Thursday, February 18, 2010

The Invention of “Lying”

Just the other weekend, I rented a popular DVD movie called, "The Invention of Lying,” starring Ricky Gervais, Jennifer Garner, and Jonah Hill. This movie opened my eyes. The first few scenes were of conversations between co-workers, a man and a woman on their first date, and people interacting with complete strangers. The characters are brutally honest: they share their thoughts with total disregard for the consequences of their words, many times without the slightest sense of the social cues we’ve come to naturally understand. In this movie, life is lived without a filtered consciousness. The truth in everything said was said without a second thought, and with no regrets.

In a world of wholesome truth, one man discovered how to lie. From this self-discovery he used his new tactic of lying to get the things he wanted in life. But of course with any new found fascination, when used excessively, consequences usually follow. Eventually this one “white lie” told by a man, grew and grew into a story that blew out of proportion to the extent that the common people were hanging off of his every word. His true intention behind his ‘white lie” was to bring peace and ease to his dying mother, but soon became this fabricated story, that everyone believed- because deceit did not exist to them.

This is a fictional world. The world we live in is no where near “their” world. The world we live in is corrupt. Lies, betrayals, and sin live hand-in-hand. Our world is beautiful too, full of love, beauty, compassion, and relationships. Yet why can’t we achieve a world without corruption?

A “white lie” (noun)- is a minor or unimportant lie, especially one uttered in the interests of tact or politeness. Our daily lives are filled with these lies; many times we may not even realize it. White lies are said to protect someone’s feelings, to use as a scapegoat, or to say in replacement of the truth. I am guilty of this. It is a horrible habit and I wish I knew why and how it was formed. Lying is a sin. I ask God for forgiveness and strength all the time to change my habit, and this fault of mine, but continue to work on improving one day at a time.

I have lost friends, hurt others feelings, and given false promises- I am not perfect. I have given hope to loved ones in dark times, cheered up colleagues, and brought smiles to complete strangers.

After seeing what a world would be like if there were no lies, no hesitation in saying anything, I know that I would not want to live in a world built around pure utter honesty. I would give anything to stay in our world- even if it means you can not always tell if the people in your life are sincere and authentic, that is part of how we live our life and grow as individuals. Betrayals, lies, and dishonesty help us build our backbones in life and contribute to make us who we are inside and out. Everyday is a new day of battling out the destruction's we are exposed too, and finding the truth and certainties life throws at us.

"We tell lies when we are afraid... afraid of what we don't know, afraid of what others will think, afraid of what will be found out about us. But every time we tell a lie, the thing that we fear grows stronger." ~Tad Williams

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