White Lies to No White Lies

Zach Plahn

You can build someone’s trust in you over years, but it only takes seconds to break it. I’m surprised there is any mutual society.

Over the past few weeks, I’ve been introduced to a concept known as a “White Lie”: a small lie that supposedly has no detrimental effect. For example, the context that I’ve most heard the white lie the most in, is when a person lies to a friend to make them feel better, because, their afraid if they tell the truth, their friend’s feelings will be hurt.

I have to ask truly: are you really benefitting your friend at all when you lie to their faces? As a friend, if you know your friends dress is maybe not just the one, and your friend asks you if she looks good in that dress, would you seriously tell her that the dress made her looked great? To society, white lies are good lies, so you can lie to your friend all you want. But who is really hurt by the lie? Your friend.  She will suffer the false mindset that she looks good in a dress that isn’t meant for her. What if she finally tried to talk with her crush in that dress that you told her looked great? What if she went into a job interview in that dress?

Let us be honest. White lies don’t save people from having their feelings hurt. They save you from a potentially awkward situation. People are afraid that the truth will hurt. Guess what? That’s life. Sometimes life hurts a little. But if you are a true companion, and you really want to help your friend, you need to tell the truth. Lying is never the answer.

I have come to understand, that as a society, we have come to accept the white lies as good lies. But once you start thinking that there is a place for any lies in any morale society, let’s just say there is a really big problem there. Once you start thinking that is okay to purposefully deceive somebody because of a false mentality that you are doing them a favor, what’s to stop you from lying for other reasons? Don’t give an inch.

I’m not saying I haven’t lied. If I did say that, that would be the biggest lie I’ve ever told. However, I have always believed that any form of lying is wrong. Lying is deceitful and hurtful. Don’t get me wrong here. I’ve lied to plenty of people, and I have tried to justify these lies. However, I can never find any excuse to justify any of my lies. Once you start justifying your immorality, what’s to stop it from going plenty further?

This past year, I started off the school year with a small lie. A very small lie: one that couldn’t hurt a fly. I kept telling this lie, over and over and over again. Several classmates told this lie with me as well. As a mini society, we were telling a small lie all together, which in our eyes, could do no harm to anyone. However, it kept building on itself. We kept lying and lying until we forgot we were lying. Then, someone caught us. This person was hurt, and we had betrayed her trust. To this day, she cannot trust us.

I think society has lost the meaning and the value of trust. Every day at school, I see people lie and cheat their friends out of food and money, and somehow, they find this okay. Do they think that lying builds friendship? If that’s what society considers to be true, then I don’t want any part of that society.

Here are a few examples of white lies that could be told if we keep this tolerance, and even encouragement of white lies abroad.

1. My teacher told me I got an A+ on my test. I really failed it, but he thought it would hurt my feelings if he told me I failed, so he lied to me.

2. My girlfriend broke up with me, but she taught it would hurt my feelings if she told me, so she kept going on dates with me, while she was cheating on me behind my back. But don’t worry; it’s okay, because she didn’t hurt my feelings.

3. The United States Government is increasing all taxes by 3 percent, but they decided not to tell the taxpayers because they thought it would hurt our feelings if they did.

Good luck living in this world, where no trust exists. I don’t know if we can.

What do you think?