Is Lying acceptable?

Even though all of us have been taught not to lie from our childhood, why do we consider it’s ok to lie? It’s obvious that there is nobody in the world who doesn’t lie or who hasn’t lied in his entire life. Judith Viorst in her essay, “The truth about Lying” has mentioned different kinds of lies that fall under different categories. This essay tells that people tell a lie when they are in dreadful situation or when they don’t want to hurt others by telling the truth. Those people who think that they don’t lie will encounter with different examples in this essay which will make them accept the truth that all people lie and that they also fall in one of the categories. While starting to read the essay in our class, we were told to reminisce about any of the scenes when we had lied. At that time, nothing came in my mind, I was thinking that I don’t lie anymore as I used to in my childhood, but when I started to read the essay, I found that almost all of the examples Viorst made had been used by me.

Viorst says that lies are necessary in order to be congenial. For example, it is always rude to tell a person who is dressing up for a party that she looks absurd in her party dress. Even though she looks odd in her new dress, we will eventually say that she looks gorgeous so that she doesn’t feel uncomfortable in her party. Similarly, we never tell the dying person that he is going to die soon when he asks what the doctor had said regarding his health. In both of these examples, it is clear that the answers to both of these questions were true, but instead of being rude, the person lied to tell them the truth. It is obvious that if the person had given them the right answer, the one who had asked the question might have been demoralized. Therefore, it is true that lies are accepted by our society and it is ok to lie if it doesn’t harm others.

Dangers of All Kinds of Lies

            The essay “The Truth about Lying” by Judith Viorst, discusses about four kinds of lying that are not harmful for the society; rather, these kinds of lies makes relationship better in some cases. The author has categorized these into four categories, and these are social lies, peace-keeping lies, protective lies, and trust-keeping lies. In my life, I had to tell all these four kinds of lies in order to live happily, but unfortunately, all these four kinds of lies brought troubles in my life. I want to share my experiences about how lies are always worse.

            Social Lie: This kind of lying is a little bit like flattery. However, we have to lie sometimes to make our dear ones happy by praising them highly although they are not worthy of that much praise. I always tell these kinds of lies. One day, one of my friends made some sweet food for me. I highly praised her telling that that was very delicious. She became very happy. When she went away, I just threw that away. Oh my goodness! Another day, she made lots of same food, and she wanted me to eat more and more (as she thought I liked that very much). She was sitting in front of me, and I was eating that rubbish food! Can you imagine what happened to me that day?

            Peace-keeping Lie: Before coming at AUW, I had to live with one of my female cousin whose husband lived in another city. She had a little son. One day, her son became very sick, and she took her son to the hospital. Unfortunately, she left her mobile phone at home. In the mean time, her husband called me, and asked where she was. I was in a fix what to say. Her husband was very bad tempered man. I knew he would quarrel with my cousin for the baby’s sickness; therefore, to keep peace in the family, I told him that she went to park with her son. When my cousin arrived, she called him over phone again and said same as I said. At night, we were surprised seeing my brother-in law at home. He came to surprise us! At that day, he scolded both of us for lying. He thought we both sisters always lied to him.

             Protective Lie: One girl in my neighborhood became pregnant before marriage. Pregnancy before marriage is like a crime in our society. In the mean time, she was affected by malaria. Her mother took her to a local doctor. To protect her daughter from social punishment, she didn’t tell the doctor that her daughter was pregnant. Doctor gave her high doses of medicines. Ironically, after a few days, the girl died only for one lying.

             Trust-keeping Lie: One of my friends always used to go to date with her boy friend, but whenever her father scolded her for being late to return home, she told that she was with me. Her father often called me, and I assured him saying that she was with me, but she was not. Every time, I had to tell lies to keep her trust. In our final exam, she failed because she missed lots of important classes for dating. I felt guilty myself that I also assisted her in this evil habit.

             In conclusion, I want to say my friends, think 100 times before telling a lie whatever it is- social lie, peace-keeping lie, protective lie, or trust-keeping lie.

