Some Lies Are Good Too

Although I was always aware of lying in various kinds of situations, I have never thought about lying so deeply until I read the essay “The Truth about Lying” by Judith Viorst. I never knew that lie also has different genre such as social lie, peace-keeping lies, protective lie, and trust keeping lie. The variations of lies have really surprised me. At the same time, it has also made me very aware about my own lies. After reading about different lies, I have gotten a chance to think whether all lies I say are appropriate or not. As I consider all lies, I started to find that most of the lies somehow have some kind of interest behind them such as peace-keeping lies, protective lies, and trust keeping lies. Most of the times, people say these lies to hide some kind of truths which might be important for the other people to know and harmful for the liars to reveal. Therefore, people say these lies with the motive of manipulation. However, during my course of exploration, I have also found that there is one kind of lies which are not based on any self interest or manipulative motives and that is social lies.

 

So, I think social lies are the best kind of lies. Even if they are lies, most of the time they are better than truths. Social lies are often said just to make other happy. Therefore, more or less, every people want to hear social lies. In social lies the liar doesn’t get anything in return but give a temporary happiness to the other person. For example, a little lies of complement to a children’s work, even if it’s not so good, can motivate him or her to do better. Similarly, a little complement about one’s look, who is not looking good, can certainly give him or her feeling of satisfaction, even though he or she knows very well that how he or she is looking. Moreover, this is the only kind of lie that doesn’t have any side effects or consequences. On one hand, social lies are also work as peace-keeping lies. They maintain the peace of family, friends, and society.

 

Therefore, I believe that social lies are the only kind of lies that are worth telling even if you don’t have any strict reasons to do so.

 

Lying and Its Usage…

“The Truth about Lying” is a classification essay written by Judith Viorst which discusses about the types of lies with its explanation. Lies sometimes result in minute changes whereas sometimes it may create a disaster. There are four types of lies and I found that I fit among all four of them. I believe that everyone fit in at least one of them.
First is social lies, lying to avoid hurting others feelings. I remember lying to my boss to keep his heart. In my last birthday, my boss gave me a birthday present. I received a decorating piece made of shells. The piece was a weird structure that I still don’t know if it’s a sheep or some other animal. However, the next day I thanked my boss for the wonderful gift.
Second type is peace-keeping lies, lying to prevent conflicts or fight between people. When my friends phone me on Saturdays, I never receive their call knowing that it is an invitation to a dance party. I never liked attending dance parties and if I would have tried to reject them then we would have ended up quarrelling with each other. Next time when I meet them I used to make an excuse and escape from there.
The third type is protective lies, lying for the sake of others better life or to hide the truth which can never be accepted by the people. When I talk to my mother, I never let her know that I am sick. I don’t want her to feel pain than I am feeling and worry about me. I want to make her happy and comfortable although we are living far away from each other. I didn’t know that hiding the truth also means lying. Yes, here I take the help of protective lies to keep my mother out of worries.
The final type is trust keeping, lying to protect the trust of someone to some other person. Once my aunt found a cigarette in my cousin’s bag and my cousin came to me to help him. He promised to quit smoking if I lied about his truth of smoking, so I lied to my aunt and from then my brother quit smoking.
In conclusion lies can sometimes improve people’s lives and sometimes destroy it as well. Therefore, one must be very careful before taking help of lies.

The Truth about Lying

I think any kind of lying is morally wrong and making excuses by categorizing lying as social lying, peace keeping lying, trust keeping lying, and protective lying does not make sense. People say that sometime lying can be considered as the best thing to do in order to make others happy, to prevent others from feeling embarrass, to prevent others from unexpected events like dying, and to maintain peace among people. People consider these lies as white lies, but what I think is that there is no existence of white lies. Lying in any circumstances cannot be considered as positive thing as these lies never benefit people. In contrast, they make condition more complicated and delicate.

People often say that we need to lie in order to make others happy. For example, people often say “you are looking awesome today” in order to make other person happy and gain positive response as reward. Some people may like positive responses while some may feel embarrass by these positive comments. In addition, it depends on a person how he or she takes fake comments. Some people think these fake comments as unnecessary buttering and dislike the person who uses these fake comments. So, I think it is better not to praise other through fake positive comments.

People often lie in order to prevent quarrels among people. I think it is not good to lie to settle quarrel among people since lying in order to settle quarrel sometimes may involve person who lies, and it may lead to a big fight. So, it is better to settle quarrel with truth so that it could be settled permanently without involving a third person.

