I imagine almost everyone is taught not to lie when a child. All of us probably heard, “You better not be lying to me” when we told our mothers a fib. But somewhere we’ve learned to lie. We also learned to categorize our lies: fibs, white lies, little lies, tall tales, etc.
It probably started when we became acquainted with Not Me. You remember this person. He’s the one who did all those things you were accused of. “Who spilled the orange juice?” “Who left the gate open?” “Who pushed Baby out of the swing?” Not Me was the culprit every time.
At some point we moved on to the style of lying a woman I used to work with advocated. She said, “I never advise anyone to lie. But you don’t have to tell everything you know.” So this was lying by omission. Just leave out some pertinent details. What you say is true; it’s just not all the truth.
Then we lie by leaving false impressions. Maybe we’re asked to serve on a committee. We agree but leave most of the work to other committee members. Yet when it’s time to accept congratulations on a job well done, we accept them just as though we deserve them. We act like we were an involved committee member when the truth is we did very little work on the project.
Some of us lie about our age. We just avoid answering the question if possible or we change the subject. We dress in youthful styles even if they are not appropriate any longer given the pull gravity has had on our figures, to say nothing of the additional pounds we’ve added over the years. We refuse to accept our grey hair (which, by the way, the Bible says is a mark of wisdom) and color our hair, thinking we look young once again. If we’d take a truthful look in the mirror, we’d see that we’re lying to ourselves as well as the rest of the world. Our hair no longer enhances our skin because while we weren’t looking, our skin tones changed when our hair got grey. We must admit wrinkles even if we call them smile lines don’t compliment our new hair color.
There are many ways to lie but I think it’s best to adhere to that first policy we were taught … to tell the truth.