Getting real

January 3, 2007 at 12:58 pm 1 comment

It’s January 3, and I still haven’t posted anything about the New Year. No resolutions, no list of the passing year’s highlights, no sappy strains of hope. (Coming from me, they tend to be sappy. 😉 Coming from others, so far this year, they’ve been intriguing and inspiring.)

Truthfully, I do have two resolutions firmly in mind for 2007: Getting healthy, and getting real.

The healthy part needs no expounding-upon. The getting real part does. At least in my own mind.

Is it just me, or has casual, deliberate dishonesty become de rigueur in recent years? I actually began to notice it back when Clinton was in the White House – even before the Lewinsky mess. There’s been a sense that, so long as you lie plausibly, and affably, there’s no real harm in it. It’s just what everyone does.

But there’s a deeper aspect I notice, too. People all over the place seem to lie easily about big things, knowing all along that they don’t intend to make good on the promises. They’ve already got a plan in place, when they lie, for how they’ll get out of it or cover it up at the crucial moment. They’ve got pre-arranged, socially-acceptable excuses at the ready, and they use them shamelessly.

Sure, politicians have been doing this from time immemorial. But nowadays it seems to me that most everyone’s become a politician.

There’s a corollary, too. So long as you say something minorly self-deprecating in the process of putting across your lie, people will think you’re a great guy who wouldn’t ever play, or lie to, them.

I admit that I’ve done this very thing myself, mainly in a work situation. I justified it as “getting through the week” or “making the company look good” or whatever. I learned how to do it by observing others who were much more adept at the dark art, then became an acolyte by my choice. And having allowed this dishonesty into my own life, I can feel that it’s still within, seeking to grow in power, looking for outlets for itself, still observing how others accomplish their ends, garnering new means to work its contemplated wrongs. It’s a mental parasite taking on a life of its own, and I allowed it to grow.

Perhaps its presence within me is a help in my writing, and in understanding people’s motivations. I like to think that having dipped into darkness provides me with greater insight into human frailties and flaws. I’ll try to use it in this spirit, to purify its sins by exposing them to light, putting them to a higher purpose.

But in the everyday world. I’ve had enough of such games – enough of prostituting my conscience and integrity. And I’ve had enough of being played by slimy people who think they’re better than me precisely because they’re more skilled at the game of lies.

So this is my resolution: To seek out and spend good, honest time with people who don’t play such games. (There are many such people, I’m blessed to be able to say.) To make sure I don’t play them myself. And to work on becoming aware of being played, while it’s going on, and to confront the would-be player.

Dang. This feels like too big an undertaking for me just yet. Maybe I shouldn’t have promised. 😛

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Entry filed under: Free Your Mind, Living Free.

Nominated – wow! Congrats, Ali!

1 Comment Add your own

  • 1. lewlew  |  January 3, 2007 at 10:00 pm

    Taran,

    Those are both admirable aims to have. I wish you much success in weaving them into your life during 2007.

    Your friend,
    ~lewlew

    Reply

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