Honest Lies

Dishonesty is the worst form of disrespect. It’s a show of disrespect to yourself before it says anything about the value you place on others. Far too often we convince ourselves of the need for the lesser of two evils to justify the dishonesty, but in the process we set in motion a sequence of events that undermines the very same greater good that those lesser evils are supposed to serve.

It is so easy to shy away from being unpopular while claiming to uphold good relations. White lies aside, it’s the dark truths that we don’t have the courage to utter that convinces us that anyone else would have done the same thing; protect ourselves from vulnerability or weakness at all costs, because everyone does it, so it must be right. Vulnerability or weakness is only that if we care about appearing inept or incapable of fulfilling an expectation that others have of us. We start out by convincing ourselves that we dare not disappoint someone special and thus step on the slippery slope of dishonesty, instead of accepting that it is in fact our pride in not wanting to appear inept or incapable that we chose to hide in the first place.

But why hide it? Surely if they’re so special they will understand and love us for the weaknesses we hold within? Perhaps it’s because we made them special before they earned such stature in our lives? We build the pedestals that we place them on and then curse them for tumbling down from the top of it. We build those pedestals for them because believing that they are deserving of it feeds our need to be associated with such amazing humanness. It is the curse of needing validation and inclusion. That feeling of acceptance and not being alone. Too many sell their souls to fill that gap only to realise that the gap filled with lies and pretences evicted their soul in the process. It’s the easiest path to losing yourself to the world and then wondering why the world has no sweetness left in it. Perhaps such idealism has no place in a society that has normalised dishonesty.

The veneer of who we are is infinitely more important than the substance below the surface. That’s why so many are crushed the moment the veneer is stripped away and the substance of who they are is laid bare for them and the world to see. We polish the image and embellish it with intricate details, convinced that the detail is the substance, but still forgetting that it’s only for the facade. It only reveals the prettiness of the aesthetic while concealing the bitterness within. The bitterness spawned by failed relationships, dysfunctional homes, judgemental social structures, and a lack of authenticity in a life unlived.

Not everyone experiences life this way. There are some that have wholesome relationships, a healthy self esteem, and contribute meaningfully towards those around them with a healthy dose of gratitude in return. But given the level of rage in the world, the masses that hide from responsibility and seek abdication instead are by far the greater of the two groups. Given the trinkets and distractions that have formed the wealthiest industries in the world, the wholesome ones are few, and insular. Insular from fear of contamination, I suspect.

But reality is what we experience it to be. Lies or not, we’re all frogs boiling in the proverbial pot, adapting to the delusions as they form thick and fast around us, while becoming expert navigators through its jungle of deceit without noticing the life that such proficiency denies us. We ascend to the top of the canopies of that jungle and look down around us feeling triumphant and fulfilled, not realising that true fulfilment lies at the edge of the jungle in the sun-kissed fields waiting for us to sow the crops that we wish to reap, rather than reap the thorns of the jungle of deceit.

We lie with sincerity more often than we care to accept, because it’s the lie often spoken that becomes the truth. Our belief in it being true lends our sincerity to its telling, but does not in any way convert a lie to the truth. We’re all honest liars at some point in our lives. Problem is, those some points become many points, and eventually become the norm for too many of us. That is why the world is now a daydream that ends in a nightmare more often than it is a nightmare that ends in a pleasant awakening.

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