25 January 2008

Lying on Purpose... What Happpened to Integrity?

“A lie is an abomination unto the Lord, and a very present help in trouble.” (a combination of Proverbs 12:22 and Psalms 46:1) ~ Anonymous (of course, who would admit this?)

As I have been ill with sinusitis and very bad allergies over the past few weeks, I have had lots of down time. One of the things I couldn’t escape, even watching public television, is the election process. The one thing that really struck me with all the ads is the tag line, “I am _________, and I approve this message.” I know this began a few elections back because one of the candidates published an ad of blatant lies. Now campaign candidates have to let the public know that the ads that bare their names are truth.

Perhaps I am naïve, but I find this absolutely appalling. I am not that old, but there was a time when a person’s word meant something. A handshake was as good as a legal contract. What happened to those times? What did I miss? My question is what happened to integrity? What happened to those days when I could look someone in the eye and know that they were honest? Has truth and honesty fallen by the wayside? Is being a person of integrity now something to be ashamed of? Today, in order to play the game of the world, our first assumption must be that the person in front of us is not telling the truth.

Along this same vein, our nation tried to impeach one president because he committed adultery and lied about it. Yet, we refuse to see, let alone condemn, the president who lied about our safety and went to war with another country. I find this appalling. Why doesn’t someone call to task that lie – a lie that has resulted in devastating violence, murder, and destruction? Is it just me? Am I that naïve?

As a small child, when I was caught in a lie, I was whooped like there was no tomorrow. I watched the movie Pinocchio, and it had an impact. I hated my nose anyway, and I didn’t want it any longer. Today, it is socially and politically acceptable to lie. Lying is next to blackberries, text messages, and Facebook. I am not that naïve; I know that there will always be some level of lying in life. Women lie about their age, their true hair color (remember I Love Lucy?), and we lie about “our first time.” I love the language: little white lie (what color are the huge ones?); coloring the truth; fudging the truth; political double speak; just to name a few. Though it is still unacceptable to be called a liar to one’s face. The legal system calls it perjury. Yet, the government can do it with ease and violence. If I did it, I would feel guilty and probably get caught. I don’t have a poker face.

Okay, I hope I get well soon, because I am getting way too serious. Just kidding! But I would be interested in hearing some of your views around this issue. And no lying!

Just venting with integrity, on purpose!
Coach Carolyn


Anonymous said...

Hi Carolyn,

Thanks for the great post and your critical thinking about the “truth” today. You make sense and you are fabulous for asking "Why?" I don’t feel that the question "Why" is asked as much as it should be – on any subject. The answers, of course, may vary according to perspective; however, the truth usually ends up becoming transparent – one of the best traits of our blogosphere. So I am hopeful about that time you mention – when truth and integrity were foundational attributes. For instance, what if the blogosphere ends up being part of a network of the people’s own system of checks and balances – aka a great tool for keeping folks honest? Transparency, like the truth, provides clarity – and it has no color to shade the outcome. Here’s to a great ’08, Carolyn! :)


Pop Art Diva! said...

It seems that many of the virtues of days past have disappeared from today's society.

I loved your comments about what we name our lies in order to alleviate some of our guilt for telling them - especially the comment about little white lies, lol.

Just because traits are from a past era doesn't take away their value. Wouldn't it be lovely to bring back courtesy, compassion, understanding as well as being honest?

Terri, aka PopArtDiva, The Martini Diva, The DIVA of TINY FOODS ,The Normal Challenged Artist, The DIVA of DIVAVILLE

Carolyn D. Townes, SFO said...

Thanks JP and Terri, for your comments. I am so happy I am not alone in my mental meanderings. It is sad that the integrity of the past is a thing of the past.

Keep rockin, with integrity!

Kirsten Harrell, Psy.D. said...

Hi Carolyn,
Great post! Unfortunately, I have become too cynical about politics. I don't expect politicians to be truthful. Our political system has become so warped that I believe the most honest politicians can't compete. This is a shame!

I don't know how we can turn this around, but I, too, long for a political system based on integerity and honesty. Until that day, I look for politicians that can do the best for our country.

I agree with you about the lies from our presidents. I don't understand how people were more outraged by lies pertaining to infidelity than lies that led to unnecessary war and the death and injuries of thousand of our soldiers. It doesn't make sense to me.

Let's join together and hold intentions for a change in the political system and a return to honest!

Carolyn D. Townes, SFO said...

Thanks Kirsten, great insight. I am still a die hard optimist - hoping that integrity will one day win out.

Until that day, we will all hold the positive intention.

Philippa @ Oak Grove Farm said...

He who lies, is fearful of the truth - let love be thy guide and so to ask what it is that one is afraid of and how can I help?
P.E. Castle