick as possible. The idea was that the last person was supposed to say out loud exactly what the first had said. In all my years of playing this game I don´t remember any one incident where the last person managed to repeat exactly what the first person had said. Gossip works in the same way, it spreads like wild fire and distorts the truth into a completely different story... a lie. So many lives have been unnecesarily ruined because of these two best friends.


Why lie when you can tell the truth? Isn´t the reality that God created for us beautiful enough that we have to distort it into illusions? What kind of innerpeace can you have if the worms of lies eat away inside of you? If sooner or later you have to confront the truth, why delay the inevitable? If reality isn´t what you hoped it would be then why not fight to shape it into the way you want it, be rather than to create an illusion what will only harm you and those around you. If a man has no word, what worth is he? Who wants a man who turns his back on his responsibilities, who lets you down times without end, who doesn´t keep his promises and who swears sentiments that don´t exist in his heart? No amount of money, etiquette, wisdom, courage or talent will ever stand heavier in favour of a liar.

We are all born liars, sooner or later we will distort reality to what we would like it to be. Yet, we are only fooling ourselves if we allow someone else to believe it. The truth will set you free. No matter how painful it may seem at the moment, it will wash your soul of illusions. The truth will keep your chin up, earn you respect and dignity, and leave you free of regrets.

The man who tried and failed earns more respect than the man who promised and failed. Silence is truth´s friend against the lie´s illusion. It keeps you from spreading the lie´s infectious disease. Rather smile and keep quiet than create an illusion. Want for others what you want for you and you will never tell another lie again. The truth will not free you from making mistakes but it will leave you will dignity. Before you say another word, there is no need to think twice, only the need for it to be the truth.

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