Lies and Deceit

Have you ever notice how easy it is for people to lie? A good friend of yours is absent at class and ask you to sign his attendance for three lectures on that day. You don’t want to feel guilty by signing his attendance but you also don’t want to reject him. You think about the punishment both of you will get if your teacher knows what you are doing, both of you will have to extend your studies by one month. But how much is the chance of your teacher knows what you are doing? One in ten? One in twenty? Still, there is some risk involved.

Because you’ve asked your friend to do the same thing before, you decided to sign his attendance. Easy as it seems, your teacher call your friend’s name during the lecture session. She check the attendance list and found a signature next to your friend’s name. Everybody in class knows what you did (because they do it themselves), as a good friend you lied to the teacher telling your friend is having a diarrhoea and went home. Your teacher nod and give you a suspicious look, then the classes continue and you tell your friends what just happened.

You and your friend makes a plan and rehearse a conversation in case one of you are summoned by the teacher later. Luckily you pass this time and everything back to normal. Because you don’t get caught, you do it several more times until both of you graduate.

It’s a simple story, but it happens in university all over the world. Most university has 90% attendance rule, so if you only attend 8 from 10 classes, you might have to redo your study for another one or two months. Some of my friends get caught by the teacher and receive penalty, but most of them pass on undetected.

A lie leads to another lie, bigger one usually. It might be better not to lie in the first place, but it’s a quick way out at the time. It solves problem, as simple as that.  Everybody tells lie to you at least once (I’m sure about it), even the people you’d least expect did it. Reflecting back to past experiences, people lies for many reason, some of them below:

– Easy way out. A kid playing games in his tablet but said to her mother that she is reading. Denying a true accusation. Lying about an affair. Etc. Etc.

– He is too lazy to explain the whole story. Sometimes we don’t want to tell people the complete and whole story about an occurrence, so we tell the short story with some “adaptation” instead.

– Hiding a mistake he made. This is probably the most reason people lies, instead of acknowledging mistakes we made, we tell lie to cover it and hope it work. Actually people could know whether we lie or not from the way we tell lies, non-verbal cues, and match between stories.

– To gain other’s respect. Let’s say I know someone who loves to brag about something he completely doesn’t understand. Perhaps he hope that people will think he is a smart student and in turn respect him, but most of my friends think the other way about him.

– To attain something he want. People lies if they think the benefit of lying (and nobody knows it) exceed the risk of getting caught, and most of the population did just that. Few extremist and psychopath will do anything to get what they want, including lying.

You might be wondering what the hell I’m trying to pass on this post, do I support people to lie or not? Actually I’m just bringing awareness about our daily environment, the people around us and communicate with us everyday. We could learn a lot of other’s personality by observing the lies he tell to us. Most lies could be prevented by not doing the wrong action in the first place, but what is the chance people will trade their happiness with honesty?

Not so much, I guess. Lies will be told today and tomorrow, perhaps till the end of humanity itself, but we have to be aware of our lies and realise the impact to our life. There are good lies, not because lying is good, but due to the effect it resulted. Some lies are better than the other. What we need to do is to think deeper before telling a lie and assess the impact to ourself and people around us.

daily prompt


About Journeyman

A global macro analyst with over four years experience in the financial market, the author began his career as an equity analyst before transitioning to macro research focusing on Emerging Markets at a well-known independent research firm. He read voraciously, spending most of his free time following The Economist magazine and reading topics on finance and self-improvement. When off duty, he works part-time for Getty Images, taking pictures from all over the globe. To date, he has over 1200 pictures over 35 countries being sold through the company.
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1 Response to Lies and Deceit

  1. Pingback: Daily Prompt, No Thanks | tnkerr-Writing Prompts and Practice

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