I read an article the other day that compared Donald Trump with Barack Obama, in terms of the number of falsehoods that they had told in their respective presidencies. Here’s the article.
The score is:
Obama – 18 lies (in 8 years)
Trump – 103 lies (in 10 months)
So Trump wins this one.
But reading this made me wonder about myself. Just how truthful am I in daily life?
On the whole, I try I be as honest as possible, most of the time. But there are occasions when a lie is the kindest way to deal with a situation, (a ‘white’ lie) and there are other times when avoiding the truth is the easiest way to ensure a harmonious home life (a ‘grey’ lie).*
When I was a child, I remember that my dad used to chain the kitchen scissors to the inside of a drawer. I mean this literally. We (his children) all tried to cut the chain by using the scissors, but the chain was too strong. They were impossible to remove, and my dad, like Trump, had won.
At the time we all thought that he was an idiot for being so precious about it, but now I understand that he had become frustrated by his kids repeatedly failing to take care of his stuff.
And now that I’m my dad’s age (or even older) I’m beginning to turn into him – especially when it comes to scissors. I calculate that I have bought a pair of nail scissors every 6 months for the past 10 years. That makes 20 pairs!
But where are they all? No-one knows.
Most of the time, our house is scissor-free, but every now and then a pair surfaces, lives a merry temporary existence in the bathroom, and then goes back into hibernation. At these times we all cut our nails as short as we can, because we never know when our next chance will come.
So I have taken my dad’s idea and brought it up to date. A few weeks ago I purchased a new pair of nail scissors, and, rather than attaching them by chain to the sink (which seems petty) I have simply hidden them and not told anyone that they exist. I am a genius!
Is keeping quiet about these scissors an actual lie? Not in itself, perhaps, but the other day I was handed a serious moral dilemma when my wife asked if I knew where any pairs were.
I wrestled with my conscience for a full five seconds – and then said NO!
At first sight, this was a ‘black’ lie. But when you think about it, there are spots of grey in there too. Because not having any scissors in the house MIGHT be a catalyst for positive change. In other words, the other members of my household might try to look after future pairs a bit better.
I’m not confident of this, but I am confident that the scissors will be available for me when I need them next.
But hang on a minute – WHERE ARE MY TWEEZERS?!??!
*I’ve just googled it and it turns out that this is an actual thing! http://changingminds.org/explanations/behaviors/lying/four_lies.htm.