Living with Lies

In the essay “The Truth about Lying,” Judith Viorst discusses different kinds of lies people usually tell in their lives. It reveals the two types of lies – one is acceptable, and the other one is unacceptable. While Viorst is giving her opinions after discussing each situation, she also asks the reader a simple but indeed difficult question, “What about you?”

“What about you?” Seeing this question again and again, I suddenly have no idea what my answers should be. It seems a little bit unacceptable that almost everyone tells lies in the world, but it is a truth. Yes, everyone, no exceptions, no excuses. In some circumstances, some people may tell lies to protect others, while some may do so to protect themselves. No matter what the intentions are, we are living with lies, and even sometimes we cannot move forward without lies.

When being asked whom I can’t tell lies to in my life, I thought about myself first. However, I soon changed my mind in the next second. Indeed, I have lied to myself a lot of times, even more than to other people. When facing some problems that difficult to deal with, I lie to myself, “It is not a big deal, I will find out the solution easily.” When I feel lost and don’t know how to move to the next step, I tell myself, “Unclear view is making my journey more beautiful.” This kind of lies is also known as self-deception, a word that seems silly, but it does provide the power of moving forward. On the other hand, I can see that too much lies will cause negative consequences – I will lose myself in the situation I imagine forever – which was shown in the story about Willy in the play “Death of a Salesman.” After experiencing all terrible things, Willy plants weeds in his garden, where the sunlight never reaches. It divulges the lies he has told himself as well as the negative aspects of his self-deception. I acknowledge that being addicted to lying is not a good thing, yet I guess there is another thing emerged from Willy’s death – when he realizes that all lies have been disclosed, when he is not able to lie to himself anymore, he is stuck in a same place forever. Perhaps, the power of lies can be shown from his story.

I have heard a lot of people saying that “living a life just like performing a play.” If it is true, I would like to say that: you may want to act with all your emotions when you are a performer, but you may not want to trust everything you see when you are in the audience, as you are living with lies, and the liar can be anyone, including you.

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2 Responses to Living with Lies

  1. Hello dear friend. Reading your entry made me think again and again. Despite that most of us lie to ourselves, we might not have it in our minds that it is a kind of lying, just the same as telling lie to others. Well, I cannot say what will exactly happen if we lie to ourselves. Seriously, I cannot say because I’m afraid to utter the result and I do not believe my lies any more. I have been telling lies to myself repeatedly, and now, it will shatter my made up world if I try to judge or predict the result. However, I must confess that I do agree with you. Self-deception is one of the motivations that can make the world easier to bear with. Otherwise, we cannot handle this world with the “untaken roads” in front and the burdens of disappointments and failures. However, sometimes I feel lying to ourselves is like giggling ourselves, it never can cause laughter—just beating a dead horse.
    Something to add is that I could not understand the last paragraph. That is right that we can consider ourselves as an actor, but I could not understand what your viewpoint is about this issue. I wonder if you could make it clearer to me.

    • meihuilan says:

      Hello friend,
      Thank you for your comment. It was impressive and profound. As for the last paragraph, I know that I have written it in a confusing way. This was what I wanted to say: If living a life is performing a play, everyone is a performer in her own play, and she is also in the position of the audiance watching the performents of other people. She may think that she herself lives in reality and truth; however, she may not believe in all the things happening in the stories of other people, as she can’t see clear what other people’s thoughts and intentions. Therefore, other people can be lairs. Moreover, once she put herself out of her own performance, she may find that her play doesn’t really real, so eventually she also turn out to be a liar.
      I’m sorry for my poor explanation. Perhaps the main words in my writing were “perform” and “play.” As we can see from the basic meaning of these two words, they both convey the message about “unreality.” I just wanted to say that everything can be unreal in our lives, we should take care of what we see and what we think. As for whether you should trust something or not, you are the right person who really make the judgement.

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