Thursday, 8 April 2010

The Invention of Lying

I watched this the other day and it set me thinking about the value of lying.  The small white lies which grease the wheels of social intercourse.  Where do they fit in the overall scheme of things?  I found myself uncomfortable watching the film - was this level of honesty really good?  It worked in the film as everyone had grown up that way, but would it work in today's world where we expect a degree of "diplomacy"?

Of course the approach that we take in this world leaves us open to doubt - what does this person mean?  Do they really like me?  - but could we really live in a world where there was certainty - they hate me, they don't like my dress sense.  There is a small hint of this in the film when his secretary says to him "I loathed almost every minute that I worked for you" - suggesting that perhaps she hadn't been wholly truthful all that time.

However, what we can learn from the film is the ability not to worry about what others think and to deal with them politely, but as we want.  Brian Thorne spoke at our church recently and started by thanking people for their warm welcome, and saying that he hoped it would be as warm at the end, but if it wasn't it wasn't his responsibility - a little counselling joke - but one which is worth remembering.

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