As evidenced by the booming cinematic industry and layers of hypocrisy spread through every part of society, humans are not only more inclined to lie than tell the truth, but they also like to hear lies — and believe them. Aisles and aisles of celebrity magazines adorn shops, filled with information that is most likely fabricated for the public’s entertainment, while movies display how “the art of pretending” has become categorized a talent, not a vice. Newspapers follow suit, proclaiming “straight facts” as news when in truth, 95% of what they publish is utter falsehood wrapped up in a deceptive cover of practicality. And the Internet is a thriving hornet’s nest of these, all waiting to sting you.
Considering this thing we rational creatures have — a conscience — lying is NOT part of human nature. It is, as most wrong choices are, an alluring alternative to doing the hardest thing on earth: living honestly. Honesty is as rare as rarities come, and its greatness is proved by how strenuous a virtue it is to practice.
Is the need to lie and be lied to a plague inching its way through humanity? No. It’s a simple choice that has been made by us humans time and time again. Although Plato said that goodness should be enacted for its own sake, that the truly just person acts rightly because of this dogma, the counter-argument that people succumb to the wrong path out of weakness is kind of true. There’s no denying that reaching for honesty requires work — and since most people in this world are lazy in the first place, lying is completely “natural” for them as long as they feel no guilt after committing the deed.
It’s very depressing how truth is met with anger and dislike when so many say dishonesty is bad. Hence the hypocrisy. We acknowledge that truth is wanted, respected, preferred…but then we lie without a second thought, and we hear lies without wanting to correct them. This is why the words “gullible” and “naive” pop up so often during the course of history. We don’t learn, and we don’t want to learn. But we preach and whine and never surrender to the basic instinct of truth being essential to life. To live a good life, truth must stand by our sides. Otherwise, dishonesty is a poison that never stops working to ruin that thing called a conscience, and it always leads to so much pain. But you knew that already, right?
Yes, talking about telling the truth and not lying is like repeating an irritating truism… However, I’ve found that it’s never too late to give out one more lecture on the subject. My advice (and yes, I’m quoting the sages of old): always tell the truth. It hurts and it heals. It may leave scars, but they fade away, unlike those from lies.