Peace-Keeping Lies in the Autobiography and the Play

In the chapter “Chickpeas and Parched Rice,” in the autobiography, Growing Up Untouchable in India, Moon tells the readers that his mother lied to the neighbors about making non vegetarian food. Since most of the people in that locality were vegetarian, Purnabai, Moon’s mother, couldn’t able to make non vegetarian food in her home. As she wanted to eat meat, once, she made it. However, when the woman, Baina, asked her by recognizing the smell of mutton, Moon’s mother replied, “‘I bought a jackfruit today’” (Moon 53). Moreover, Moon writes, “She would call fish the ‘vegetable of leaves and pods’ and say eggs were ‘potatoes’” (ibid.). According to Judith Viorst, this is a peace-keeping lie. She told the lie to avoid argument and keep peace. If she divulged the truth, its implication was bad. She might have to leave the place. According to Viorst, this lie is not considered as a fault; however, I think that she shouldn’t tell the lie. If anyone caught her making meat, she would have lost trust from the community. After telling the lie, she did two mistakes. First that she made non vegetarian food in her home; second that she told a lie to her neighbors. In this case, her situation after telling the lie would be worse than the first situation.Therefore, she should avoid telling the lie.

Similarly, in the play “Death of a Salesman,” Willy told a lie to Biff. When Biff went to Boston to inform his father that he flunked math  and asked for help, he saw the woman in his home. When he was confused to see the woman, His father told a peace-keeping lie to protect himself. He said, “Ah – you better…. They must finished painting by now. They’re painting her room so I let her take a shower here. Go back, go back. …This is Miss Francis, Biff, she’s a buyer” (Miller 44). Here, Willy told the lie to his son, so his son became angry at him. Consequently, he told “a liar” and “phony little fake” to his father (Miller 45). It also decrease Biff’s faith on his father, and he didn’t want to go with his father to meet with maths teacher.

These two events exemplify peace keeping lies which can weaken the bond of relationship. Therefore, we always try to avoid telling lies. If it’s very essential, then we can tell lies, otherwise it’s immoral to tell lies because when the lie is caught by someone, its implications are very bad.

Trust-Keeping Lies

It is quite amazing to discover that there are truths behind lies. Often times, we wonder why people tell lies. Also, we have the intrinsic feeling that lying is not good for ourselves as well for the others. However, we tend to tell lies either intentionally or unintentionally in our day to day lives. The article “The Truth about Lying” by Judith Viorst gives us four specific distinctions of lies. They are social lies, protective lies, peace-keeping lies, and trust-keeping lies (Viorst, 181-4). In a way, we think that lies are not rationale and it is troublesome. In the other way, we often tell lies in order to hide the truth or it could hurt the other person. Sometimes, we are forced to tell lies depending upon circumstances. Truths are not always pleasant to share no matter with our friends or families. Trust keeping lies is telling lies to the third person in order to prevent ourselves from betraying our friend’s trust (Viorst, 184). I have an experience with trust keeping lies. It was during my High School days when I had to make up a lie in order to keep her trust in me. I was in the hostel and I was appointed as the assistant cottage coordinator since the main captain was having exams. I had to take charge of the cottage and check the presence of my cottage mates. During that time, some border girls used to escape outside the hostel boundary to meet their boyfriends. So as being a cottage coordinator, I had to keep strict and alert eyes on my cottage girls. However, it happened one night that one of my close friends begged me to allow her to meet her boyfriend. I was in a position where I could not take any action. At first I profoundly refused, and she was deeply saddened by my refusal. Finally, she decided to go with the trust that I will cover her absence by any means. I thought matron won’t come for hostel check up. Unfortunately, that evening our matron came to take attendance. In order to prevent my friend from getting caught and to keep her trust, I told the matron that my friend was in the toilet since she was suffering from shooting diarrhea. Thank god that she didn’t check the toilet. If she did, then both I and my friend will be severely punished. So in that way, I was able protect my friend whose trust I had promised to keep.

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.

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.

