Minolta x700 // Fujicolor C200
“If you tell the truth, it becomes a part of your past. If you lie, it becomes a part of your future.”
It’s safe to say most people have lied at some point. Even people who think of themselves as upstanding and honest have told lies or half-truths, or omitted information. In general, this happens because people are faced with a situation in which lying can seem beneficial and safe – the lie ends up becoming a tool to either get something we want, or get us out of something we don’t. I could list the two most obvious and straightforward possible consequences of telling (even small) lies – one, being caught; which would damage the trust people feel for us; and two, having to build bigger and bigger lies around the first, which can exponentially increase the negative outcomes of being exposed.
Creating a lie is essentially to deny and ignore reality. That may work for a while, but unfortunately reality refuses to ignore us. Often our full attention is not enough to deal with reality effectively, and creating an alternate reality of lies only robs us of precious time and energy whilst corrupting the very foundation of our perception of reality.
Our words are of utmost importance for the maintenance of our interpersonal relationships. Keeping your word is the most direct and immediate way of cementing credibility. Making too many promises (especially those we can’t keep), letting our feelings step in the way of being sincere, and saying we will do small things we end up not doing – I believe we’ve all been there at some point, and the most frequent excuse to not getting things done is that “they’re only the small things”. But that begs the question – who would entrust the “big things” to someone if even the small ones aren’t getting done?
When someone disappoints us a number of times, our trust in that person is severely undermined – their word becomes something to be questioned rather than taken to heart. Since relationships need trust to flourish and prosper, this type of behavior can be very taxing for those who want to be taken seriously and respected. When we uncover a lie, we can feel manipulated and disappointed; which becomes even more troublesome when it is perceived as the rule, rather than the exception.
What does your word represent? Is it taken lightly? You should treat your word as you wish it to be taken by others: with respect, integrity and seriousness. It should be a bond of trust. I could go even further and say that what we say is one of the ways we express who we are. When we create a web of lies, we are preventing people from seeing who we are and only allowing them to see what we want them to see. This keeps us from creating deep, truthful and meaningful bonds with people. How can you know if the people around you are responding to who you are, or this mask you have created? All these concerns just keep you from living the most fulfilled version of your life that you have the potential to live.