The Times USA decided to explore the issue of lying by getting the thoughts of several individuals who are living it and dealing with it, each with unique perspectives.
Political activist and entrepreneur Richard Brody looks into why there appears to be a prevalence of politicians lying today:
Are we actually, witnessing more of this, or does it, only seem that way? In the past, there were far fewer forms of, press media, and coverage was predominantly covered, by a few newspapers, magazines, television, and radio stations. Today, with the growth of cable television, satellite radio, and, of course, the Internet, it seems, there are endless numbers of outlets. While we used to rely, on the reputation of the company, and developed a degree of trust on certain news anchors, such as Walter Cronkite, David Brinkley, and Chet Huntley, etc, today, instead of balanced reporting, certain appear to focus on the conservative, or right – wing, positions, while others, are more progressive, or left – wing. The major networks, and the cable ones (which are owned by major companies), often, skew their reports, according to their perspectives, positions, and the demographics of the viewing audience. How often, have we observed, one specific company, appears to focus, and report, far further to the so – called, right, than the others?
Chronic illness suferer Debbie L. Baigert talks about how here perennial lying makes things better for everyone:
Because I have a chronic illness, I’m forced to lie every single day. When you see people at work or at the grocery store or when you see a neighbor out front, our standard greeting nowadays is usually some form of “how are you?”. It’s at this point that I’m forced to lie, for everybody’s benefit. For the person asking, they certainly don’t want to hear how I’m actually doing. How am I supposed to convey the enormity of how this illness affects me every single day of my life? How can I explain the impact of how I feel physically, mentally, and emotionally? How should I explain my life to them when they simply asked me to be nice, as a social greeting? For my own benefit, I’d like to continue to see that person and make small talk after today, so I will continue to lie and say “Fine, how are you?”.
Author and sales executive Don L. Price writes about the state of lying in the United States:
What has happened? Have we succumbed to habitual self deceit and deceit with others out of self preservation, fear, lack of confidence or ego? And if so, what damage do we incur in our personal life and business?
Are we truly living in a world that evolves around deceit? It would appear the answer is a resounding yes. Without question it would be extremely difficult to find anyone who has not lied, to themselves or others, almost every day of their life.
I suspect that many, who tell the sales person at the department store “I’ll be back,” with no intention of returning, give little consideration to their behavior of deceit or lying.
If that was only an isolated instant of deceit not much damage would occur. However, lying is pervasive in our culture and as such, works quite well for us, helping us skirt through multiple issues in life and business. It would appear that deceit is fundamental to the human condition and it’s a function that works not just some times but most often. Or does it?
But could we rationalize lying, at one level, as being OK and at another not so ok? Often we hear ourselves in little fibs when we get caught with our hands in the cookie jar to extreme outright intentional exaggeration and lies. As you follow along with some sense of curiosity we can explore innocent deceit as opposed to outright criminal deceit and the implications that manifest in ones life.