“Now if my tears don’t mean nothing don’t insult me with lies” – Jazmine Sullivan
As a child I was taught to always tell the truth no matter what.
So when I went to primary school I was totally baffled by the existence of ‘white lies’. How could not telling the truth be seen as OK?
Secondary school opened my eyes to lies by omission. Giving all the details except for the ones that actually matter. Or simply say nothing.
Self preservation was the main motive behind the majority of these lies – not wanting to get in trouble or simply avoid an uncomfortable situation.
But what about selfless lies?
I can hear my mum now -‘A lie is a lie’. But is truth always the best/right thing?
I have definitely noticed that the attitude towards lies and truths changed as I have grown up and the focus move from facts to feelings.
Watching ‘Reg*’ earlier, a BBC drama about the father of a fallen soldier and his political career following his son death in Iraq, a war now known to based on lies, and was touched when the character confessed that he had allowed his elderly mother to die believing his son was still alive. She died 6 months after his son but I just couldn’t decide whether he was right to do that. It was easy to argue that his action was both selfless and selfish. Later on in the episode he also lied to his grieving wife telling her that his son had not suffered and had been shot once in the head when in fact thirty bullets had been shot throughout his body. She later found out and in his defense he stated that he had told her what she wanted to hear.Which was true.*
Which leads me to my question – in any relationship how honest should you be? Should you be completely honest and transparent? Should you only divulge only what needs to be known? Should you keep hurtful truths secret to spare their feelings?
“You don’t tell people everything”.
Is this good advice?
And if so, what would you say falls into the ‘don’t tell’ category?