...because they force us to face the truth about ourselves.
And the truth is we all lie. Everyone does it, so why are we so outraged when we're lied to? Could it be because we pinned our hopes on someone, let ourselves trust them, let ourselves trust IN them and then found out they were human? Where is all the self-righteous indignation coming from?
Here's the real truth.
We welcome the lie. We probably couldn't cope if everyone always told the truth. Remember that hilarious movie starring Jim Carrey called Liar, Liar? Jim Carrey plays a lawyer named Fletcher who is suddenly seized by the need to say exactly what's on his mind, no filter at all. Here's a small example:
Jane: Do you like my new dress?
What ever takes the focus off your head!
Of course there's a difference between a white lie and a whopper, the difference being, one we welcome and the other we spurn. But how do we know when the white lie has transcended the next level?
Last week I heard Dr. Laura weighing in on the Anthony Weiner scandal. She ran through the whole litany of what most people, women especially, were thinking about him...he's a liar, untrustworthy, a skank...and the list went on. But here's the interesting part, just the week before she had given a caller some very un-Dr. Laura-like advice. The caller, a female, said she had cheated on her husband once, had realized the mistake immediately, and had never done it again. She wanted to come clean about it to her husband.
And Dr. Laura said, "Don't."
Excuse me? Dr. Laura was advocating lying? What about the trust between spouses? She felt it would only serve to clear the wife's conscience and do nothing for the relationship, except ruin it. 'Forget about it and move on, and try your best to deal with the guilt because the harm would be pointlessly irreparable.'
At first I was shocked, but then I sorta got it.
It's OK to lie...as long as no one ever uncovers the truth.
We all loved Alex Rodriguez...before...but really, we all sorta knew he was using steroids, but we chose to ignore that and embrace his victories, his amazing at bats, his lock-in for the Baseball Hall of Fame. Why did the commission have to go and ruin it all for us? And now, the cheers at the stadium have turned to boos. And guess what, the lying goes on as Arod continues to lie to himself and his fans by appealing the commission's findings instead of gracefully admitting he was doping as did the other penalized players.
We're mad because he let us down after we chose to believe in him. That's right, we're mad because we chose wrong. What's really happening here is that we're mad at ourselves...but we're not being honest about that.
We choose to turn a blind eye to things that are too hurtful to truly know about. We lie to ourselves and we lie to others. We have all done it; we will all continue to do it. It's called self-preservation. It isn't pretty, but the fact is we pick and choose which lies we choose to believe and which ones we allow to outrage us. And that's OK...let's just be honest about it.