Thou Shalt Not Lie

But careful, the whole world depends on them

The Good Book tells us not to lie, but I’d wager there isn’t one person on this whole planet who can go through 24 hours without doing so.

Now, I’m not going into the ‘descriptions’ that are posted ‘on line’ when people are seeking a mate, lover or partner, for anyone choosing that method to find a husband, lover or wife, and doesn’t know that every word is gilded with white lies, ought to have their head examined.

But apart from those exaggerations, there are other situations where those lies are demanded if we want to get along with the world.  They are so much  a part of being civilized that not to tell an occasional one can be cruel and inhuman.  Our culture is built around the lies we tell each other, and without them, this world might be better in some ways, but then it could/would be much worse in other ways.  Take a look.

If we didn’t tell a few, we’d soon have no friends, and peppering a few white ones here and there, is the only way to keep them.  There’s no way you can tell your long-time friend what you actually think of the clothes she often chooses, or what you really think of her new boy friend, or worse still, of her husband.  Wow.

The old adage says: “White lies are the oil that keeps life’s ‘machinery’ running smoothly,” and the one who penned those words had certainly been ‘around the block’ and knew the score.

Who could be so cruel as to tell a bride that she isn’t beautiful, or that the new born baby isn’t a living doll, even though everyone knows that newborns all look like Winston Churchill, and from every picture ever taken of him, he wasn’t famous for his good looks.

Histories of nations show us that wars are started when nations begin telling the truth about their plans, and Peace comes only when the leaders start lying.  Think it over, think it over.

And politicians have only one goal, i.e. to be elected. And the slogan of everyone of them, only in their own words is, “This world, (Country, State, City, County) is in a mess and I’m the only one who knows how to fix it.”  And every other word they speak is an outcrop of that lie.
And then they start telling us what we want to hear.  They know they’re lying, as when the first President Bush said about taxes, “Read my lips. Read my lips. I won’t raise your taxes.”  Shakespeare said it best, “What fools we mortals be.”

But inasmuch as few of us will ever run for high office, let’s get down to the everyday kind of lie.  Routine lies.  “How are you?” we ask.  “Fine, how are you?” they answer with another lie, and we say “Fine.” Lies, both of them, and, truthfully, we aren’t  even asking about their health, but just, in modern lingo,  saying, “Hello.”  And unnecessary lies pile atop each other.

My mother told that same lie, and it maddened me as a child, because often, I knew she wasn’t feeling fine, and wondered why she lied. I was punished with a swift whack on the butt when I told a lie, and yet no one criticized her for her lies.  Well, in time I learned. 

Like Mom, if I’m ill or have something wrong, I lie and tell no one. Oh, once it’s over I talk all over the place, but until then, I lie, and lie and lie.  And silently apologize to my mother.

But, again, to get down to everyday  living, lies are not only wanted, but needed.  You meet a friend for lunch and she walks across the restaurant you wonder what in the world happened to her hair, and doesn’t she have a mirror?  Is she blind?   But as she sits down, your first words are, “Oh, you have a new hairdo.”

See, you didn’t actually say a lie, but it was implied and she beams, thinks you said her hair is wonderful, and that she looks terrific.  You keep your thoughts to yourself, and everyone’s happy.  But, oh me, just maybe it’s a  good thing  you don’t know what she might be  thinking about your hair.

And, as you witness the wedding vows of a friend, you can almost see the divorce papers waving in the offing, But did you tell the truth, when she  gushingly asked, “Oh, isn’t he just wonderful?”

No, you didn’t think that, but you smiled an agreement with her as you inwardly  thought, “I think he’s a drip, a gambler, a cheat and before a year is over, you’ll be wondering why you married him.”  But you lie.  After all, you want to have her for a friend after the fireworks are over, and, in today’s world, marriages can be of short stuff,  while friendships are for life.

I know, and you know, of huge sad happenings in someone’s past, and tell a lie to not reveal what is past and over done with.  I knew of the event by accident, chose to be silent, to insure other’s happiness, and my lips are sealed forever.  Who am I to be the arbiter of another’s future happiness, or heartache and sorrow.  You be the judge.

Yes, You, me and all of us, have seen when the white lie, that sweet lie, the kind lie, the blessed lie was actually the kindest words ever spoken, and in time knew it as the most needed ‘truth’ ever given.  A blessing for all. 

Yes, there  are times when the White Lie is the most wonderful words ever spoken.  Okay?  And don’t try to tell me that you didn’t see yourself mirrored in every word I’ve written.

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