Everybody lies. Everybody, no matter how “good” or “honest” they are.
Our entire society is a fragile house of cards, based on lies. And this works, because society would collapse if, one day, everybody just started being brutally honest with each other.
You walk into the office in the morning and greet your coworkers. Ask Sally how she is, and she’ll probably answer with, “Fine, thanks! You?” She lies. She’s having money problems, her car broke down this morning, and she just broke up with her boyfriend. But she won’t tell you how she’s really feeling, because she doesn’t think you actually care about how she is. “How are you?” is just a question that involuntarily shoots out of our mouths when we greet our fellow man, borne of a need to be polite; A fear of stepping on people’s toes, or making them uncomfortable.
A few days ago, Sally asked her boyfriend if he thought her jeans made her look fat. He thought, for once, that he’d be honest and tell her that they did. He thought he was doing her a favour. Now they’re seeing other people. And one wonders why we lie so often.
We live in a world in which a liar can still be an honest person. Truth is out there, but it’s largely overshadowed by varying degrees of deception.
I’ve been trying to write this last paragraph for two days, and for some reason, I just can’t get it to sound right. So, I’ll just say this: The next time you ask someone how they are, dare to be genuinely interested in their answer.