10 October 2007

The Truth Behind Lies

People tell one another so many lies, parents tell their children lies and sometimes even ask them to tell a lie to their neighbours on their behalf and inadvertently teach their children how to lie and thus even the grown up children lie to their parents without any feeling of guilt. Friends tell each other lies, boss lies to his staff and the staff lie to their boss, business people lie to each other, the politicians lie to the people, the governments lie to their people and even rspectable people in responsible positions lie to people---the list is almost endless and what is worse even people lie, upon oath on holy books, in courts of law. What kind of relationships are ours?

A man and his wife is the closest possible human relationship where lies are out of place, as far as I can perceive. But even there the lies raise their ugly head. People tell lies so easily, I mean without any compunction. It is like a game. You always try to score a point but try not to give a point to your opponent. What kind of a game is this? Even movies seem to popularize lying and glamourize bluffing. Bluff, if you must. But use your discretion. Bluffing to outwit a thief or an unscrupulous person is one thing and to bluff an ignorant or naive and trusting person is quite another. When all the world changes you won't need even bluffing. "Oh, changing the world! A tall order", you might say. Many great things have been achieved with just a small idea and one small step. Try, you must. If we could do away with these lies wouldn't this world be a better place to live in? My aim here is to show you that it is perfectly possible to do away with lies and impress upon you the need for it.

What is a lie? A lie is something said that is not true. Why should anybody tell or say something that is not true? Isn't it just to gain some undue advantage? Then is it fair? Okay, when somebody tells you a lie and you discover that it is a lie, you feel bad. Then must you do the same thing to somebody else? You always hope for the better. Often you feel sure that the other person would never know the truth. But often the other person may never accost you with your lie. But your image in the other person's eyes would suffer and you may never know it. Isn't it rather pitiable?

Okay, then you might ask how can anyone get along without ever telling a single lie? Is it really practicable? Is there anyone like Ms or Mr Honest? Yes, there once was such a person. That was M.K.Gandhi, the hero of India's Independence Movement. He stood for truth and non-violence. And that in nothing less than politics! How do you like that? By the way you may find his autobiography "My Experiments With Truth" of absorbing interest. Oh, no it is not a treatise on speaking the truth. It just happens to be the history of the Independence Movement of India, a non-violent movement. All through his life Gandhi always spoke the truth much to his advantage and probably that is why he calls his autobiography his experiments with truth.

Now let's get back to our original business, i.e., discussing lies. Please don't think it is a tiresome topic. As a Hindi saying goes, 'listen to everybody but do only what appeals to you'. By listening and reading you are widening the horizons of your knowledge. The wider your knowledge of things the better would be your decisions. A good knowledge helps you in taking good decisions, whatever may be the field of activity. A good knowledge even helps you in arriving at a decision faster.

Now, always speaking the truth or never telling a lie is not really as hard as you think. Don't we find quite often people around us whom we consider honest? What is so honest about them? Probably they tell much, much fewer lies and always try to keep their promises. If you want even you can be like that. From there it is just one more step to absolute truthfulness.

Okay, absolute truth is really hard and so I don't ask you to go for it rightaway. But would you mind or should you mind trying fewer lies. Even one less a day is fine to start with. Before you tell a lie just think for a while whether it is absolutely necessary to tell the lie and if you can't do wthout it. You may even take it as a challenge!

Most of our lies are petty and for flimsy reasons. You may think that you would be able to avoid hurting the feelings of others by telling a small or simple lie. But no, not necessarily. You would hurt their feelings only temporarily. But the fact that you spoke the truth gets recorded too in their mind. In the long run your credibility goes up. Once the fact that you always speak the truth, having changed your outlook, is established you would no longer have any problem. Don't you wish that everybody always spoke the truth to you? Then why not start it with yourself? Don't you think we shall all be a happier lot that way?
Remember, every time you avoid a lie you would be doing a lot of good to your conscience. Further, it is like scoring a point in your 'game' with God. Every time you tell a lie you are losing a point to God! But all this need not worry you too much.Be sportive. I think God has the best sportsman's spirit ever. You just keep trying! But sincerely. And one day you might find yourself absolutely truthful!


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