In a new twittering tweeting world are we in danger of over communicating?
July 25, 2012
You remember George Washington and the cherry tree.
When his father asked him if he had chopped it down, he said, "I cannot tell a lie."
Turns out the story itself was a lie; it was created in 1809 by Parson Weems who wanted to establish George Washington as a model for other Americans to be honest and trustworthy.
How many impressionable minds were corrupted is not known.
Because according to a new study, lying is good for you.
For instance, there’s scientific evidence showing that people who are depressed are more honest with themselves than nondepressive people.
Lying can be very effective as a tool for protecting ourselves.
To get someone off the phone, I've resorted to, "I'll call you back later." Works every time, although you do have to call back occasionally.
Traffic, real or otherwise, can explain most tardiness.
"Massive traffic jams. Totally unexpected."
Lying also allows us to feel noble.
"It's not the money. It's the principle of the thing."
And once we forgive ourselves for our lies, we can accept other people's lies.
"Your table will be ready soon."
Pinocchio is another story that corrupted our youth.
Paul Ekman, professor emeritus of psychology at the University of California, San Francisco explains: “There’s no sign that is always present when someone lies and always absent when someone is truthful.”
We lie not only to protect ourselves but to protect other people.
"Does this make me look fat?"
In truth, liars are probably nicer people that those who constantly, "Gotta be honest with you."
And for those of you still not skillful in lying—well just listen to what Thomas Jefferson said:
“He who permits himself to tell a lie once, finds it much easier to do it a second and third time, till at length it becomes habitual.”
So just keep practicing.
Of course, it must be said that not all lies are good. It is necessary for us to tell each other the truth sometimes. As long as it doesn't get out of hand.
Leaders that lie to us or lie to themselves is not a good thing.
And Mark Twain did say, "Always tell the truth. That way, you don't have to remember what you said."
(He was probably lying when he said that because it's difficult to believe in absolutes.)
But I think that, while we value honesty, we should throw some kudos to the value of "those little white lies."
Feel free to respond, truthfully or otherwise.