People say that it is good to say “you look pretty with new dress” in spite of looking worst than ever when other person asked to comment on his or her dress. However, I think it is better to say truth rather than praising someone with false comment. It is better if a single person gives idea about his or her worst looking rather than he or she becomes a funny person among mass of people.

It is often said that it is okay to lie if it could save life of someone, but I think it is better to say truth since everyone has to face truth in any situation. If it is hidden today, it could reveal at any time and hurt that person more than ever. In addition, we all know that telling lies is not easy, it too hurts oneself.

So, I think lying can never be a positive thing, and it is not a good idea to make excuses for lying by saying “I lied for the sake of other happiness or comfort” since lying neither comforts a person who lies nor a person who listens someone lying.

Response to “The Voice from the Wall”

“The Voice from the Wall” is a chapter of Joy Luck Club Written by Amy Tan which reflects about the matters which you don’t want to think, but these usually come to your mind and you can’t stop yourself thinking like this. Here, the main characters Lena St. Clair and her mother Betty St. Clair (Ying-ying) used to think like these. The whole chapter’s subject was appearance vs. reality. They see one thing but discover another thing. Ying-ying believes that there is existence of ghost in the world and she used to discuss with her daughter about the ghost of a beggar who killed her grandfather (Ying-ying’s) as he had sentenced the beggar to death. Ying-ying believes that his grandfather did not die because of influenza but the beggar turned into a ghost and took revenge on her grandfather. Lena St. Clair also had begun to think like this. When she saw monkey rings, she used to think that it would split in two and send a singing child hurtling through space.

When I was reading this chapter and reading about the imagination of the mother and her daughter, I was thinking that what these were. I didn’t ever think like this. After some moments, I remembered that I also thought like this. When I went to the rooftop and saw the ground from there, the thought came to mind that what would happen if I fell from the roof to the ground, my head might be broken and my brain would come out and scatter in the ground. Again, when I cut fruits by a sharp knife, the thought came to my mind that if the knife slipped from my hand it would go through the belly of my little sister who was playing beside me. What a horrible thinking came to my mind! I never liked to think like this but it happened.

Lina’s mother Ying-ying used to frighten her by telling a story of a man, who was thousands years old and liked to eat the children who went to the basement. Her mother used to tell such kind of story to Lina to discourage her to go to the basement as it was a dark place and many stairs were there, if Lina went there, she could fall down and hurt herself. The same thing also happened to me. When I was five or six years old, I disliked eating vegetables. My mother made a story that there was a witch who searched for the children who disliked vegetables and ate the children. I believed the story and didn’t refuse to eat vegetables anymore.

on self-knowledge

In our reading writing course, we are reading various kinds of reading on various topics. For example, we read short stories like Unaccustomed earth,  and Our Perfect Summer, which are related wit real life, novel like Shahbanu and The Joy Luck Club, which show us the view of women’s inner and outer lives, pomes on various theme, and scientific and non-scientific essays.

Whatever I read, I loved Khalil Gibran’s poem most wonderful. I agree with Ms Fatema that really he is a universal poet. To be candid, I found it very critical at first time, but later I read it with more carefully and I felt that I learned something from it. I realized that there is an inner massage in his poem, though I did not get the 100%.

“On self-knowledge” is such a wonderful poem of Khalil Gibran. In this poem, he said that heart is the only thing, which can connect our body and mind; others limbs cannot do this. Therefore, heart is the source of self- knowledge and understanding. According to him, to discover the reason of life or the soul is the way of being wise. However, as human’s ability is limited, it is not possible to know or measure the unlimited truth and secrecy of life. Because, soul has own path and own world, it is not bound within human world. As a result, it is difficult for human to recognize it completely. However, as human get older, lives’ unrevealed truth began to reveal itself, by the tone of Khalil Gibran’s voice “The soul unfolds itself like a lotus of countless petals.”

Really, this poem makes me thoughtful like why we are living life, what the purpose and so on. I get a decision that, the world’s life is not the end of human life and we will meet with the soul in its world after leaving visible earth.

