Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Truth and Fibberish

Truth is an ambiguous term. By definition, truth relates to fact or reality.

To me, a fact is a fact, but someone’s reality can be a psychological mystery. An example is in the interpretive environment of a court of law. The opposition raises his hand and swears under oath to tell the truth. But his history of continually fabricating stories and not telling the truth won’t be altered when he says “I do.” In fact, when records, evidence, and witnesses all prove this guy has lied, it still won’t change his point of view, habits, or concept of reality.

The truth might look different to different people. But so might a lie.

The reason I discuss this topic is because of the former friend I wrote about six blogs ago, “Verity.” When he came to visit from out of state, he must have removed his wedding band, told his wife that he was at his daughter’s house, and prayed for adulterous behavior. After all, he is a Christian.

So I decided to explore truth.

Another form of truth is loyalty. I’ve always said I’m loyal like a dog. (I probably look and act like one too. C’mon, let’s have a sniff.) A person can be loyal to an auto repair shop, a grocery store, friends, restaurants, his or her partner. By continuing to wag your tail and support organizations and people, you show trust and honor.

Then there’s the eventual truth. Take my hiking buddy, for example. I blogged about a story he told me years ago that was hilarious: He’s such a wild and crazy type, his story had to be true. A couple weeks after I posted that story, he couldn’t control his laughter. As we hiked, I glanced over at him, whacked his arm, and said, “You asshole! You made it up!” He still laughs about it. That kind of fibberish I can handle—mentally, but only after I beat the little turd.

Truth is keeping a promise, sometimes just to yourself, set as a goal. Truth doesn’t betray. I don’t tolerate betrayal well, yet have experienced it too many times and wonder if others have too. It’s entirely possible that someone unintentionally betrays another: The person simply doesn’t know any better. And for this, I cannot take offense. And if I were the offender, I would pray we could openly communicate about the incident.

But that takes guts: usually on the part of the offended to mention the incident. It’s so much easier to just move away from the situation and person. After all, there are lots of businesses to try and other friends to share time with. But a gnawing energy lives inside the mind and eats away at the body when communication ceases, causing a low-level stress that pervades the dream state.

So what does a person do? Write a letter, an e-mail, call?

When the friend with the secret wife realized he messed up, he e-mailed me four days later stating that he had not been honest with me. Essentially, he lied by omission, not an uncommon behavior. I’ve done it. But why didn’t he e-mail me a long time ago and say, “Gee, Auntie, I got married, and because I want my wife to trust me, I won’t be able to e-mail you anymore.” I could send him a congratulatory reply and feel good.

Are the consequences worse or better by telling the truth?

I liken correcting a fib and telling the truth to wine spilling on the carpet. The sooner you deal with it, the less of a chance it will leave a permanent stain.

And the longer a lie is held inside, the more it festers and crawls around inside the liar’s mind, body, and soul until the person’s consumed by that stain.

I know I say too much. Forever, friends have said, “Go ahead, tell us how you feel, Auntie,” because I don’t hold back. I prefer people like me, because when someone is too quiet, as my former friend was, I don’t easily trust.

I like to take people at face value, and when the going gets tough, I hope that a friend would team up with me. But it’s entirely possible that he or she will turn away.

I will keep my fool filter engaged but probably need a finer mesh. I just hope the fool isn’t staring back at me when I look into the mirror.

If you like it, link it! If you don’t, tell me why.

Thank you to my friend for loaning me his lions image.


  1. You wrote, "And the longer a lie is held inside, the more it festers and crawls around inside the liar’s mind, body, and soul until the person’s consumed by that stain."

    I disagree. I think people who continually lie are quite comfortable with it. The only time they feel guilt is when their lie has been revealed. Such it is with your ex-friend. As long as his deceipt was serving a purpose for him, he had no problem with it. It didn't bother him at all.

    It's honest people like you who get consumed with guilt if/when they lie. You don't feel comfortable at all and it gnaws at you.

  2. You're right, of course.

    My daughter used to have to visit a perpetual deceiver, and indeed, he appeared unfazed when presented with verifiable facts that clearly disputed his claims.

    It's honest people like you, whom I call friend. Twenty-five years ; )

  3. Wow! 25 years and we can still tolerate each other despite our differences. Amazing!


Tell me what you believe.