When I was about five years old, I took a beautiful blue crystal rosary from a classmate and told my mom I had “just found it.” I got in big trouble for taking it – and for lying about it. I learned then that lying is bad.
When I met my husband, years later, the thing that impressed me the most about him was that he never lied. He always did what he said he was going to do. Also, he had all the Great Books on his apartment bookshelf. I didn’t know till after we were married that he had never read any of them! (BTW, he never actually claimed he had.) Bottom line: His honesty was most important to me.
I’ve always tried to tell the truth, and I have the same standards for family and friends. I would think less of them if they lied, and, of course, I wouldn’t trust them nearly. Trust is such an important part of any relationship.
So why is it that we’ve gotten to this place in the United States where lying is acceptable, where it is ignored and overlooked?
I know politicians all lie, but I do remember a time, not that long ago, when lies were about not quite delivering the promises they made, like having to raise taxes instead of lowering them. Lying had a lot to do with campaign promises that were made to get votes and then couldn’t possibly be kept. And the politicians got in trouble for their lies, sometimes not getting re-elected.
But never in my lifetime have I seen so many lies coming from one person – blatant lies that can be disproved in a second, and usually are! But this doesn’t seem to matter to a lot of people.
Lies about the crowd size at the inauguration, the success of the hurricane relief in Puerto Rico, the lies about Russian interference, about the wall, about immigrants causing all our problems, about Obama not being a real American. The LA Times, a few weeks ago, said Trump’s story about the Russian meeting a few years ago has “changed” multiple times.
If MY story “changed,” people would call it what it is. A lie.
I hope we can go back – not to some former age where everything was supposedly Utopian – but just to a realization that the truth is important. It should be more important than money or power. It should be the most important value in our society. Why? Because the truth is important. In our daily relationships, the workplace, and our interactions between countries. There has to be a certain level of trust to keep this well-oiled machine of life running.
From our cars to our airplanes, our medical professionals, our spouses, the contractors who work on our electricity or gas, our water supply, products we buy every day from the grocery store, EVERYTHING involves a huge level of trust –– and the belief and knowledge that all those people involved are telling the truth.
I hope we can discourage this rampant disregard for the truth and get back to a semblance of honesty in our country. It won’t be easy, but I can’t imagine a world where the truth is forgotten. Where we all retreat into our own worlds and have no trust for anyone or anything. I hope it doesn’t come to that!