Response to ” The Voice from the World”

“The Voice from the Wall” is a chapter of Joy Luck Club Written by Amy Tan which reflects about the matters which you don’t want to think, but these usually come to your mind and you can’t stop yourself thinking like this. Here, the main characters Lena St. Clair and her mother Betty St. Clair (Ying-ying) used to think like these. The whole chapter’s subject was appearance vs. reality. They see one thing but discover another thing. Ying-ying believes that there is existence of ghost in the world and she used to discuss with her daughter about the ghost of a beggar who killed her grandfather (Ying-ying’s) as he had sentenced the beggar to death. Ying-ying believes that his grandfather did not die because of influenza but the beggar turned into a ghost and took revenge on her grandfather. Lena St. Clair also had begun to think like this. When she saw monkey rings, she used to think that it would split in two and send a singing child hurtling through space.

When I was reading this chapter and reading about the imagination of the mother and her daughter, I was thinking that what these were. I didn’t ever think like this. After some moments, I remembered that I also thought like this. When I went to the rooftop and saw the ground from there, the thought came to mind that what would happen if I fell from the roof to the ground, my head might be broken and my brain would come out and scatter in the ground. Again, when I cut fruits by a sharp knife, the thought came to my mind that if the knife slipped from my hand it would go through the belly of my little sister who was playing beside me. What a horrible thinking came to my mind! I never liked to think like this but it happened.

Lina’s mother Ying-ying used to frighten her by telling a story of a man, who was thousands years old and liked to eat the children who went to the basement. Her mother used to tell such kind of story to Lina to discourage her to go to the basement as it was a dark place and many stairs were there, if Lina went there, she could fall down and hurt herself. The same thing also happened to me. When I was five or six years old, I disliked eating vegetables. My mother made a story that there was a witch who searched for the children who disliked vegetables and ate the children. I believed the story and didn’t refuse to eat vegetables anymore.

Different Worlds

Analyzing the stories of four mothers and their daughters in The Joy Luck Club, we see that both mothers and daughters fail to communicate and convey their ideas to each other. No matter how deeply the mothers love their daughters, still a big gap exist among them. One of the reasons for this lack of understanding is the different culture they grew up in: Chinese culture and American culture. The way they look at the world and their understanding of it is different. Therefore, their expectation from each other doesn’t match with what they receive from each other.

In the chapter “The Red Candle,” Lindo Jong, who was taught to sacrifice her life for her family even if it costs her happiness, complains about her daughter’s attitude for keeping simple promises. Family and family’s reputation, for the mother, is the most sacred concept that she accepts to suffer all the pain and sorrow for it. In contrast, her daughter easily brings excuses for the simple promises she breaks frequently. In the chapter “Rules of the Games,” this problem enters into a serious phase. Waverly finds it rational to ask her mother to leave her alone when she practices, while her mother enjoys watching her playing chess. The mother gets hurt being told she is a disturbance. At the end of the chapter, Waverly can’t stand the pressure of her mother’s behavior when her mother expresses her feeling of being proud of her daughter publicly. She asks her mother to stop, breaks her mother heart with a rude answer and runs away.

In the story of Ying-Ying the case is more complicated. Both her husband and her daughter play an important role to make her come to conclusion she is nothing but a ghost. Her existence as an independent person is ignored whenever Lena and his father speak on behalf of her or make decision instead of her. Just because they did not understand her and the culture she has grown up with doesn’t necessarily mean she is crazy or incapable of representing herself. Maybe if the father and the daughter would give her the opportunity to covey her ideas and did not interpret her world in the way they saw not in the way it was, Ying-Ying wouldn’t end up living as a shadow or a ghost.

There are lots of difference between my world and my mother’s too. She comes from an Afghan traditional society. She grew up in a rural area, deprived of education, while I was born in a city in Iran and I am studying in an international university in a foreign country. However, I try to understand her, listen to her, and more important, respect her.

A Ghost Story

We read the interesting story of Lena and her mother, Ying-ying, in the chapter “The Voice from the Wall” in the novel The Joy Luck Club. When I was reading the chapter about the ghost, I remembered a ghost story. Therefore, I want to share the story with you.

Once there was a teacher who taught in a village school. Every day, he would go to the school at 10 am and would come back to his home at 5 pm. He was a very good teacher; he always helped his students after class, so he sometimes returned to his home around 8 pm. It was a little dangerous because there was a forest on his way home from the school. One day, he was returning to his home at 8 pm, and it was almost silent and dark as there was no source of light in that forest. The stars were twinkling in the sky, but they were not able to spread their light on the scary forest. The only source of light was the torch in the hand of the teacher. He was by himself while passing the forest. Suddenly, he heard that a boy was weeping in a loud voice in the forest. He turned on the torch and looked all around himself. He saw a little boy who was sitting on a rock, his hands were on his face, and he was crying. The teacher went towards him, and asked why he was crying. The boy removed his hand from his face, and the teacher saw that his face was of nothing but an oval shaped structure with no mouth, no teeth, no eyes, and no nose. After seeing this, the teacher became so terrified that he started screaming and running towards the other side of the forest. There, he saw a guard with a lantern in his hand in that dark and terrible forest, so the teacher ran towards him. When he got close to the guard, he was breathing quickly.

