April 30, 2012

Tell the Truth and Shame the Devil


Today is National Honesty Day and in honor of the occasion, I’m going to tell the truth…something I don’t always do. I wouldn’t call myself a liar, but there are definitely times when falsehoods slip from my lips.
I’d like to think this is less an issue of my character and more a result of my southern upbringing. Growing up, I witnessed adults lie all the time. Before you go thinking I was raised around a bunch of godless heathens, I’d better explain. In the south, there are just certain things we cannot or simply do not tell the truth about. We aren’t evil. In fact, most of the lies we tell are well-meaning and intended to do more good than harm.


I’ve attempted to compile a list of common lies we tell in the south (but I’m sure there are plenty of others). I’ve decided that all southern lies fall into two categories: lies to make other people feel better and lies to make yourself feel better. Within these categories are several sub-categories such as lies about food, lies about fashion, lies about other people’s children, and lies for self preservation.

Lies about food vary from telling someone her barely edible lemon icebox pie is the best you’ve ever eaten to saying a store-bought dessert is homemade or pretending to be allergic to a particular food item when really you just despise it.

Lies about fashion usually involve complimenting someone’s dress/hair/shoes when you don’t mean it. Same goes for lies about other people’s children. This might include saying someone’s child is the smartest/cutest/sweetest ever to walk the face of the earth. Any of these sound familiar?

We’ve all heard the old adage “if you can’t say something nice, don’t say anything at all.” Instead, it’s become “if you can’t say something nice, lie and say something nice anyway.”

My fear in all of this is that by getting so comfortable telling lies, we stop recognizing the truth. This post was intended to be somewhat humorous, but maybe the issue needs addressing. I want my words to mean something. I want the people in my life to know they can count on me to tell the truth, even if it might be hard to hear. I believe there is a way to speak the truth in love. Wouldn’t doing so help us all in the long run? I’d love to hear your input on this subject!
{image 2 via flickriver}