Father, I Can Not Tell a Lie; I Cut the Tree

“Lying can never save us from another lie.” Vaclav Havel

Everyone knows those famous words associated with George Washington “Father, I Can Not Tell a Lie; I Cut the Tree”

One lie is seldom where it ends. It’s guaranteed more lies will be needed to explain why the first lie wasn’t a lie.

A manager once gave a promotion to his friend rather than to the best qualified person. This is the same as a lie because in essence he was saying that his friend deserved the promotion more than the other person.

As usually happens with lies, someone questioned this move and so the manager had to defend his actions. Rather than admitting he promoted the wrong person, he told more lies. His next lies were that the other worker wasn’t more qualified, in fact, the other worker was on the verge of disciplinary action. So now, not only did the better worker not get the promotion, but his reputation is ruined in order to justify promoting the friend.

From there it just snowballed. In most instances the manager’s many lies never surface. However, it’s known they were lies and the chances for this manager advancing much higher with this company are very slim.

The lies resulted in ending the career of a promising employee. In the long run, the promising employee will go work elsewhere and will prosper, the friend who was given the job will eventually be let go because he wasn’t qualified for it, and the manager will never get another promotion.

A lie or deceitful action done with ill intentions will always lead to more lies and deceit. They will be required to cover up for the first. In the long run, things usually work themselves out, making the initial lie fruitless.

It’s much simpler, less work, leads to better results and increased happiness simply to tell the truth from the beginning.

It’s also much better to admit you made a mistake than to tell a second lie. We all make mistakes and it will be forgiven. What’s not going to be forgiven is when you cover up a lie with more lies to the point where good people have to take the fall for your actions.

Telling the truth, when faced with stiff punishment for doing so, is the mark of a person of integrity, good character and deserving of respect. It is the mark of a person who can be trusted with unparalleled authority, like leading a new nation.

The torment of a liar: who to trust

“The liars punishment is not in the least that he is not believed, but that he cannot believe anyone else.” George Bernard Shaw

A white lie here and there is innocent. We all tell little white lies so as not to hurt the feelings of others: “your haircut is nice”

Those who lie more often than that, who do it consistently, create their own torment. The biggest side effect of lying is the liar can’t trust anyone else. The liar can never believe anyone else. A liar who does it well always suspects others of doing the same thing to him.

The better a person is at lying, the less he or she will believe anything anyone else says. They create their own hell, never believing anyone. They cannot love, for love requires trust. They might be loved, but only until their lies are found out.

Eventually, the liar becomes a lonely person. A lonely paranoid person.