It starts out innocent enough, beginning with a lie and ending in a quagmire of polluted runoff. In some ways, due to our cultural mores, we’re all guilty and perhaps the best way to change our future is to be aware of our flaws. Remember the Aesop fable about the Monkey and the Dolphin? When the ship sinks and the dolphin comes to rescue the drowning monkey you’d think the monkey would be humble but instead tells a bold-faced lie to the dolphin and ends up in deep trouble, thus the moral of the story is: don't tell lies.
I unintentionally practice lying on my dogs. “Sure, you go outside for a few minutes and I’ll give you a snack.” An hour later, they wonder where the snacks are and they look at me as if they don’t trust me anymore. When I go somewhere, I tell them I’ll be back soon, even if it’s hours and hours later. They know when I’m lying. I’d make a horrid politician. We can’t help it. Lying is part of life and yes, even honest, churchgoing angels have complimented the inedible church casserole or the funny looking little bundle of joy. There are no ugly babies, right?
After a while, we begin to believe the lies. Soon we’re immune to our friend’s lies and we accept their lies as sweet-talk wrapped around kindness. We call them white lies.
“My butt is curvy, not fat.” (Sentiment shared by a famous reality show star.)
“He loved my book.” (A very short review-probably didn’t finish reading the entire book)
“Nutella is made of nuts. It’s good for you.”(I’ll never dispute this.)
“We have unbiased reporting.” (Really? Media equivalent of a used Yugo salesperson saying, ‘trust me’.)
“You paint better than Monet.”(Overly friendly and slightly suspicious assessment of your first painting.)
“That color looks good on me—sometimes.” (Probably never.)
“Mohair sweaters don’t itch.”(Said, the holiday-help at the department store.)
“That’s a nice hairstyle.” (Is it? From which angle?)
“I thought my emails are private.” (And you believe in Santa?)
“I did a lot of research before buying that lemon.” (Auto ads don’t count as research.)
“Bacon is better for you than fruit. Think of all the sugar in that fruit.”(Proteins and fruit carbs are both necessary and this argument can go on for hours—believe what you want to believe.)
“You sing better than Adele and Mariah rolled into one.” (I was told Celine, but okay.)
“These pants look good.” (Sorry, they don’t look good in any light—okay, maybe in the dark-pitch dark.)
Recently, we’ve heard some doozies such as the finger-pointing Senator who said small hands meant another body part is also small. Uglier still was the other candidate retorting and oversharing, as if it mattered to the world.
Don’t elected officials know that there are much worse things to worry about than their personal image issues? Who are they lying to anyway? Lest we forget, even the rescued monkey had to lie!!! By the time November rolls around, I’m afraid voters will have collective trust anxiety, exactly like my two skeptical Chihuahuas!