Momma Told Me: The Impact Of Integrity, Ethics, + Lies In Everyday Life

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Saturday, February 15, 2014

The Impact Of Integrity, Ethics, + Lies In Everyday Life

truth and lies
Momma Papa Told Me: All you really have, in the end, is your word. Make it as strong as it can be.


I'm not a Saint, nor do I feel as though I am on a high horse above any other human. I generally believe, as individuals, we are all born equal, each with the same innate ability to grow and form ourselves, as individuals. Yes, our environments and stimuli have a great impact on the individual we shape ourselves to be, but, ultimately, we posses the intelligence to decipher right from wrong, and the ignition of every decision and choice is, in the end, with the understanding and acceptance of how it will impact our lives and the perception of others. I don't intend to spark a debate about mental illness, or get into the molding of serial killers- this post is only with the intent to (albeit briefly) take a short pause and explore accountability in everyday life. Some would say truth is black and white; but our society has clearly illustrated the shades of gray.

Even within the simple platform in which I operate this blog, which is known to display sponsored content, there are broad prisms of integrity and transparency in which I am allowed to play with. You, simply in reading this very text give me a certain amount of influence upon yourself. But, as much as the 'black and white' people would like to make it seem, that does not mean I have sole domain over your digestion of the material. To play the devil's advocate, any exchange of information, or even emotion, is an equal exchange of trust. In this very moment, I, as the blogger, trust you will take my words not as the be-all-end all, in any circumstance, but as a vessel of exploration and consideration into a topic. And you, as the reader, trust me not to skew opinion and information with a bias strong enough to blind your better judgement. We, in turn, are both vulnerable.
truth and lies
Today's post, in honesty, is not about blogging. Blogging is just one method of communication in which both parties can be influenced, but not the primary focus here. In fact, this topic came to be due to an overwhelming perception of accepted deception in my own personal and professional life as of recent. The sordid particulars aren't of much relevance, but the simple fact that it seems two things have become regular fact in society are. 1.) What is considered a lie, or deception, is more blurred than ever. Just the very fact I have to clarify that a lie is too strong a term for some, and deception may be a more accepted form of it, is a problem. 2.) That the people doing the lying, whether in a professional or personal capacity, seem to justify the behavior by assuming that the party being lied to is ignorant to this fact.

When I was a young girl, we'll say up until about 7; I lied constantly. I could chalk it up to being an only child, and really most of it was over silly things, and simply out of amusement- but it was also because I felt power. I'd lie to my parents about things like chores and school, but also the most trivial of facts. I'd tell my father I'd eaten lunch with a girl of a false name, not because he knew the people at school, or that it would matter, simply for the fact that I knew I was lying and he did not.

One day I was accused of breaking something that, I can only assume now was caused by a freak incident in our home. I denied my involvement until my eyes burned from the hot tears streaming down my face. I had truthfully not been involved, but my father did not believe me. I was sent to bed without dinner, but most of all, the look of disappointment in my father's eyes mattered at last. For some reason, knowing that I was finally telling the truth, yet not being believed, it hurt especially. After several agonizing days in our family, I recall screaming, "Why won't you believe me?!" My father, calmly, sat down beside me and explained that, "A person who will lie about small, inconsequential things, will certainly lie about big, important things."  From that day on I was certain to regard my honesty and integrity in a much higher manner.
Lesson #2, in my life, came at a much older age, somewhere around 18. After a traumatic breakup with my high school sweetie I at last decided to meet a guy I'd been 'dating' online for several months. When we saw each-other at first my heart began racing and my palms began to sweat. He was more attractive than I'd envisioned, but most importantly, the person I'd began to fall for online seemed to be genuinely real. That night, on our first date, I said a silly, at the time inconsequential thing. After he'd rattled off all his relationships and 'conquests' he asked me about my 'experience'. He was 6 years my elder, and understandably had many more encounters, and I had only had the single relationship. I began to feel intimidated. Fear and negativity crept into the back of my thoughts and I blurted out a lie.

I told this man, then a stranger, I'd been with many more partners than I truly had, and that one had been a short thoughtless fling. It was only about two sentences, but they were lies. Harmless lies, to someone who was in my mind a stranger. No harm, right? As it turns out, that man turned into a four year relationship, and that one, single, lie. The only lie I ever told him, was thrown back with distrust every time we argued. Not because he ever learned the truth; but even worse, because the lie (in his mind) has painted me as someone with looser morals and less credibility. He was constantly in fear I would, or had cheated with a fling. I'd actually lied my way, successfully, into making myself much less of a person than I truly was!

The moral? Whether you are lying for profit, to manipulate for your own benefit, for the sheer power of being able to lie; a lie is a lie. It is a false representation of a fact (even feelings are the fact of how you feel.) I am not perfect, I slip up- but there has never been a lie I did not regret; and I remember that every time I even consider even shadowing the truth. Especially in the past ten years I have made every attempt to live my life with integrity, and I have been rewarded amply for it. Every relationship I have, and every time I am judged I can hold my head high knowing I am being judged for what is real, not for the reality which I have made. The judging may still be skewed, or not fair in my eyes, but I am always able to hold my head high, and that is more valuable than anything I could ever attain in dishonesty or deceit.

Trust is the most valuable gift anyone can give you. Without trust there is no love, there is no friendship, there is no purpose- without trust you are simply living in a play. I will always do my best in any matter of any size to be candid with all who give me the audience to do so. Because trust is the most valuable commodity I can be given. And, for every word you read, you give me just a little of your trust- for that, I thank you.

What Daughter Says: When one lies, it is, at it's core, an attack on one's self. Respect yourself and others with the bare truth.



5 comments:

  1. This is a wonderful post. I used to lie a lot but when no one would believe me when I was telling the truth, it really hurt.

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  2. I agree whole-heartedly. I can not stand people that will lie about small things. As your dad said, they will most certainly lie about big things. I think you should always try your best to tell the truth in any situation. People may not like it, but they don't have to.

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  3. Well said; this is such a meaningful message. It's easy to forget that on a blog, or any website really, one person's opinion isn't the black-and-white of it all. It's important for people to do their own research and come up with their own opinions, too.

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  4. Very thoughtful post. I am pretty honest in my "old age." I tried to get away with much more when I was a kid too.

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  5. Such perspective and clarity for my Sunday. Wonderful post ...

    thank you :)

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