New! Top Ten Things to Do to Make 2016 the Worst Year Ever!
by Jefferson Holbrook, DSC.
— Step # 5 Lying! —
Just a quick recap: As part of the Self-Help articles (Selfish-Helpless), we have so far learned 4 key ways to make 2016 our Worst Year Ever!
4. Holding Grudges
[I couldn’t resist…because it’s almost “Summertime”!]
The 5th way (fifth wave?) we can ensure that 2016 is our Worst Year Ever is by lying! Let’s talk terms. I have to say that I am not a huge fan of the term “dishonest.” When I am accused of being dishonest, it sounds a little like I am being dissed. I prefer the term “honesty-challenged.” This slight prevarication is similar to what is employed when people use the term “vertically-challenged” to refer to short folks.
My young son has a unique way with words himself and has coined a useful term for not being truthful. He calls it “fibbering.” I like this term because it sounds playful and that works here because, as we will see, there is a lot of fun to be had by lying. We’ll explore later how lying can destroy our relationships and friendships, thereby giving us a lot more time to ourselves.
Think of all the work we could get done or errands we can run (including, but not limited to, sobbing wordlessly at random stop signs around the city) if we did not have those pesky loved ones in our lives.
To get started, let’s see what the experts have to say about lying… “But better to be hurt by the truth than comforted with a lie.” Khaled Hosseini
To be fair, there’s nothing particularly comforting about Pinocchio’s lies. He’s not really fun at dinner parties when he’s going on and on about how great his new job is and he is OBVIOUSLY lying.
So what happens? His nose keeps growing, slapping drinks out of people’s hands, knocking over lamps, etc.
Mark Twain had a famous quote about lying. “A lie can travel half way around the world while the truth is putting on its shoes.”
Although it does seem to be a variation on this notion put forth by Winston S. Churchill. “A lie gets halfway around the world before the truth has a chance to get its pants on.”
Ironically lying is quite called for when someone is showing you photos of their newborn who actually LOOKS like Winston S. Churchill, and you are required by current social convention to affirm that the baby does in fact look “cute.”
So, which is it: pants or shoes? Perhaps both Twain and Churchill were thinking of a truth that needs to dress itself up, maybe in order to appear more believable? Sometimes, quite literally, the truth is not quite as believable as a lie. The whole story about George Washington chopping down a cherry tree, then lying about it, then coming clean in a moment of soul-searching, forgiveness-seeking, noble glory, is totes fiction. This story was manufactured by a reporter at the time whose intention was to help create a mythos around political figures in an effort to create heroes for a young country to emulate and idolize.
“I lie to myself all the time. But I never believe me.” S. E. Hinton, The Outsiders
But how can we use lying to destroy our relationships, you might be wondering? Well, your relationships might not be on the firmest footing anyway. This concept of a lie being more believable than the truth needs to be explored further. Try this experiment with your significant other person. Tell them some wonderful news that you just got a raise or a new job or even that you just won some award. Do they seem excited and enthusiastic, or suspicious and skeptical?
Then, tell them some outrageous lie about some horrible thing you have done. Which did they find the more believable? If they elect to believe the truth about your good news then there is hope for you crazy cats. If, however, they opt to swallow the line about something horrible that you have done, then your relationship is going south faster than a spicy burrito…
One of my favorite authors, Stephen King, says that “Fiction is the truth inside the lie.” Albert Camus affirms this when he says that “Fiction is the lie through which we tell the truth.” No story or movie or book would ever be successful without a simple step of mental agility. This particular maneuver has quite the clever name as well, Willing Suspension of Disbelief.
To enjoy the show at the cinema, to voraciously consume page after delicious page of a great novel, we must be willing to entertain, if but for a moment, that incredible fact that what we are being shown or told, is in fact happening, or in some circumstances, could happen.
I know what you’re saying, “Lying sounds great, but I’m just not good at it!” Never fear, I’m here to help.
How do we learn to lie if we are not, by nature, dishonest people? Well, Virginia Woolf points us in the right direction (and who’s afraid of her?) when she said “If you do not tell the truth about yourself you cannot tell it about other people.” This is important. Lying begins with us. If we don’t lie about ourselves, to ourselves, then how can we expect to be able to effectively fib to others?
And, remember, you can not spell “families” without “lies.”
You might be thinking, “Hey, didn’t I hear somewhere that bad things might happen if you lie?” To that I have to say, “Whatev.” Consequences? Schmonsequences!
V. S. Naipaul, noted in his book In a Free State, that “The only lies for which we are truly punished are those we tell ourselves.” This is great news! As long as we keep some kind of track of what lies we tell ourselves we can perhaps mitigate the consequences of lying to ourselves. Sociopaths make this look so easy. Their extreme emotional compartmentalization skills set the bar pretty high when it comes to lying.
To sum up, start small. So called white lies are great starters. Lie about the weather, whether that outfit is flattering to your mate, then move on to medium sized lies like age and income. A key rationalization here is to tell yourself that you are just lying to spare someone’s feelings! Before long, you’ll be lying about your whereabouts, inventing intricate histories involving people and places that don’t even exist!
The benefits are obvious, but let me reiterate. Not only is lying poisonous to relationships and friendships, but employers and customers don’t seem to like it much either. So, if you are successful in this 5th concept, you can lose not only your friends, and family, but also your job, and maybe one day your freedom! Then you have truly trashed your year and made 2016 Your Worst Year Ever!
Jefferson Holbrook, DSC, received a Doctor of Science in Communications from Tudor College of Earlscroft University and has published numerous essays, articles, poems, short stories and blogs. He is also the author of two collections of poetry. He lives with his family in the southeastern United States.
© Copyright 2016 Jefferson Brian Holbrook and Kingdom of the Son. All rights reserved.