02 November 2011

NaBloPoMo: Why the Truth Matters

Today's blog prompt on NaBloPoMo is just silly: If you knew that whatever you ate next would be your last meal, what would you want it to be?  So, today, I'm picking my own topic: Why the Truth Matters

I started out my morning watching a video from TED.com entitled, "How to Spot a Liar".  

The stats were a little disheartening, though.  I like to think that most of the people that I meet or talk to on a day-to-day basis are honest people.  I like to think that I'm not being lied to up to 200 times a day (stat according to the video).  I like to think that our society has more integrity than that.

Ever since I was a teenager, I've had trouble spotting a liar.  I don't know if this is because I am too trusting or just plain stupid to the fact that people don't always tell the truth.  In fact, I'm so bad at this that I've had certain relationships where I've been lied to for years...only to be utterly shocked when the truth finally comes out.  There have been times where my naivety has had devastating consequences to me and the people around me.

So, what's the solution?  Do I abandon all trust and scrutinize strangers, friends, family, and even my own husband?

In the video, Pamela Meyer claims that a lie requires two people: one person to tell the lie and another person to accept it.  Is this true?  Are we participating in the lie by believing it?  Should we constantly be trying to "spot a liar" in our conversations with strangers, business acquaintances, and friends?

And while I'm not altogether proud of the fact that I'm easy to lie to, I kind of hope it doesn't change.  I like to be trusting of people, and I like to believe that, as Anne Frank put it, "Despite everything ... people are really good at heart."

Yes, I think that's about right: people are good, and I hope I always have that outlook.


Unknown said...

Stacy, this made me think. Essentially we are all liars in that we lie to ourselves and as an extension, to others. Are optimists, leaders, and motivators liars? Sure, but are what they spreading good and bad lies? Good lies give us hope, spare our feelings, help us move past things that aren't important. Whereas bad lies harm our society, destroy relationships and perpetuate self-destruction. Let's just hope that all this flagrant lying we do daily is the good kind.

Stacy Lynn said...

I agree with this, and I was thinking about it, too. Have you seen the movie, "The Invention of Lying"? It's pretty interesting to think about what our world would be like if we didn't tell any lies. After all, what is the good in telling someone that they are terrible at something, unintelligent, or something else equally hurtful? I think I'd rather be lied to in that case.

In the talk, the speaker does say that most of those lies are "little white lies". But still, it gave me pause to think that I'm being lied to 10 to 200 times a day. And with the advent of social media, I wonder how much that number will increase.

Thanks for the good thoughts.

Robin said...

I LOVE that quote.