lying

Once there was a taxi driver who lived and drove his taxi in the big American city.
This taxi driver wasn’t originally born in the big American city.
In fact, he had come from far away, from a place where, once, the very Spartans trained their warrior sons.
He was disarmingly charming, unintentionally bright, physically strong.
A wild child.
A product of a broken family, tonnes of classic prose, with a disproportionately large, warm heart.
Let’s call him Leon.
Leon – the taxi driver.

Leon had no idea of his possessions.
And by possessions the writer doesn’t mean gold-encrusted carriages and platinum tiaras, but knowledge about the world and the skill to see the brutally honest truth about people.

But, because he lived in a time when telling the truth was completely unacceptable, frowned upon, and outright wrong, Leon couldn’t even work anything else other than drive a taxi, because that was the only place where he could keep quiet, and obviously, spare the truth.

Leon wasn’t perfect, mind you.
He constantly contemplated things.
He often seemed insecure.
He read people just like his books – from cover to cover in a few minutes – so, he rebelled against their constant lies and deceptive attitudes, their pretence of what they were not.
He believed that people’s pretence and bullshitting was the cause of all the unfairness in the world.

Leon used to drive his taxi all day long.
While he waited for clients, he read books.
Tonnes of them.
And when he had a client to drive, he contemplated over the passages he had just read.
The books taught Leon a great deal about people and the world.
So, one fine day, Leon got fed up of driving his taxi, and decided to open up a firm for fixing the unfairness in the world.
To do that, he figured, he had to tell people the brutally honest truth about them.
So, he continued his taxi job but this time he spoke to his clients telling them the brutally honest truth about what he saw in them.

At first, people thought Leon was very rude, a nut case even, being so brutally honest with them.
But, as everyone knows, taxi drivers all around the world tend to be strangely intelligent, some of them can even shock you with their degrees in medicine, engineering, biochemistry, and the like, so people ended up appreciating Leon’s truth-telling and began to want more of it.

Leon dared speak to people of all race and credo.
He picked on the little details, just like a Sherlock Holmes, and told people the raw truth about them.
He spoke to them not with the slightest drop of evil and he also suggested remedies.
The awareness of their flaws and imperfections encouraged people to strive for improvement, to work harder at becoming better.
And so, Leon’s firm for fixing the unfairness in the world picked up thanks to all the people that streamed to hear the brutally honest truth about themselves.
The city began to change.
People looked and acted happier.
They prospered.
They felt freer, more determined, more confident.
They became good to each other.
One fine day, as Leon was crossing the street he got hit by a truck.
He was smashed like a hamburger.

And then, things went back to normal.
With big fat lies all around.

If we were incapable of lying, what would have happened to human beings?
Would things have been any different?
Is lying a hindrance to our development, or is it a prerequisite to remain civil, humane, and good?
Children lie as little as 2 years of age.
Some literature says that it is a sign of intelligence.
If a 22-year-old lies, is it still a sign of intelligence, or we just call him a big, fat lier?

Wikipedia describes 27 types of lies – from the ‘bullshit’ to the mythomaniac.
Some of the types of lies sound so natural to me that it looks like it’s impossible for humans not to lie.
If we all lie, and we do, what is the reason behind us being capable of doing it?
Is it another temptation that we’re supposed to resist, or, is it a medicine to the brutality and unfairness of life?

Some people tend to benefit from and prefer someone’s brutal honesty, just like Leon’s, while others suffer and can’t take the knock.
But wouldn’t honesty train us to be more resilient?
More importantly, wouldn’t honesty teach us to be more respectful of and careful with others?
What should we teach our kids when it comes to lying?

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