There has been a significant uptick in public dishonesty. You’d have to be living in a cave to not notice. From the Commander in Chief right on down, it looks like the weasels are running the hen house. If you’ve ever kept chickens, you know that a weasel will continue killing chickens, without eating them, until all of the chickens are gone. It’s called bloodlust. Much of the current political battle feels like that, and it’s being carried out through misinformation. Distracting Drama. Fake News. Alternative Facts.
Since the national news is so disturbing, I’ve felt a greater need than ever to seek the sanctuary of friends. And I have been stunned, over the last few weeks, to find that several of my friends lied to me. I feel shaken. Yeah, yeah, I know that we all lie sometimes. Lots of people wear social masks, showing the world who they would like to be instead of who they are. That’s a kind of dishonesty. And lots of people use denial as a coping skill, which means they are being dishonest with themselves. Dishonesty is about deceit. It turns into actual lying when the person knows they are not telling the truth.
Lying is a problem because it erodes trust. If someone is lying about X, how would I know if they are telling the truth about Y? Or about any other letter of the alphabet? It muddies the foundation. Rebuilding a relationship damaged by lying takes ownership. Being angry about getting caught or denying the lie, of course, is just lying about the lie. Owning it, like any difficult behavior, means that I admit and apologize for doing it. Maybe I lied to stay out of trouble, or to protect my own pride. Maybe I just changed my mind and didn’t tell you. Or I forgot. Apologizing for my own behavior means that I don’t push the blame on something or someone else, including you. I say I’m sorry, not just for lying, but for the harm caused. I practice patience while you learn to trust me again.
How can we expect this of anyone else if we are not practicing it ourselves? Of course, I get it. Humans are complex. Life is messy. We’re doing our best. I’m not going to live or die based on someone else’s dishonesty.
Unless they take away my healthcare…..