The Amazing Art of Lying, and why it is good.
Since the inception of time we are taught one of the most essential lesson that helps build a huge part of our moral compass. To always say the truth. Never lie. Yeah, our parents wanted us to be the ideal Gandhians, but funny thing that Gandhi did lie about a lot of things, did he not? Did I just become an anti-nationalist by uttering this statement?
Mixing too many issues.
Anyway, I think it’s best to say that no one likes a liar. No one’s likes to be lied to. No one wants to get involved in matters of falsification. No one likes con artists. The verb ‘lie’ always comes under a derogatory connotation.
Knowing it’s an unscrupulous thing to do, humans practically lie about everything. We have that notorious liar, who is practically famous for the sole reason of his acts of deception. We have the pathological chronic liar who can pass hundreds of polygraphs (lie-detecting machines) and get away with it. We have the smooth talkers, who sway the hoi polloi with their promises and corrupted conviction. But we also have ones who make mistakes, who don’t really know how to lie but do so anyway. Lying is an in built tendency most of us have.
But why then since the genesis of time have humans lied?
There are practically thousands of articles you can find on that question, but I am not here to solve that query. I am here to share with you the wonderful revelation that I had. I realized that lying is in fact, a good thing. It is healthy.
A lie is always good when it comes to protecting yourself. As one must always put oneself first before anyone else, same way ,if you need to save yourself then lying is the best option. To give you an example (I still remember this scene) in the movie Aladdin, when Princess Jasmine has to distract Jafar so that Aladdin can take away the Lamp, she smoothly lies and distracts him by saying how she is in love with him and gives him these cute little ego boosts. (Anyway, it doesn’t help because he sees Aladdin anyway and captures him. Not so smooth, are you Jasmine? But trust me, it helps. )
Sometimes, lying is also allowed when it satisfies another person and his/her feelings. You lie to a friend to tell him that yes, that dress looks good on him even when he looks like a klutz in it. But say it because he feels confident in it. You can never say to someone that your baby is ugly because c’mon, it is a baby! Came into the world 5 minutes ago, and their goes peoples’ judging. Sheesh.
Sometimes a person’s life is based on lying and it is not a bad thing at all. Aren’t children always ‘fooled’ by our very own Santa Claus? Till they are of age 8-9 years they always believe in the good old fellow who gives them gifts; this is probably the only time children are on their best behavior. And who can forget our very own Tooth Fairy? She has basically been the reason we want our one of our teeth to break every week!
There has always been a reason why we somehow adore liars. We do not know why, but we fall deep into their image of someone they actually aren’t and we love it. Ever heard of Neal Caffrey from White Collar? Or Barney Stinson from How I met your Mother? Or Frank Underwood from House of Cards? My, we even seem to love the scheming lying mother-in-laws on Hindi Soap operas. Even though they are glib liars, we somehow love them.
Some professions too require this vice of lying. Like being a lawyer or being a politician *wink*
What I am trying to say is, you can never classify something has ‘good’ or ‘bad’ ; there are always two sides of a coin. Lying is never bad, unless it physically or emotionally harms someone. No one loves to lie, but everyone indulges in it. It goes on to show how we as humanity have always been such bundle of contradictions’. Paradoxical beings. That’s the reason why we are so unique. So, live with it.
But if you really think about it, if lying was a crime… wouldn’t we all be in jail by now?