Our love affair with lies

“What is truth?” Pontius Pilate asked that of Jesus.

“What is wrong with telling the truth?” That is my question.

I laughed over nasi lemak last night when friends of mine playacted the “It’s not you, it’s me” charade oft-played during breakups. Yet the humour underlined that human dilemma, that hang-up we have about sparing people’s feelings.

That’s bullshit.

A lie is still a lie, no matter how you sugarcoat it.

My relationship with my oldest friend is defined by our commitment to always, always be frank with the other. I am who I am partly because she loved me enough to tell me what I needed to hear. Always.

A guy I dated last year was a textbook case of ‘sayingwhatyoudon’tmean-itis’. It got to the point I could never trust him anymore – whatever few memories we had were tainted by all the truths he covered up, all the white lies and things he never meant. The saddest part? Dishonesty pretty much became his default state.

Friendship to me is a covenant. Truth is its foundation. I might hurt a friend’s feelings today by being blunt but I will lose the friend’s trust forever if I should ever be caught out in a lie.

If I call you friend, I will not lie to you. I won’t even tell you a dress looks good on you if it doesn’t. Or I like your haircut if I don’t.

Because I want you to know, with absolute certainty, that I mean it when I say:

– I care for you.
– I want the best for you.
– I am happy for you.
– I believe in you.
– I’m here for you.
– I love you.
Say what you mean.
Mean what you say.
Is that too much to ask of people today? I suppose it is.

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