I suppose you’ve all heard about the troubles at My Space. Predators gain access to young victims by pretending to be someone and something they are not. But many of the victims do the same- they lie- about their age, their sex, their situations.
A local news report this morning is warning citizens about a man posing as a new police officer in order to gain access to homes of the elderly. He lies about his position and authority.
Last week I discovered that someone who presented a “problem” to me and asked for my help, lied to me.
And don’t get me started on politicians or actors or journalists.
It’s a problem rampant among us- people lie. Duh. One of the things I’ve enjoyed about the television program House is that one of the foundation principles of the doctor’s diagnosis rubric is people lie.
We all lie. I admit its in our nature. I seldom tell anyone my correct weight. I may hedge about my personal finances. I might not answer truthfully if you ask me what I think about your new haircut. However, for the most part, I’m an honest person. I would never lie about something I’m going to do for you. I wouldn’t lie about who I am. I wouldn’t lie about anything important. Therein is the problem. What is important to me is obviously not held in quite so high regard by the next person!
My penchant for honesty also costs me some pain. Because I’m honest, I seldom notice that people are not being honest with me. I assume everyone has the same values until they show me otherwise. So I get hurt before I realize that people lie. I’ve had parents lie to me about helping their child with homework. I’ve had people lie to me about projects they are going to complete. I’ve had people lie to me about money they owe me. I’ve had people lie…about nearly everything. But I still approach life with a sense of trust. I still believe most people are honest…until they lie to me.
Honesty is a character trait we learn at an early age. Most of us were punished severely for lying to our parents about our actions. However, I don’t remember being rewarded very often for being honest. I think if you get in trouble and you admit that you made a mistake your parents ought to cut you some slack. Didn’t work that way at my house! I remember a very foolish lie I told my mother when I was about five years old. I’d been playing outside for so long that I wet my pants. So I changed and did the only thing I could think of- I put the wet pants in my baby brother’s crib!! I tried to convince her that he was somehow responsible for them. Perhaps that’s why I can’t lie; I’m not good at it!!
This problem with lies has escalated because of the anonymity of cyperspace. As we blog and email and search the worldwide web we can be anyone we choose. We can create personas that are designed to impress, manipulate, or exploit others. We can lie about anything and everything. It’s a dangerous world out there and many people will choose to do just that. Let’s choose a different path. Let’s be honest and just be ourselves.