What is it about the truth that scares people? According to John 8:32 in the Bible, ‘then you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.’ If you live by that mantra, then I guess people like being censored (by their own actions). We live in a society where people are so afraid of consequences that we find it easier to just lie instead of investing the time required to tell the truth.
I used to lie a lot when I was a kid; I still do it now but for much different reasons. The reason I did it as a kid was probably the reason every kid lies, because I didn’t want to get in trouble. As you grow up though, you realize what it means to dig the hole deeper, and how much harder it is to get out if you keep lying. Now though, I find myself lying as sort of a sociological experiment. I might lie or purposely take a different view point to try to get a reaction out of someone, or to entice someone into a debate in an effort to challenge a thought they have or a statement they made. The truth will always come out later on though as a matter of courtesy, but sometimes it is necessary to play devil’s advocate.
I worked at a company once where during a meeting, the person in charge would purposely make other people take a stance that was different to their own and argue with others against the point they had originally made. Imagine being a small business owner and having to go into a bank to get a loan to open a second location, and then arguing against opening that second location when you were the one whose idea it was to open a second location in the first place. I think it’s a brilliant strategy; it forces someone to see all sides of a situation, in my mind making them a more well-rounded intelligent person.
I stated earlier that it is usually easier for a person to lie, which is true. We have gotten so lazy as a society and we care so little about our fellow societal members, we would rather just lie to them instead of being sucked into a conversation having to give all the usual caveats that come along with the truth. Doesn’t telling the truth mean you then have to defend your point, often when I state the truth to someone, I find myself having to give my rationale and supporting points to back it up. Our fast food, Facebook culture has trained us to automatically calculate the time it would take us to tell the truth, then decide it’s just not worth it.
Ultimately, I would rather people know how I am upfront and either like me or not like me because of that instead of constantly having to say what I think people want to hear and then not liking what I see every morning when I look in the mirror. I am fine with the fact that people may not like me, but they at least have to respect me for telling the truth.
Just remember what the Warden found out in The Shawshank Redemption, salvation really does lay within.