To Do the Right Thing In "To Do the Right Thing", Harriet Learner expressed that so many people lie without even noticing they are doing so. It has become such an acceptable part of our way of life. She relayed several stories from her own past where she found herself doing the very same thing. At the time, lying just seemed the easier thing for her to do. Learner felt it was important for people to recognize how much they lie in the day to day lives. She feels that regardless of the reasoning or rationale behind one’s lies, even if the lie seems justified and acceptable. it is in the best interest of society, as a whole, that each of us be honest. Lies, even the smallest ones, weaken relationships and lead to bigger problems down the road. When I sat and thought about what Learner spoke, i felt, most people in principle would agree that lying is wrong. However, I believe that lying is much more than the untruths that can come out of one’s mouth. It is, too often, also in the way one lives their life. There is no justification for a lie, no matter what its form.
An essay such as this allows one to sit for a few moments and examine his life. I found myself sitting here thinking about what examples I could share that were a ‘good enough’ to be recognized as a lie while, at the same time, maintain a balance so that it would somehow seem acceptable. The reader may see my words and think to himself that, given the same situation, he would do the act or speak likewise. that somehow his justification would make my lie right. In doing that very thing, I was, in effect, doing what I had just stated was never justified. I was making my own life, my very existence, into a lie. Not in word, perhaps, but a lie, none the less. So, in truth, I offer you an example of a lie within my own life.
In trying to convince ourselves that, somehow, there must be a reason for telling a lie no matter for what reason, I found myself imaging what it would be like to live in a place where exactly what was said is what is intended. Not saying something because it made life easier for us. but rather a place where there is no guile what so ever. Every word spoken is exactly what it is meant to be – no more, no less. Our words not tempered by how they will be perceived by others or how we would like to be viewed by others, but more on how we want to see ourselves. And then I realized that perhaps I was concerned less with trying to convince others how good I was. rather, I was too busy thinking about how I wanted to view myself. in effect too selfish to even truly consider placing someone else first. At that moment, I realized the greatest lie of my life. Justifying what we say or how we say it, is not to convince others about our innate goodness. It is about trying to convince ourselves. Living a lie all throughout and never seeing it for what it is. Yes, that was my greatest lie of all.
Now imagine what the world could be like if each of us would stop for a moment and see the effect of lies in our own lives, and, more importantly, stop living them. Without deceit or pretense, suddenly even the need for those ‘little white lies’ are gone. There would be no need for me to "My you look nice day" because you have no need to hear it and I have none to say it. On a larger scale with the egos gone, we all have a better understanding of ourselves and each other. Without even a thought about why someone was saying what they were or, conversely us worry about how someone would view what we said, we would just be left honesty. Imagine the possibilities then. the understanding, the acceptance of one another for what we, not who want to be or who we want to believe we are. Consider it.