Hello? Does anyone else besides me have an issue with the amount of lying going on in our society? Warning you now…if you dislike the way things are you MUST start calling people out on it. If you are one who finds it easier to “embellish” than play things straight, you need to examine WHY you are trying to hide from your reality. And then change your ways. The pain may be intense at first, but you probably will like yourself better.
Yes, many of us know Trump lies. His supporters do not see it though; they blame any complaints as a problem with the media. They believe the media is the one lying here.
At first, I had to wonder. After all, until recently we’ve held our leaders to a high standard of truthfulness, ethical behavior and care for all the people living here. Hmmm, would it be betraying my viewpoint to now say, Three strikes Trump! No, you know who I am….why do you know that? Because you either know me personally, or you feel my writing has had a sense of honesty about it. I am not going to pull punches now.
Now, I’m angry and I may get a bit sloppy with my writing.
This lying has reached epidemic proportions and Trump by all means is not the only one. He has surrounded himself with people with similar lack of concern about accuracy. Joseph Otting, Trump’s nominee for the U.S. Treasury’s Office of the Comptroller of the Currency, reportedly lied when he said on his resume that he holds a degree from the School of Credit and Financial Management at Dartmouth College. But Dartmouth does not have a school by that name nor did Otting attend and graduate with a degree in anything there. He did, however, attend a four-week seminar. Why would anyone lie about something so easily verified? And why would they WANT to lie like that? What kind of ethical consideration did they miss that persuaded them to lie for personal gain?
This lying seems to be everywhere in our society, not only with the Trump administration and wannabes. In April there was a report that student journalists did some research and discovered that their new principal did not have the credentials she had claimed to get the job. A climate denier finally understood he was wrong in his argument but will not make a public statement. The scientists who reported that some GE foods could cause tumors were disputed and for years worked to prove the study was correct but there is no sharing of that news. A woman who was head of the NAACP ended up not having any African American heritage.
Deceiving takes place all over. The Senate is discussing the new healthcare act behind closed doors. In closed session even our county commission has discussed options and conducted business that affect everyone living here. And they believe because they are the ones in power, they can get away with it.
Why is lying, this deceiving, this hiding the truth from others and even oneself so prevalent?
Psychology Today says there are two kinds of lies: white lies that we we make to maintain our social status; to preserve an image of ourselves. A strategic lie is made by one person or group to try to deceive another person or group for personal gain.
When we employ a white lie we are okay up to the moment when the person lied to discovers the effort. Then the liar has to deal with the inevitable loss of status.
When someone designs for others to fail, they are into a strategic endeavor to elevate themselves by diminishing someone else. Not only is this more serious but it then begs the question about ethics.
About six years ago I had flyers printed up at a local shop where I lived In West Virginia. I had worked with them before; they took my request over the phone and I got a quote on the job. I emailed them the file and went to pick the papers up a few days later. There was no invoice. The guy who took my call was not there and the boss laughed, saying the guy hardly ever writes up invoices. He told me they would mail one to me. A week went by, and then another and another. A couple of weeks later I went in. There STILL was no invoice but the boss charged me what I said was the quote. He then thanked me for coming back in to pay, saying most people would not do that. I said, shrugging, “It’s really simple. I try to live by the Golden Rule…..” and he jumped in and laughed “Yeah, screw them before they screw you.” I said that it seemed that if few people were paying in this kind of situation, they must follow his version, but the one I had been taught was to treat people the way I wanted to be treated. He laughed cynically.
Every night when my parents put me to bed I said two prayers. One was the Shema, a short and simple prayer said by Jews. (Here, oh Israel, the Lord our God, the Lord is One.) And then we would say the Golden Rule. (Do unto others as you would have others do unto you.) Since attending church with Graham I hear this claimed as a major teaching by Jesus, so I expect all Christians are taught this. Few understand that in this, as in pretty much all his teaching, Jesus was sharing Jewish concepts.
