Lying — Good or Bad? Discuss!

Liar, liar, pants on fire

nose is longer than a telephone wire

Pinocho de esguello

I find it completely ironic that we espouse to our children that lying is never acceptable, and then we lie to them. In fact, when children do tell the truth (as in, "That lady is really fat.") we admonish them for being mean, cruel or not caring about people's feelings. Obviously we're not about "tell the truth" all the time.

What I've trained my chico on for the second was is, even though you STATED the truth, you weren't asked. Making truthful observations is not always useful, kind or polite. While your sentiment was true, there was no purpose for it. He gets that I expect honesty, but that it can be second to kindness.

The fact is, we all lie. We lie for many reasons: to be kind, to spare feelings, to get out of trouble, to buy us time, to keep from being stuck doing something we don't want to, etc. Most of our lies are ones that spare the feelings of someone else. These are generally acceptable lies. After all, they aren't harmful.

However, people who lie for effect, to win arguments, to make themselves appear (insert positive adjective here), or to weasel out of owning up to something they are responsible for, these people are a pain. These are the people who will get into your face and demand you trust them, then lie about their lies. They are harmful in every manner, and what they breed is worse.

Truthfully, it's never really about the lie. It's about the lack of trust seed that gets sowed every time you lie to someone. Sooner or later, when the weed is huge and overwhelming, the lie comes to light. Their feelings of being duped or being made a fool are the issue, not the lie itself. It's that you didn't trust the person enough to accept what needed to be said.

Lies are tied up in pretty packages with lots of emotional bows. Sometimes they are necessary –like socks and underwear on Hanukkah. Sometimes, however, they conceal emotional pipe bombs that leave the person with shrapnel wounds for life.

Those lies are NEVER okay.

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