“Always tell the truth. That way, you don’t have to remember what you said.”
I’ve had times when I’ve told the smallest lie, whether it was to cover over some little detail or feign my affection, and as the situation has slunk away, thought to myself—‘Gee, I’m good.’
What a fool was I in those times! And yet, I think we all relate. I see this practice played out in daily interaction all the time.
See, the thing is, our very human nature has us concealing truths for a plethora of reasons—for some of these it’s more of a necessity than for others; for instance to protect someone from a likely predator. But, devious tongue-in-cheek lying is never a good thing, for at its base it’s a form of self-deceit—we’ll not even pick up we’re doing it half the time.
Ralph Waldo Emerson said:
“Truth is beautiful, without doubt; but so are lies.”
This veiled beauty is the one above and this is what we see in our moments—but the cost is our self-deceit, which has an ironically consistent flick-back effect, hurting ourselves and our relationships eventually. This can manifest itself from a lack of authenticity of exchange to out-and-out cheating etc.
Lying truly is never cool. At best we do it to protect good things i.e. it is used in necessary wisdom—for we have no choice; but at worst it’s a sinkhole syndrome cascading us toward further and more awkward sins—sins unintelligible to the naked eye.
The Twain quote at top is a most fundamental thing to bear in mind.
Telling the truth as much as we can—and taking pride in that, not for our “efficient” lying—is a classic purity that sees the soul purveying the quality purged of mental anguish, which otherwise needs to reach routinely into the deeper recesses of the memory: ‘What did I say back then... what “truth” did I tell.’ Oh, what unnecessary stress!
For lack of truth always tends to bite back at us at the least expected moment. To operate consistently with a fresh and clear conscience is a marvel to the spirit, allowing it to soar with unparalleled joy. This joy feeds our confidence, and in turn, our self-esteem—for our love is real. This makes us feel good.
Tell the truth. The truth is worth the costs, always.
© 2010 S. J. Wickham.