With what is going on politically in the US this quote popped into my mind, I may have used it before but it is so appropriate now.
In a time of universal deceit telling the truth is a revolutionary act. George Orwell
Yesterday I heard someone talking about the absence of truth in everything we see and read. It is a incredible indictment of how things function in today’s world. If we are smart we have to question everything and IF we are good at research we may find the truth….but there is no guarantee. It is so different from the world I grew up in. I know it wasn’t perfect but the “average” person could be taken at their word. It was not OK to lie. It was not all right to distort the truth until it’s unrecognizable.
It makes me realize that one of the most important things that should be taught in schools is to take nothing at face value but learn to dig for more information. What a thing to have to teach children….that so much of everything is false.
I feel lucky that my first degree was in history which meant I spent a lot of time doing research. I know how to hunt for facts and sniff out exaggerations and falsehoods. That has helped me so much in my life.
I guess I will be passing that on to my great grandchildren now.
3 thoughts on “When did lying become OK?”
“When did lying become OK?” It’s a subject i often think about. Thank you for sharing your perspectives. I’ll add my two cents worth.
I believe that lying is a fundamental tool for people who believe that their entitlement supersedes almost everything else.
Children do it, i’ve done it as a child and adult up to the age of around 25 or 30, and so have adults i’ve observed as long as i’ve lived.
My father always presented himself as an honest and truthful man, personally and professional. And i believed him until one night at dinner when he admitted that he had managed to fool the tax man by fudging the numbers on his tax forms, and hiding some of his income. He had had a few martinis i’m sure, and never recognized the paradox. “Cheaters never prosper” was his regular admonition. LOL I guess he forgot that night at dinner.
However, that lesson motivated me to always trust, but to verify if anything rode on the asserted truth.
But have humans become fundamentally more dishonest than they always were potentially?
It looks that way; but populations have sky-rocketed, and resources, including money, have become depleted or are being hoarded by a privileged few. With 7.7 billion people in our world competition is stiffer, as are the threats to success, whatever that might mean.
So justified tactics for many will inevitably include lying. People will do whatever they have to do in order to survive in their environments, including their business or political environments.
When did lying become OK? For some it always was and always will be. It’s the solutions which seem to elude humanity.
I agree that “one of the most important things that should be taught in schools is to take nothing at face value but learn to dig for more information. What a thing to have to teach children….that so much of everything is false.”
So if we want to balance trust and safety, a fundamental missing piece is that people are taught why lying is not productive to themselves, to others, to relationships, and to society as a whole. When people understand and accept that lying is harmful, hurtful, and often painful, they will stop doing it; or at least the functional ones will.
If they don’t accept the principles underlying being honest and truthful, children will not behave honestly and truthfully as adults.
Sorry for being as wordy as i have been, but i appreciate the subject and spend a great deal of time thinking and hypothesizing about truthful and untruthful behaviour.
Love that you turned this into a post. You are so right!
Comments are closed.