Telling Lies

While going through the essay, “The Truth about Lying” by Judith Viorst, I first felt that I have not lied about anything yet. I said to myself, “I always speak the truth. I cannot remember anything that I have lied about.” Later when I started to ponder about the categories of lies as classified by Viorst, I began to see my lies. I thought that whatever I said before about telling lies was also a part of lies that I speak. Is not that ironic?

When talking about telling lies, I remember lying my mother often for the sake of my close friend. I often used to help her with her dates by telling both her and mine mother that we were going for shopping. If we were late, we would come up with another lie, “We met our friends on the way, so we are late.” If I have to classify this lie according to Viorst, this was a peace-keeping lie.

I remember myself as a student studying in grade nine, when I had decided not to tell lies at any cost. It was not a path of pain that would hurt me if I stopped telling any sort of lies. Under certain conditions, I used to observe acute silence and would pretend as if my lips were locked together. Despite my strong determination, I was trapped once. We were arranging for a picnic from Val Vikas Club of our school. The criteria were regular attendance and active involvement in club activities. This led to the dispute that two of my classmates would not be allowed to go. I was in-charge of the whole thing. As I have mentioned above, I was not in any condition to tell lie to the advisor and the club members so that they could join us. However, I had to lie and fake the attendance sheet. I felt guilty of myself and very weak for not being able to keep my promise.

I was upset and I can vividly see my best friend consoling me while walking past the playground of the school. She said that it was ok to lie under certain circumstances. That very day, she gave me a good sentence to remember throughout my life. “If your lie saves someone’s life, or does no harm to any one, then do not feel bad about lying, but never lie your heart.”

When It’s Okay to Lie

A dialogue between me and my mother over cell phone:

Mother: “Where are you? Do you know what time it is?”

Me: “Maa, I’m on my way to home. Just got stuck in a never ending jam. Don’t worry.”

Mother: “Ok, come fast. I have made pakoras for you and it’s getting cold.”

I often say this to my mother when I meet my friends after a long time and get so engrossed with them in gossiping that I totally forget about the time. After reading the article, named “The Truth about Lying” by Judith Viorst, I was wondering whether these lie is a protective lie or a trust-keeping lie. I tell this kind of lie not to protect myself because I know she won’t scold me or give me any punishment for being late. I tell these lie to keep my mother away from worrying about me. Again, my mother trusts me a lot. She believes that I can never lie to her, I can never do anything wrong behind her back. Eventually, it is true. I never lie to her except this kind of minor lies. Sometimes, I think by myself that I’m doing a wrong thing. Somehow, I’m breaking her trust, but at least I’m not doing anything that can bring shame for my family or offend my parents. I just want to spend a little bit more time with my friends. It’s just a small piece of lie. I never lie to her in serious cases. Moreover, I never continue to lie for getting late. Sometimes, the dialogue after returning home is like this:

Mother: “Have you seen the time? Why you took so long?”

Me (with a grin on my face): “Sorry Maa. I met with my friends after a long time. That’s why; I was so engaged with talking to them.”

Mother: “Ok. Go and change. Tea is ready.”

We can’t generalize that a lie is indeed a lie, no matter it is small or big. Sometimes, we just don’t want to bother ourselves with unnecessary issues that we can avoid with a small piece of lie. Again, this kind of small lies sometime degenerate the situation. I could do something very offensive while telling those lies, but I never did and I don’t dare to do. So, I guess it varies from person to person. Those who are susceptible to do something wrong behind those white lies, should not continue to lie. They need to refrain themselves from telling lies.

In my opinion, a lie is okay until it’s not misleading someone, causing a big issue, or creating another lie. A proverb says, “Lying is the mother of all kind of crimes.” So, we should never tell such kind of lie that can cause a crime or create another lie. Otherwise, it’s just okay.

Mysteries about Lying!!!

Judith Viorst has mentioned forms of lying that seem
appropriate and necessary to be told. Social lies are told to maintain our
relationships (181); peace-keeping lies are created to “avoid irritation and
arguments” (182); protective lies are made up to protect our loved ones (183),
and trust-keeping lies are produced to keep our promises (184), for example. Today,
I will present to you different forms of lying that are easy to avoid, but we
human beings usually don’t want to do so. Are you curious? Are you fond of discovering
these enigmas?

