A few days ago I came across a Filipino television drama entitled “Honesto”.
It was about this kid and his weird condition (I call it weird) where his nose swells up every time he tells a lie. For reality sake, they considered it as an allergic reaction of some sort. So, it got me thinking.. Is it really possible to live a completely (no exceptions) lie free life?
I mean, in a world where 60% of people can’t even go 10 minutes without lying are we even capable of being honest? If not, does that mean that we are all set to burn in the fires of hell by disobeying the words of God “Thou shall not lie?” Is a five year old better than all of us?
In an article by Kathy Benjamin she said:
There are two things you can say for sure about human beings: our opposable thumbs make us great at using tools, and we are all big, fat liars. By age four, 90% of children have grasped the concept of lying, and it just gets worse from there.
So the crazy idea stuck in my head and a proposal was in place. It was going to be three days without lies but only brute and pure honesty. But an hour after operation fat liar hatched I was still half-hearted about the whole thing, pulling this off could also mean social suicide (if I had a social life to kill). Things could be easier if things would be as stable and constant like knowing that 1 + 1 will always be one but when it comes to human beings, you’ll never know. People might appreciate your honesty and some may hate you for it. So, can we ever be sure about something? Radical Honesty isn’t really something taught in class so there are no pointers or textbooks that could prepare me for this (call it whatever you want) plan. We were taught to be good that’s all I know. There are steps to be considered good and inside this vague circle of goodness, I’m pretty sure honesty is floating somewhere in the middle part of it but could it really be that simple. I wondered, how could I pull off the part of having this two traits separated? Will honesty still be a good thing or a bad thing? Well if Honesto could do it, why can’t I?
I woke up the next day feeling confident. I had the mind-set that I shouldn’t worry about it because I was technically doing something good. How can I go wrong? I’m a communications major for pete sake and if I’m going to nail something it has to be this. I mean, honesty constitutes to a big percentage of a good relationship, right? Plus, you can never go wrong by doing what is right and the right thing to do is “not to tell a lie”.
My day was starting pretty good until I realized that I was having a problem with a project given to me. I was pissed, it was a hundred degrees out and I wanted to hit someone and blow off some steam. That’s when my fraternity brother showed up –who for some unknown reason ticks me off. He asked me, “Are you okay ste? You look so stressed and old”. I think he was doing a better job being radically honest than I am. So I answered him “No ***, I am not okay especially now that I saw you and now that you’re talking to me and telling me that I look old. How would you feel if I told you that you were old looking and ugly?”
“I would be okay with it. It is sort of true.”
“Whatever. Bye.” I walked out. I was such a b*tch but it felt liberating. I kept my irrational annoyance over *** for over a year now and it felt pretty good to let it out. Blow off some steam and let a darker persona out of me. It honestly felt like an energy booster. However, his answer bothered me which actually raised another problem in my head. Is it easier for men to be honest compared to women? Is it easier for women to lie and listen to lies rather than to be honest? Come to think of it he didn’t take back what he said about me being old and stressed looking. Was I supposed to be thankful about what he said?
According to author of Little White Lies, Deep Dark Secrets: The Truth About Why Women Lie, Susan Shapiro Barash, more than 80 percent of women admit to occasionally telling what they consider harmless half-truths. Majority of these cases occur in order to avoid trouble, saving face in front of the boss, or sparing someone’s feelings.
Now if I’m part of that 80 percent that uses “white lies” to avoid this kind of blunders, will I have a blunder “less” day ahead? If I become honest but know that I’ll end up hurting someone will I be good? If I lie to spare someone’s feelings will I be bad?
There’s only one way to find out.
The honesty test:
Me: “Mom, you’re getting fatter and fatter.”
I was shocked when those words slipped out of my mouth. I didn’t know if I was half awake or insane but one thing is for sure I wanted to take back what I vomited out. My sleepy eyes popped open like a pickle jar. I was definitely wide awake. The seconds felt like minutes and I was dying to hear a reaction. Any reaction. I was looking at the cup with the hot coffee in it. I realized women can be very sensitive about this kind of stuff and I still wanted to spend 5 more minutes with my bacon and eggs before I walk out (that is if she starts making a scene) so I decided to look at her reaction…..
Note: When your mom gives you the crazy eyes do not yield!
Me: I’m sorry mom, that sounded mean but its better you hear it from me than from somebody else right?
Mom: Hmm. I guess you’re right. Do I really look fat?
Me: hmmm… You want the truth?
Me: Yeah you do.
Mom: I changed my mind, lie.
Me: You look like you’re an anorexic.
Mom: Let’s eat.
I wanted to hug my mom but I thought it’ll only make her feel even worst so..
Me: Lighten up ma, we can go jogging when I go home next week okay? More bonding time for us? What do you say? haa? haaa? sounds fun right? 🙂
(THAT WAS A LIE. I AM NOT GOING JOGGING. OVER MY DEAD BODY.)
I guess operation fat liar wont be in full swing yet. I still needed to grow a backbone. I was having a hard time figuring things out..They say that honesty will set you free but I think honesty will turn me mute cause every time I open my mouth, I get into some awkward situation where it me want to die on the spot.
Hoping tomorrow will have room for enlightenment.
#to be continued