Why do people have to lie?

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  • #5401

    Des Squire

    There‘s no shame in being wrong

     “Once we realise that imperfect understanding is the human condition there is no shame in being wrong, only in failing to correct our mistakes”. – George Soros.

    So simple, yet so many people feel that being wrong is one of the biggest catastrophes in life. So much so that there is a need to hide the error or mistake at all costs.

    Many think that to let the error of their ways be discovered will blemish their reputation. So to cover up the error they insist on lying, hiding the facts or doing everything in their power to cover up. Is it better to admit the error or to lie?

    Politicians the world over are experts at this. It becomes a game for them. There’s nothing wrong as it is part of the political arena they live in. It’s an integral part of their lives so they can see no harm in it.

    To lie is to fail to tell the truth and failing to tell the truth has consequences. We are all responsible for what we do and say and to utter an untruth means we have failed in our responsibility to be honest. Dishonesty cannot be condoned and a dishonest person is not to be trusted.

    When people lie they must be aware that the lie may have consequences for themselves or for others. These consequences can have lasting effects on the lives of others and could even have catastrophic consequences. 

    Why do people lie when they have done something wrong? Why must they cover up their actions?

    Unfortunately being dishonest and failing to admit an error has been made, has a compound effect. What starts out as a little lie grows and grows until it becomes a major problem.

    People lie all the time and in most instances this has to do with self esteem. They have a reputation to uphold or an image to maintain. “It’s tied in with self-esteem,” says University of Massachusetts psychologist Robert Feldman. “We find that as soon as people feel that their self-esteem is threatened, they immediately begin to lie at higher levels.”

    Some researchers say, “Not all lies are harmful. In fact, sometimes lying is the best approach for protecting privacy and ourselves and others from malice. Some deception, such as boasting and lies in the name of tact and politeness, can be classified as less than serious. But bald-faced lies (whether they involve leaving out the truth or putting in something false), are harmful, as they corrode trust and intimacy which is the glue of society”.

    When leaders tell bald face lies they demean themselves as leaders and destroy the trust relationship. Blatant lies in business break down a trust relationship and can lead to dismissal.

    What never ceases to shock and amaze me is the rate at which politicians throughout the world continuously lie to cover up transgressions but remain in power. Their lying is condoned by their followers. Ethic and ethical behaviour goes out the window and societal standards go for a ball of chalk.

    There appears to be no consequences for lying and most certainly in many instances there is no accountability. What a shame, we have permitted our standards of behaviour, our standards of honesty and integrity to drop to such a low level.  This needs to be addressed and must change in South Africa if we are to be respected as an honest and trustworthy society.

    It starts with a few very simple beliefs

          There is no shame in being wrong, the shame lies in lying

          There is no shame in making a mistake, the shame is in failing to correct it

          There is no shame in not knowing something, the shame is in failing to admit to it

          There is no shame in doing what is right, the shame is in casting values aside

    We must all strive at all times to do what is right and to do it because it is the right thing to do

    Des Squire (Managing Member)

    Amsi and Associates cc


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  • #5403


    Hi Des,

    I don’t know who said this, but it’s one of my favourite quotes

    “To be right, I don’t have to make you wrong.”

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  • #5402

    Des Squire

    Hi Tim, thank you for the comment. At this point in time it is so apt for Soouth Africa. Unfortunately to my way of thinking this is the climate that prevails in certain quarters. I would love some more comment from Skills Universe members????

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