Friday, October 05, 2007

People Do Lie

We must be wary of lies. I wish I didn't have to write this, but it is true. The world isn't such a utopian place as we would like to believe.

There are people who lie, cheat, steal, rob, betray, injure and even murder.

I read about con-artists in the newspapers and even met them in real life. A beggar telling that he lost his wallet and needs a bus trip back. (Buy him the bus ticket, don't give money). Someone asking for money to buy food. (Give him/her food. Not money.) A guy asking for money because he's unemployed. (I pointed to Subway Sandwiches..."Get a job. They're hiring.")

But even worse are the crooks in business suits. Who talk of "market appreciation", "great opportunity". They can even rent hotel function rooms complete with buffet dinners.

There won't be an end to them.

Even more diabolical are people who pose as potential boyfriends/girlfriends on the Internet and use emotional manipulation to con them of money.

Then there are liars who could be your colleagues and business partners. An accountant told me that bad debts eat up 5% of business revenue. I wonder how many told them "The check is in the mail." Or how about colleagues who claim "I planned this and implemented this" taking credit from other people.

Lying isn't as uncommon as you think. Not just kids fibbing about doing their homework, parents do it too. Promising them things they cannot do or won't do. I know one mother who would exaggerate the truth or lie to create guilt in her husband or children she wanted to influence.

The final nail in the coffin is that we are one of the best liars to ourselves. The number one killer of people isn't cancer or heart disease. It's denial. People tell themselves that they're going to be alright, that there's no need to go for a check up and die when it's too late. Or telling ourselves that a relationship's okay, when an outsider would observe that it's sliding downhill.

Isn't truth so important?

Perhaps another skill we need in life, is to learn to discern lies from truth.

Judges need this skill everyday to make judgments. I wonder how they can handle listening to people tell tall tales in court everyday. Policemen need it. Teachers need it. Businessmen need it. Kids need it. Adults need it. Senior Citizens need it. As long as we live in this world, everyone needs it.

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