Let’s admit it; there are situations when we just do not possess the courage required to tell the truth. In such situations we regularly choose to lie instead of facing the consequences of truth. Given the sad but true fact that few, if any, of us are above such small weaknesses, I can give such liars a break and not blame them too much. But what about the lies we regularly tell and which serve no serious purpose at all.
1. Someone expecting us calls and asks how long we will be. If we think it’ll take us half an hour to get there, we instinctively say “Fifteen minutes!” ignoring the fact that had we been 45 minutes away, we would have just as easily said “Half an hour!” Are we just making the other person feel better this way?
2. When the host asks us if we want to have dinner, we reply “No! I am not hungry” or “No ! I just ate” even if we have not eaten anything for hours and would love a meal. Is this some sort of courtesy?
3. A call wakes us up in the middle of a satisfying nap and the caller asks “I hope I did not disturb you!” and we conveniently reply “No, not at all” when we feel like killing the person. Are we being polite?
4. In various professional situations, we shamelessly promise stuff like “I will give it my 110%!” Of course we know what we promising is mathematically impossible. Are we exhibiting our sincerity?
5. When a caller asks us “Pehchana!” we say “Yes! Of course!” just hoping that a few more words from him would help us recognize the voice. Are we showing our intimacy with the person?
6. We go to a funeral or a Qul etc, and habitually say “bara afsos hua!” even if we hardly knew the deceased and weren’t even sure he was alive till now. Are we following some custom?
7. We meet someone for the first time and even if he or she fails to leave any impression whatsoever on us, we say “Pleased to meet you!” Are we being civilized?
8. When someone criticizes a third person, we feel this uncontrollable urge to tell him that that fault does not lie in us, even when we are pretty sure of the opposite. Are we trying to avoid being insecure?
9. When a classic and critically acclaimed book or movie is under discussion, we make it a point to stress how much we liked it, even if we hated it or completely failed to see the point of the whole thing. Are we being cultured?
10. And lastly, when our spouse or partner says “I love you!” we almost always respond with “I love you too!” without thinking, without even knowing what the phrase exactly means and even if what we feel at that time is anything but love. Are we being romantic?
I don’t know but I feel the answer to all ten questions above is the same. No! We are lying, we are just being liars.