Archive for January 25th, 2010


Shades of Truth

January 25, 2010

Human nature has both good and bad points.  Compassion is a good thing; taking advantage of people is bad.  The problem arises when the two get mixed up.  For sure, human nature has many facets to it, and each has many books concerning it.  Today’s post only looks at compassion and taking advantage.

First, just because someone does something, it is not automatically human nature.  It could be the person is simply an ass.  The actions we take are our individual nature, the ability to be an ass is human nature.  It may seem a small point but it is a critical one when trying to figure out our role in life.

There are times when society accepts lies as a good, such as telling Aunt Rose, “I love your hat!”  It is easy to see that by lying you spare her feelings in this case.  Of course, the opposite is equally true.  We would never accept “my child is dying of cancer,” as a way of gaining sympathy at large.  The repercussions would be swift and severe when the truth came out.  It is human nature to filter truth in an attempt to spare people hurt.  It is individual nature to take advantage of people with the same device.

In relationships, the lines are blurry on when we lie to spare feelings or to get our way.  Idealistically we would never lie to our partner.  The truth is we do it all the time.  It becomes our individual nature to lie to avoid conflict.  This leads to lying to avoid blame.  Each time the line we will not cross inches further and further out.  At some point, we no longer even know where it used to be.  This is a very dangerous road to walk, for when you do not trust your partner with your mistakes you take advantage of them.  Furthermore, when you do not allow your partner to make mistakes, you grease the skids along the path of deception your mate will follow.

It would be easy to say we should never lie about anything.  Of course, that would go against our compassion that is part of human nature.  It would be better to never have the need to lie.  Trust is the key for this to work in a relationship.  If you ask your spouse how something looks on you, you would hope they would be honest because you trust them to help you not look silly.  At least we should.  When they tell us, “no, it does not,” and we look hurt about, we will never hear the truth again on that subject.  It would be better to accept they love us and want us to look great.  Ask more questions about why they feel that way so you understand.  They just may have a point.  Even if they don’t, it is better to talk it out and keep the line of communication open.

With the best of intentions, lying can only be looked at as the lesser of two evils.  It is never really a good thing.  When we lie to get what we want, we have crossed the line that makes us an abusive person.  It is then the greater of two evils.  It starts you down a road from which it is hard to turn.  Over time, human nature will allow you to sink beyond redemption but it was your individual nature that opened a hole in the floor beneath you.

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