no human is immune to dishonesty. on some level, we all do it. recently i was asked if there were varying degrees of dishonesty and i have spent some time thinking about that.
yes, there are. i believe there are, anyway.
if someone asks me if i am fine when i am not and i say, "yes." it's a form of dishonesty. my motive? to simply move on about my business and not worry or intrigue the other person. there is no real personal interest in ordinary context. it's a formality. it's a instance of personal privacy.
on the other hand, if someone asks me if i went to the park and i say "no" despite having been at the park... i am upping the stakes. my motive? depending on the person, i want them to "think" a certain way. no i wasn't at the park, i was being miserable. no i wasn't at the park because i told you i was doing something else. i have a selfish interest. not acceptable but not the end of the world. i could have said "no i wasn't at the park because i told you i was going to be somewhere else and that would make you lose trust in me." perhaps true but still not entirely true. go down another level. maybe: "yes. i went to the park. i know i told you i was going to help you move but i just really didn't want to."
lies are complex.
and just as these the above examples vary in degree, so do the substaintally important ones--like the real answers to the following questions:
"did you go to school today?"
"are you seeing someone else?"
"did you take the money out of my wallet?"
"where have you been?"
depending on the who and the who, these can cause some serious pain to the person asking the question and the person receiving the answer. a parent, a lover, a friend, a spouse. depending on the circumstances, promises, relationship, and answers... the dishonest answers definitely constitute a higher degree of a 'lie.' because it takes dishonesty to first, steal the money. and another degree to lie about it.
a liar can debate his or her side for hours. i didn't tell you because i thought it would hurt you. i think that is the greatest lie ever told. if you are so selective--so precise--in just your thinking about others, perhaps you should use that discipline in your actions. if you KNOW something is going to hurt someone, the lie is just another tool used to hurt them. by telling the truth, it at least demonstrates a level of respect.
i believe in people. some say maybe too much. not because i'm a good person, maybe i'm the most deceitful of all. i believe in people because i want them to believe in me. i want them to know that if i have lied before, i am not going to do it again. and that most of my trust is still in tact, that 99% of the time, i tell the truth. and that 99% of the past, i've told the truth. and that makes me who i am and also makes me value that quality in others.
i've told terrible lies before for one reason or another. were my intentions always good? absolutely not. was i looking out for the other person? sometimes? was i looking out for myself? all the time. we have you on camera, stealing the eyeliner. no, not me. maybe i was hell bent on not being wrong in another's eyes; to me that was good. or terrified that i was going to be physically hurt. but i know, as an adult, when it comes to love, parenting, family, friends and trust, you gotta dig deep. those people are going to love you no matter what. but whether they respect you, trust you, continue to have a relationship with you, is another.
you know what's right. do what's right. or try. or try to make up for it.
you shouldn't be so careless with others' feelings.
i am saying these things to myself. if our intentions and motives change so easily, maybe we don't know who we are or what we want. i am fortunate enough to have close enough relationships that people will look me in the eye and say, "this isn't you." i have daughters that are watching me as an example so i have to be diligent in my quest to be better. the worst thing i could ever lose is their trust. we all make mistakes. i expect the truth so i should deliver it under the most critical circumstances.
will i go around telling everyone who asks me if i am fine that no, i am not? that i am falling apart? no. will i expect those who love me to stand by me while i shatter into a billion pieces again? no. i will not. because they have done it before and i know better. i know they are there for me. i know there are ways to never go back to that place. i hope that others can see that i am on the other side of that, too. that i am okay with the truth. that i would rather gulp down 500 gallons of the bitter truth than enjoy one million swallows of the sweetest lie. because in the end, there is truth in being human. there is truth in our flaws and forgiveness. there is also something about being a person that won't accept anything less than the truth. acceptance isn't always delivered in the form of love. sometimes it is delivered in the form of sadness, regret, distance, and pain. but it's the truth. the broken-down, raw, i-was-careless-with-your-feelings truth. and i accept whatever my consequences are. i did this.
the truth wasn't ever promised to always be pretty, or have some redeeming outcome or reward like they show in the movies, but there is something beautiful about setting the truth free.
polonius told his son, 'above all, to thine own self be true... ' am i foolish enough to assume that polonius had never been untrue? maybe he was the biggest liar and that's how he knows. and he wants better for his son. he wants his son to do/be better. even if he starts today. it is never too late. people who lie aren't selfish. they are probably in a lot of pain. being honest is the best thing you can give YOURSELF. being honest is the ultimate form of self-love. we do not have to live with those that tells us lies; they are the ones that have to face themselves. they are not damaging us, they are damaging themselves.
if you walk away, i'll walk away.
just tell me which road i should take.
i don't want to risk our paths crossing someday.
so you walk that way. i'll walk this way.
- bright eyes
this is all a matter of interpretation. i am not judging or saying, well, anything. i am just thinking. i don't even know that i agree that the truth is always the best answer. especially ones from the past that make us who we are and what we value. quite contrary. i am saying, start today, self. start being the person you are. that you were born to be. that you want others to see. you've made more mistakes than you can possibly count. stop. and from now on, each decision, each action ... do right. forgive yourself for the past and make the best of what's next. you fucked up. again. so now, start with the smallest thing and go from there.
and then you are being true. to you.
that's more selfish than any lie i've ever told.