Today we have more people who are “unchurched” than attend with any regularity. However, the Baby Boomers were still part of a church going population when young for the most part. Their estrangement from their organized religion and their avoidance of teaching their children any value of being part of a church family is a different issue. You need not believe in God let alone attend church to have good ethics and yet we tend to believe that people who identify as a practitioner of a religion have decent ethics. Or we hope so at least.
Ethics seem to not be instilled any longer. The Christian Right would say because Christ is not part of everyone’s life but I think they, as an overall group, need to clean up their own house. There are examples over and over again of condemnation of something they find offensive (pick one or more: racial equality, sexuality other than heterosexual, women who have sex outside of marriage, etc etc etc) and then discovery of one rabid preacher being found with (pick one or more: an underage girl, a teenage boy, multiple trips out of town with another woman, drug use, etc etc etc).
Ethics seem to not be instilled any longer. There is very real concern that there are multiple generations of families where public assistance is needed. Whether it is Social Security Disability and/or Section 8 housing and/or SNAP benefits, the people who control the purse strings of this nation see the problem and their solution is to stop funding programs. They seem to forget there are root causes that need attention before people can be helped, truly helped. Why do they avoid those issues? It comes down to the decision to keep some people down; the belief that truly not everyone is created equally.
Ethics seem to not be instilled any longer. About five years ago I offered to watch a friend’s 10-year-old while she worked at times the girl was not in school. I discovered pretty quickly that she was behind grade level. I started working with her for a couple of hours, trying to bring her up to speed. One day in the car with them both I pointed at a yellow orange traffic sign and asked the girl if she could figure out why it was yellow. Not only did she not, but she started crying. And her mother yelled at me “You need to make everything a teaching moment?” Since I treated this young girl the way I had raised my three kids, I say “YES! That is my job as a loving adult in her life. To teach her everything I possibly can to help her succeed in life.” The mom opted not to have her child stay with me (for free, by the way) any longer since I was “not fun”. I saw a photo recently of the girl, now dressed for the prom. Gorgeous and completely inappropriate with a dress split up to within four inches of her crotch. I think that’s another one who is missing something.
But society encourages it. Most people have the tv on most hours of the day and are bombarded with an image of a life they want. Ads, of course yes, try to make us want something they promise will make life better. But also the programs watched promise if only you can do this, than all will be yours.
Most people see images of what is lauded for beauty and then feel depressed they fall short. Most people see images of new kitchens with stainless steel appliances, large closets, master “ensuite” bathrooms with separate shower stalls with rainshower heads and deep whirlpool tubs and then feel depressed when they realize they can’t afford that. Most people watch comedy shows with a laughing soundtrack that teaches them what is supposed to be funny and then what happens is people who don’t watch tv don’t get the joke and are told them are too serious.
Most people say they are too busy to get involved in their children’s school. Most people say they are too busy or too scared or too whatever to help with some community issue, whether it is the homeless or reading to a kid in kindergarden. Most people say they are too busy to read about the issue of genetically modified foods, or why the landfill is a problem leaching pollution into the river.
Most people react in anger. Few people act to repair a problem. Why the difference?
Why are some people able to enjoy looking beyond their own personal needs and perceive they are but a small link in the machine that is community and society. That that small link can turn a problem into a solution in progress with the companionship of similar minded people.
Why do some never see beyond themselves? Don’t they realize when they condemn how bad society has gotten that they ARE society and if they want a change, it is up to them.
Sitting back, no matter how loudly you bitch, does nothing. They don’t want to believe that.
And I refuse to.
June 11, 2017 at 8:46 pm
I totally agree, integrity seems to have been lost to far too many these days. Too bad I have found that life is better. Remember the truth does not mean anything, it is just the truth.
June 11, 2017 at 5:01 pm
A very thoughtful essay. I heartily agree!
June 11, 2017 at 5:29 pm
Thanks Judilyn. It helps that I’m not the only one out of kilter today LOL