I typically avoid the political, but sometimes, public life offers lessons for each of us in private life. So this is NOT meant as a political commentary.
I don’t know about you, but I’m really tired of all the whoppers out there.
I’m outraged. And, unlike our President, I’m willing to take responsibility for the lying. The buck stops with me. Always.
If you believe we’re all one, then you have to say, how did I do this? Or at least, how did I let this happen?
We live in a culture where lies and lying are the norm, have become the norm. Where it’s okay to lie to people to save your own face, to “not hurt people’s feelings”. And then we say we’re telling the truth and become hypocrites on top of the lies.
My favorite lies lately have been the lies of George W. Bush:
“I don't think anybody anticipated the breach of the levees.”
“Now, by the way, any time you hear the United States government talking about wiretap, it requires -- a wiretap requires a court order. Nothing has changed, by the way. When we're talking about chasing down terrorists, we're talking about getting a court order before we do so.”
“Iraq . . . continues to possess and conceal some of the most lethal weapons ever devised.”
There is a theory that leaders of an organization embody the culture of the people they lead. So when we see these outrages, we need to look at ourselves.
Where do we lie?
Where do we accept lies from others?
Where do we lie to ourselves?
What do we teach our children?
Where do I lie?
Where do I accept lies from others?
When do I accept lies from others? About certain subjects? At certain times? From certain people?
Do I speak up when I know someone is lying? Why not?
How am I lying to myself? When do I lie to myself? Why do I lie to myself?
When do I lie to others?
Why do I lie to others?
Under what circumstances do I lie to others?
When we let all these lies pass, we stop being able to tell the difference between lies and truth, and we begin to live in a fairy tale. Remember little red riding hood? Remember the wolf said he was grandma and almost ate little red riding hood? Well, our government has said there were WMDs, and it has eaten almost 2300 of our troops, not to mention over 200 others of the so-called coalition of the willing, and the tens of thousands of innocent Iraqis.
Because how hypocritical is it to hold the government accountable for something you won’t hold yourself accountable for? Or something you won’t hold your friends, your coworkers, your family, accountable for?
We have to change the culture, and the culture is US. It means starting with ourselves. So pay attention to when you lie, ask yourself, why did I lie? Or better yet, why do I want to lie? Is it because you’re afraid of the consequences? Usually it is. So when you notice you are lying, ask yourself, ‘what am I afraid of?” then face that, and tell the truth. You’ll feel better, even if you have to accept the consequences, because you’ll know you did the right thing. And often, if you look at the consequences, they’re not all that bad. Or you can manage them, or you can tell the truth in a way that will minimize them, by emphasizing that you did the right thing by telling the truth.
Ghandi said, ‘be the change you wish to see in the world”. So if you want your government to stop lying to you, you HAVE to stop lying. You HAVE to stop accepting lies. That means personally, professionally and as a citizen. If you know your government is lying to you, complain. Be aware. Write a letter to the editor of your local paper. Call your Congressional representative. Call your Senator. Call the White House.