Why Honesty?

March 11, 2011
I am seventeen. I am a boy; but I can argue that I am a young adult, and my features possess semblances of what kind of an adult I may grow to be. I shade awkwardness, but brave actions still buffer me. I am sculpting my identity, but my self-perception is a concept, not a reality. I wish to be an adult. I wish to be able. Since I am a male, I assume I must prove myself to be a man. Since I am soft spoken and curious, I listen and watch. Since I am a person, I believe I have a personal and moral responsibility to the people around me.
Recently, an experience wracked my conscience. I was in class living my distracted quiet existence, when I spotted a popular, outgoing sportsman b******, full of pride and arrogance, cheating. Most of us, my peers and I, know that he cheats. He made no effort to hide his outright cheating on major tests. I noticed multiple students glance at his thieved work and turn away. Even the teacher confronted him, although she only investigated the noises made by his friends. She saw the b******’s class note, clearly next to him, and she raised a simple question. He lied in return - direct, loud, and smooth. His expression seemed amused, and quite confident. Other students stared and said nothing. I said nothing. The school year had just begun and she did not know him as we did. She instructed him to put away the notes and the test continued. She was not a naïve or incompetent teacher, and she must have made a mental note of the incident. While she may have not punished him, I know he would have continued lying and cheating regardless of the consequences - he was quite proud of his brilliance and “conmanship”. He spoke of his skill openly to his friends. The rest of us, “sheepies”, said nothing.
Lies work. The B****** knows it. He believes in it. He has seen the power of lies. He knows firsthand the beauty of lies. The class average was 83 on the test. He made a glorious hundred.
But how beneficial is deception?

Be warned, for my understanding of deception is subjective and is based on personal observations and personal experiences. I have seen lies, and I have lied. If deception can be explained by equations or numbers, I could be purely objective. However, due to the complex nature of the human mind and the infinite possible directions of social encounter, interpretation of manipulation varies from culture to culture, from experience to experience, from person to person. Therefore, I ask you to place my perceptive in proper context, and I ask you to think for yourself.

With the rule of engagement established, I will address my earlier question and explain myself properly. My answer to lies: I believe the woe of deception does not outweigh the pro of honesty. I begin my explanation with the self.

A person should not lie, because a lie to a stranger is a lie to oneself. When we lie, we dilute our own sensitive internal compass and we point false when we know truth. Since the goal of lying is to bury the truth forever, a committed lie must never see the light of day. A committed liar must engulf himself with his own façade. Since a convincing lie must seem natural and genuine, a convincing lie must convince oneself to respond automatically and effortlessly. Even if the liar is fully aware of reality and deception, for as long as he continues the lie, he wears a mask of illusion. Now, one may wonder the effect of illusion. How may a temporary illusion harm oneself? Well, I fear illusion will ultimately lead to delusion. I fear that to lie is a slippery slope and I fear that successful lies will lead to compulsive lies. And, since a successful lie is an endless lie, I believe lies will accumulate over time in our mind. Because persuasive lying needs to be quick and accurate, I believe lies must be ingrained into our mind to be successful. Therefore, an effective liar should recall lies in microseconds. However, intimacy with Lie is like sharing a bed with deception and illusion. When we allow Lie into our lives, she carries her baggage with her. Delusional inmates are lovers of lies and illusion. Broken by bitter harsh reality, the insane embrace the warm, comfortable, loving arms of deception and delusion. The delusional beings hide from the light of reality under the shelter of a delusional blanket. Lie is a seductive marriage, but she is also a restrictive wife. She murders reality and dictates life. A person must not voluntarily submit himself or herself to the inevitable spousal abuse of voluntary lie; a person must not eagerly dine with deception and a person must not willingly indulge in self-delusion. For those who suffer from the burden of delusion, I call for divorce. For those who have recently begun to date Lie, I ask for them to break up. For those who have yet to choose, I say engage in honesty.

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