Tuesday 18 May 2010

What is a lie?

Asking what a lie is, is a full-of-shit question - a lie is a lie - simple as that. There shouldn't be any confusing the truth from a lie. Read on.

So, here is a story; a common story. A guy says to me the phone last week that he was going to mail me after we finished speaking and connect me with this other person, a colleague of his. We spoke on the phone for about 20 minutes, and it was the 3rd time I had spoken to this man, who I have never met. He was put on to me by a prospective client of ours on LifeFundi.com who told me that he was keen to see what we were developing. So I called this man, and he sounded like a nice guy on the phone, but, I never got the mail after our call, or later that day, or even a week later. I have subsequently dropped him a follow-up mail, and a gentle reminder asking him when I can expect that mail, and still nothing. Now, is this man a liar?

This happens so often – people don’t do what they say they are going to do. Are they liars? Well, what is a lie? Surely if someone says something and they don’t do it then they are lying? How many times have you heard "I am just on another call and I will call you right back" only to hear nothing. Is it just me? Perhaps my expectations are too high.

How can you trust a person who doesn't do what they say they are going to do. I mean, you can't trust people who lie. And if someone says something, and then doesn't do it, then they are untrustworthy?! To call them liars sounds so hardcore, but, what else do we call them? Full of shit!?

This is all so commonplace in this high-tech age. In fact, it's almost default behaviour these days. Probably because cellphones and email make it so easy to say what you don't really mean, and to carry on communication without ever having to address someone face-to-face. I would much prefer it though if I know where I stand. I certainly don't ever tell people I will do something and then just forget about after the phone hangs up.

Life used to be so much simpler! And so was the definition of a lie. That fact that people would say it is too harsh to call someone who "forgets" to do something a liar just takes us one step closer to a world where selfishness and greed are the dominant traits of a civilized society. Scary!

And speaking of lies, I read this in the Sunday Times this past weekend :

Posted by Ronnie Apteker


Anonymous said...

Good read, trust.... it's one of those things which is so hard to earn yet so easy to loose.