• Anele Matshisi

The truth about lying

There's a Pinnochio in all of us. But here's the problem with lying;

It burdens our memory. Our brains are wired to forget information. If we remembered everything our senses consumed, we would go mad from all the stimuli our brains have to process, every split second. So our brains forget certain things and store others.

However, lying is not forgetting. It's remembering to distort facts. This is why it's a burden to our memory; lying means that we always have to remember what we said, how we said it and to whom we said it to. Think about gossip. The gossiper has to always remember who they whispered to. When we're telling the truth we have nothing to remember. I think that's why the truth sets us free.

It takes one lie to sustain another.

Lies have weak legs they can't stand on their own, so if you lie about one thing, rest assured you'll be presented with an opportunity to lie again next time to support your previous lie - or to just tell the truth. That's how people get caught in a lie because sooner or later the lies won't add up.

Sly fox.

Lying creates a sly-fox-aura about us, so much so that even when we're telling the truth it sounds like a lie. As cumbersome as this may sound, it's true. I think that's how people become compulsive liars.

Why do we lie though?

People lie to avoid taking ownership of their role in a situation or the lack thereof. People lie to save face. People lie to purge their image, which is stupid because using lies to absolve ourselves from anything is the equivalent of using mud to wash off a stain on a bright coloured garment. While Pinnochio's nose grew every time he lied, our lies say something about our characters every time we lie.

So I ask, what's the benefit of lying? There is no benefit. The problem with lying is usually not the lie but the habit itself, because it leads us to start believing that we are slick and good at this but more so we start believing our own lies. Like sunrise undresses night from the morning, the light of truth frequently shines on our individual mess. When it does, I think we should look at it as an opportunity for us to sharpen our humanity.

We cannot lie to protect the truth.

For as long we are in this body of flesh, we will always have a Pinnochio to overcome. And just before I lie, telling the truth is not part of human nature, we would rather shift the light away from ourselves; being a truthful person is hard. But it's necessary. It's the only way we can protect ourselves from building our lives on superfluous realities deficient of the kind of peace only truth can provide.

Written 23 December 2019

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 © by Anele Matshisi. Proudly created Strawberry Diamond

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