Fun-making Lies

These lies are relevant to playing tricks on others.
We use them as a kind of diversion. We use them to make our friends happy. We
use them to push away depressed faces.

Before making these lies, we analyze their pros and
cons, but later, we sacrifice guilty feelings with smiles.

For instance, one of my friends imitated our
teacher’s voice and asked us to come to the conference room to talk about our
study results. At that time, our hearts were out of our bodies. However, when
finding out the truth, all of us burst out laughing.

Sometimes, feeling bored, I make up stories to deceive
friends, but later I feel guilty. How about you?

Reliable Lies

These lies are told to make others believe us.

Do you ever give your words to study so that your
friend agrees to work a group with you, but the concealed reason is because you
want to be with her? Similarly, before being voted, electors promise to do many
things. However, how many do have the abilities to realize all of their promises?

These lies are also called self-protective lies. To
become good images on others’ eyes, we somehow have to make up stories in which
we become either heroes or victims.

Do you tell your mother that because of playing
basketball, your fingers were injures? Or will you concede this wound is the
result of pillow fights with your sister at midnight?

Are you willing to acknowledge that your laziness
caused to your bad grades? Or will you make some excuses: “This test is too
difficult,” or “I was sick in that day, so I could not study”? I seem to be tempted
to tell lies. How about you?

Self-deceptive Lies

These lies
are apparent in the play “Death of the Salesman” by Auther Miller. For
instance, Willy faced self-deception when he put his too many expectations on
Biff. Under his eyes, Biff was a hero, who was admired and respected by many
people, including Oliver; however, it turned out to be that he was only a
shipping clerk, a thief, and a jobless boy. I don’t like this theme because Willy
was more devastated when the truth was divulged. How about you?

However, these lies are good in some cases. In fact,
they help us keep our morale and zeal to sustain endeavoring. “Everything will
be okay.” Many times I try to sedate myself before obstacles by murmuring these
words. How about you?

Truth Needs to be Revealed

While reading “Truth about lying”, the story of one of my close friends came up on my mind. When I was in standard ten, we met and she became very close friend of mine. There was a guy whom she liked a lot and one day luckily that guy proposed her. Instead of being in elation, she was in dilemma. As the day passed by, she started to remain silent and gloomy, while the boy was eagerly waiting for her reply. I still remember that evening when she came to me and asked what she should do. She told me that there used to be a guy whom she used to love, but her first love betrayed her. From that day, she stopped believing in love and any other guy. She liked the second guy who had proposed her, but she was afraid of being left broken again. Moreover, even if she accepted she was not sure whether to tell him the truth about her first affair. I told my friend to accept that guy and tell him the truth of her past. The next day, she accepted his proposal but couldn’t tell him about her past. Every time she met him, she thought that she would tell him but couldn’t gather the courage thinking that she would lose him. Their relation was going well, but to my friend’s astonishment her boyfriend found out about her previous affair by reading her diary. Both of them were left broken. My friend wanted to make everything clear but the boy was very much hurt that he didn’t want to listen to her. Next day I went and talked to that boy and managed a place for them to meet. Both of them loved each other so much that it was difficult for them to be apart from each other. That day the girl apologized to the boy and they end up happily. Till today, their relationship is going well and it’s the fourth year of their relationship.


I really get so puzzled thinking that to what extent we can lie to be with the person we love so much. Lucky me that I hadn’t have such situation to lie but if I was in my friend’s place, I wonder what I would have done. I think lies are not always bad. Sometimes we are forced to tell a lie not to let go the people we love or not to hurt them. It depends upon the people for whom we lie. Some understand upon finding out our truth and some leave us thinking that we are betrayer. Not to break trust and people’s heart, even though we hide the truth at first, I think, the truth should be revealed seeing the right time and right situation. Else, one lie can ruin our lives.