Let’s be honest; everybody lies. We even lie when we tell our kids, “Honesty is the best policy,” because in our heart of hearts we know it’s not always the best policy. We cover our lying asses by calling them “little white lies.” Is that the opposite of big black lies? Isn’t that unfair to anything (or anyone) Black? But, as usual, I digress.
Let us count the top ten (according to LeeZard) little white lies (You can add your own to the list):
2. Tooth fairy
4. Hanukkah Harry (Thank you, SNL!)
5. I was only kidding.
6. I had a great time. I’ll call you.
7. No, you don’t look fat in that outfit.
8. I love your hair like that.
9. Fake orgasms
10. (Sometimes) I love you.
As the top four attest, we even create great myths around our lies. Then there’s the myth of George Washington’s young admission that he did, indeed, cut down the cherry tree. Does that mean GW never, ever lied? Puh-leeze; the man commanded the Continental Army. History shows that he not only had his small band of spies in New York City while the British occupied it but he also spread disinformation (Lies!!) throughout the Revolutionary War. Yup, war is hell.
Politicians? ‘Nuff said.
|Yeah, that's me with with Grandma|
My two loyal, regular readers know that I grew up in a perpetual lie because my family invented the game of Grandma. It seems the family consensus was that Grandma could not handle bad news so we developed sometimes-elaborate conspiracies to hide things from her. The most successful conspiracy was the year+ my brother spent in Vietnam. As far as Grandma knew, he never left Okinawa. Likewise the 17-weeks he spent recovering from post-Vietnam Malaria, Mononucleosis and, Tuberculosis. We played Grandma with everyone on Grandma’s side of the family. It seems they were all badnewsophobic.
Granted the latter were not a little white lie but they bring me to my point in all this. Big or small and no matter how justified they seem, lies can do damage. And, no, I am not trying to change the world here; that would be impossible. All I’m suggesting is that we give up the ghost of “never telling a lie.” Who among us can honestly say they’ve never lied in their life?
Perhaps the most honest person I know is Joe, a long-time sober pal of mine in AA – which suggests “rigorous honesty” as a part of recovery. When he shares in AA meetings, Joe will often admit, “I can’t say that I don’t lie anymore. What I can say is that I lie a lot less.”
Now that’s honesty!