Guard: What happened? Why are you running?

Teacher (in his apprehensive and stumbling voice): There…there was a…b-boy whose face hadn’t has any….structure…

Guard (lifting his lantern towards his face): Look at me. Is the face of that boy similar to me?

The teacher was shocked and stunned when he looked at him and became paralyzed as the guard’s face was also the same as that boy’s face.

Response the introduction of The Twenty-Six Malignant Gates

The introductory fable of ‘The Twenty-Six Malignant Gates’ struck my mind in that way which made my new realization toward a mother-daughter relationship. The relation between a mother and a daughter is so profound that sometimes we fail to define it in real words. This relation is not only a blood relation but something more. It is such a bond that is invisible but often shows its existence in many different ways. This fable is about the question of children’s independence and the conflict between children and their mothers in that matter. The formation of this conflict is so perpetual that I think almost every time children refuse their mother’s words which seem superstitious to them. A mother has inner wisdom for her child which she intends to apply for her child’s well-being. This fable implies that fact. In that short fable, like other children, the girl also refused her mother’s warning to go outside with her bicycle. Her mother warned because she read a Chinese book titled The Twenty-Six Malignant Gates which was about twenty-six bad things that can be happened if a child went outside the protection of the house. In the issue of her daughter’s going outside let her to warn that she could be fall down from bicycle if she went outside.  The mother took the knowledge of this book for her daughter’s benefit. However, her daughter did not pay head to her words and went outside by defying her mother and fell down. Her mother’s words came true which seems awkward to her daughter.

I have also same experience regarding that fact. I am used to take my bath at night after my admission at AUW because of my day-long tight class schedule. My mother always warns me not to take bath at night-time because it opens the door of sickness. However, often I do same thing for consecutive days. One day, at my weekend when I am at home, my mother told me if you took your bath at night-time you might have caught by fever. After coming at dorm, suddenly I had been caught by fever and suffered a lot. I was so surprised then by realizing the result of ignoring my mother’s words.

This fable conveyed such a strong message to me that it is a supernatural quality of a mother to do some tasks which may be seemed to their children as superstitions. However, it is a mother’s deep concern to wish her children’s best luck and well-being so that she might do anything for her children’s sake. Sometimes it seems unreal but this concern is real which has an inner ability to make unreal things to be real.

 

Charity

How will you feel if a person comes to you and gives you some money to get better off in your pitiful circumstance? How will you feel if someone gives you new clothes when you are wearing torn clothes? How will you feel if an organization helps you when a flood victimizes you? How will you feel when someone bestows you a sponsorship to study in a high school at the time of your need? These are all examples of charity for good purposes and for good reasons. This evokes rays of happiness, hope, and joy to the receivers. People or organizations whoever are involved in such helpful works are always highly praised and privileged.

However, how will you feel if someone gives you hand-me-down clothes as a charity? How will you feel if someone gives you leftovers to eat? How will you feel if someone gives you an already used chess set lacking some pawns as a Christmas gift? Certainly, it’s a humiliation rather than a charity, and nobody likes being humiliated. It’s true that you are poor, that you have hard time to fulfill daily requirements, but that doesn’t necessarily mean that you need sympathy and pity. This is the very case with Lindo Jong in “Rules of the Game.”

In a Christmas party, Lindo Jong’s son, Vincent gets a chess set as a gift from a so called Santa Claus. It is an old chess set which has already lost some of its elements. Hence, it’s obvious that they got the chess set as a charity with humiliation but not a gift with affection. Therefore, Lindo Jong tells Vincent to throw away the chess set as the chess set is a symbol of sympathy, humiliation, and pity.

There is a vast difference between a charity and a gift. A charity is given to the people who need and a gift is given to beloved ones. Within charity also, there are a charity with affection and a charity with humiliation. These two also differ from one another tremendously. A charity with affection is incorporated with compliment, tribute, joy, and happiness, while a charity with humiliation incorporates with inequality, emotional torture, and hatred.