To my readers, sorry for not having blogged for around six days. Currently, I’m getting bagged by my schoolwork and am finding not enough time. But at least I should be able to blog regularly starting from today.
In my last post, I wrote an epic simile comparing lying to an inexperienced swimmer jumping off an helicopter. Today, I would like to focus on the nature of lies and why we lie. The first part of my philosophy on lies- we lie because we want things our way. This can be seen in many examples throughout history and literature.
Part of this wanting things our way can be invoked by fear. In fact, fear is a common cause of many lies. For instance, let us take the typical lie- a little boy goes to his father. The father asks him, what did you score on the math test you took today? And the boy answers, Why, I scored 100%, when in actuality he only scored a 50/100. (And yes, that little boy was me.) Here, the cause of this lie was the boy being scared of his father being mad at him for a bad score. If he had told the truth, then what should have happened was a torturous punishment from his father. Since this little boy wanted things his way, or in other words, he wanted to be free of any punishment, he lied.
Not all lies are governed by fears. Take for instance of the boy who cried wolf. So here was a boy whose job was to watch over the sheep. If ever a wolf was to appear, he would have to cry, “Wolf!” and the villagers would come up to the shepherding hill to fight off the wolf. So, as the boy was watching over the sheep, he thought that is was pretty lonely. So he cried “Wolf” falsely, and the villagers came up, all worried and intent on attack wolves. When they discovered that it was all a prank, they all went back to business as usual. The boy repeated this incident one more time, and again the villagers got fooled one more time. The third time, however, when a wolf actually came, the villagers didn’t come, thinking it was just a joke again, and so all the boy could do was watch the sheep being eaten up. What the boy was doing was essentially lieing to the villagers that there were wolves. He lied because of a need to feel un-lonely, and was willing to do it at expense of the villagers’ energy. In other words, greediness was the motivator of this lie. He wanted things his way (being unlonely), and therefore lied for it.
So we see fear and greediness as the two main motivators of lies. Now the second part of my philosophy- all lies are like bombs- some tick faster and some tick slower. Lies build up upon each other, and in the end, they explode. For instance, go back to the kid who lied to his father about his test score. Suppose the father is going through his son’s backpack and comes upon a crumpled 50/100 test. When asked about it, the kid lies that it was from a previous test a long time ago in which he already told the father about it. The father looks at the test and discovers that it is a test on linear equations, and knowing that his son is currently learning it, asks the child how he can be tested on it such a long time ago if he is just currently learning it. The child then lies again to his math-lousy father that it is a different kind of linear equation math. The father then goes to a math classmate of his child and discovers it is not so. The child then lies again that that classmate hates him and wants him to be punished. As you can see, there is a pattern ongoing. Each time, the child has to keep on lying to cover up another lie that is covering up another lie that is covering up another lie and so on. And all of these lies all resulted from only one single lie. All these lies are stacking up, and no doubt it will collapse sooner or later.
Notice another thing, too- this example of the lying child can take over the time span of only one day or for a whole year. So even if you think you got away with a lie, very possibly that lie will haunt you back so, after some period of time. I believe that nobody cannot get caught lying, and even right now if you think that you got away with a certain minor lie, it will come back to haunt you, perhaps the next day, the next year, the next decade, or even at the time of your death. You never know.
My last part of my philosophy on lies- people lie all the time. In fact, you lie all the time. I lie all the time. There is not a single person who does not lie at all for one day. Even a guy who is trapped in a room all by himself is lying. Even a mute person is lying. Because they are all lying to themselves. How do we lie to ourselves? Why, by simply dreaming. Sometimes, I dream that I’m in the NBA being the next Jeremy Lin. I in a sense create an illusion to myself that says to me, “Man, Titus, you are so pro.” However, once I wake up to reality, all of that is gone. In other words, by dreaming, one lies to his brain that he is this and he is that, but once reality hits us, that lie is broken and we face the cruel hard truth. So a mute guy might be lying to himself that he can talk. A guy trapped all alone might be lying to himself that he has a friend right next to him. My basic point- dreaming is lying.
Of course, dreaming is not always bad. This translates into the fact that lying is not always bad. In fact, lying is most of the time good. We lie to ourselves most of the time to temporarily relieve ourselves from the cold, hard truth. To temporarily have things the way we want it to be (referring back to my first point). As one can see, sometimes even the truth is bad, since it causes us to be downtrodden.
Most lies aren’t bad, contrary to societal values. So what makes certain lies bad and certain lies good? Let’s put that for a later time.