Truth, Lies, and Editorial Priviledge

There is a lot more to the idea of telling the truth versus telling a lie.  In a perfect world revolving around you, everyone would tell you what you want to be true.  In a world out to get you, people would say what they want to be true.  At no point would actual truth purposefully enter the equation.  The world is a fluid environment, constantly changing.  Sometimes a truth becomes a falsehood through a failure of communication, misbehavior (adult style), or even the intervention of a 3rd party.  To avoid unnecessary emotional damage a slightly more distant perspective can be invaluable, even on matters close to the heart.

When someone makes a statement, it can be true at that moment but not necessarily for long.  For example, “You are standing on my face” is spoken in hopes that their face won’t be stood on for much longer.  There is no lie intended, just a fact that moves into the past tense.  While this is an absurd example, the principle applies to far more intimate statements.  Even “I love you” can stop being true if the feeling is not mutual, especially when the reality is presented in a slap to the face either real or metaphorical.  There is also the possibilty that another person will arrive suddenly and take over the spotlight.  That doesn’t make it right, acceptable, honorable, or any other positive adjective, but sudden changes in “truth” are happening constantly.

For some, the truth is only true as long as they want it to be.  This loose interpretation is most common for parents making “deals” with their kids.  Accomplish A, B, and C and you can borrow the car.  But while meeting those prerequisites, it is very common for a child to mess up something else rather badly, which is grounds for the parent to cancel the original deal even after the conditions have been met.  This principle applies in romantic relationships as well.  For example, “I will always be here for you no matter what” can be negated by “you slept with my sister?” or “you murdered my mother?”  or any number of less drastic events.  The point is, any truth can be derailed by unrelated events. 

Another perspective deals with the person on the receiving end of a promise.  Typically when someone makes you a promise, it is based on a foundation of shared experience and trust.  However, if you undermine the foundation then you can destroy everything and change someone else’s truth for them.  This sounds amazingly similar to some of what I already stated simply because it is the same concept viewed from the other side.  In short, both the promiser and the promisee can change the truth into what may seem like a lie.

I could go on and on giving situations of varying severity, but if you understand one concept and remember it, you can extrapolate it to make sense of almost any social interaction.  Any statement, belief, fact, situation is contingent on thousands of connections between any number of people, and as such can change in a fundamental or superficial way without warning.  The key to surviving with your heart intact is to recognize the interweaving lattice supporting any promise or declaration and be understanding of the effects of change on your own situation.  Put simply, go with the flow.

The truth is out there, but it is subject to change without notice.  Take a deep breath, look at the big picture, and save yourself a lot of anger, frustration, and resentment. 

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