Lying and getting away with it has become an art form.


My mother would not tolerate lies or the use of blame as a way to escape responsibilities for ones actions. Layer that with a grandmother who considered lying to be a deadly sin, and nuns who could figure out your every move, sometimes before you made one.

Lying seems to have become more acceptable in recent years. As a matter of fact lying and getting away with it has become an art form. You can use all manner of excuses that were once looked upon as totally unacceptable. If I dared to tell a lie, my mother would begin her FBI routine. “Why did you do that?” I would try to cover up by implicating someone else. “Well, so and so told me to do it!”. Her response was always the same, “I don’t care what they told you, I care about what you told me, and you lied!” My Mother also never thought twice about calling the other child’s mother and sharing the story with her. Now you had two parents upset with you. Once you were caught lying it was very difficult to not be cross examined about everything you were doing, since you were deemed untrustworthy. It took awhile to regain the trust if ever. And my mother never forgot anything. She could have been the curator of the Smithsonian Institute.

If you lied to the nuns, you had to go to confession, and say however many Hail Mary’s, and Our Father’s were deemed appropriate. The worst part however, was that they called your parents and told them you lied. If your parents got a call from one of the nuns about anything inappropriate, it was double the trouble. You would be better off spending the night in a lions den.

When some people lie today, they cover it up by denying it completely or by saying their words were misconstrued. This seems to be happening quite frequently in the political arena. They create their own realty around the lie and then have others who back it up. Many celebrities do the same. This behavior is often seen as acceptable by their admirers, but unfortunately is a very bad example for children who we all know are incredibly impressionable.

So if you lie can you regain trust from those you lied to? The answer lies in how you apologize.If the apology is perceived as sincere you have a better chance of being forgiven, and there is a way to make a sincere apology. You don’t need a PR firm to make you sound sincere. Just acknowledge what you did wrong, accept responsibility for your actions, make some kind of atonement, ask for forgiveness, and give assurances that you won’t do it again. In the end the only thing that really matters is whether or not you keep your word.

 

Time to reverse the trend of the downward cycle of pessimism.


I am so tired of the negativity that seems to be permeating every corner of life. The increasing possibilities of connection through technology have given many people the ability to rant about so many things. Not a day goes by without some bad news that often has no basis in fact. The goal appears to be “if you say it, they will play it” and you just might get your fifteen minutes of fame.

As you go through the news channels, you’re apt to see a lot of angry faces spewing opinions laced with statements that resemble schoolyard taunts. There seems to be no respect among the participants as they try to outdo each other with their vitriolic rhetoric. The political campaign often feels like I’m watching scenes from the movie Mad Max. Civility has gone out the window in deference to being able to just say whatever you want. There used to be filters in place that helped to create moments that enabled people to ask themselves this question “Should I say what I’m thinking”? As a friend once said “You are allowed to have an unexpressed thought”.

Where did that thought process go? Yes, it is still there for a majority of folks but I fear we are losing ground and we may have to create a zoo that contains this segment of the population. At this point I am starting to believe that the animals have more respect towards each other.

I have many thoughts I’d like to share with some people who I have issues with which would help to give me a mind cleanse. But, parents, grandparents, and the good sisters of St. Joseph made sure my lips stayed sealed more often than not. Somewhere along the way that seal was broken by parents who indulged their children to excess in all areas of life. The media portrayed kids as young as five or six being sarcastic to their parents. It became “cool” to hear “backtalk”.

As the years went by “backtalk” turned into “trash talk” and more. Movies and TV have become more “in your face” and now it is not uncommon to hear four letter words on most stations. The birth of e-mail, Facebook, texting and twitter has increased the ability to say anything you want and often it can be done anonymously. The increase in dialogue that vilifies individuals, organizations and government is creating an energy of anger, discontent, and aggression.

We are a source of energy. Our words, our facial expressions, our body language can influence those around us. When a group of individuals continually spews negativity it can actually affect mental and physical well-being. I am not advocating for mindless optimism, but we are on a downward cycle of pessimism which is not serving our best interests. Isn’t it time to reverse the trend? Or should we all start shopping for outfits befitting a Neanderthal culture?