Wednesday, May 23, 2012
79. The truth of a lie
In private conversations everyone agrees that lies are essential to humanity while in public discourse the same set of people take a divergent position. This corollary did not apply to George Bush, however. By virtue of having stayed in the White House for little less than a decade, the former US President was fond of 'white lies'. Else, how could he convince the world that there were 'weapons of mass destruction' in Iraq? The most shocking truth is that there has been a history written around that 'lie'.
Haven't all of us been told at one time or the other in our lives that lying is wrong? And yet, when it comes to avoiding trouble, saving face in front of the boss, or sparing someone's feelings, a majority of us resort to the inevitability of telling a lie. As I understand, telling lie is as important as the pursuit of pleasure and moreover is dictated by that pursuit. Since we all draw pleasure in telling a lie, the love birds do not miss any opportunity in reiterating the world's biggest lie - 'i love you'. Isn't there a grain of 'lie' in what is being perceived as 'truth'?
Psychologists have inconclusively diagnosed the human trait called 'lie' but the fact of the matter is that while a 'lie' is a 'lie' and nothing else, 'truth' could easily be 'half-truth' or even a 'quarter'. Does it not indicate that while 'lie' is perfect, 'truth' isn't? Isn't it this perfection which has ensured that 'lies' are essential to humanity but not 'truth'? While 'truth' is desirable, 'lie' is inevitable! Otherwise, no parents would wake up their children in the morning by telling a 'lie' - 'get up, it is already 8 in the morning while the clock shows 7'. It is another matter that over breakfast the same parents would talk about the virtue of being truthful in life.