The load of lies

Jul 1, 2024

I don’t lie, unless absolutely necessary. Like, in situations where, say the older generation won’t understand a choice of mine, or I can escape an overspeeding ticket (guilty!), or I am playing a prank, or planning a surprise for someone.

And I don’t think it’s a question of morals. Because not lying for the sake of being morally correct takes away the sense of using lies in situations where it is actually required for the greater good. Classic example of that is Yudhisthir from Mahabharata. If he could read the intent right and just lie, at some pivotal moments, to the ones who were anyway “evil”, a whole genocidal war could have been prevented.

So no, this isn’t virtue signaling. I practice honesty because it sets me free. Let me explain. 

Practicing dishonesty with other people and situations counts as being dishonest to oneself. Even if it is not apparent on the surface, it is a direct projection of one’s mindset, fears, or plain old habits. So my question is: who bears the load of lies? The one who creates it or the one who consumes it?

Honestly, that is a loaded question. The answers may vary on multiple factors like the situation, degree and frequency of lies, relationship involved, etc. But one thing that is constant in this whole complexity is choice.

Choice of being honest/dishonest to other people and situations, as a means of practicing honesty/dishonesty for oneself. You don’t get this choice when you are a consumer of lies.

The one who’s lied to is doomed to feel hurt, provided they find it out. But they also have the luxury of moving on at some point – in 5 seconds of being hurt, a day, a week, or a few years. They can leave it behind.

I have felt this type of hurt and overcome it too – all by myself. That’s when I thought, “I am free.” But the liar? They didn’t even know that I knew and moved on. They have to live with it.

The one who is dishonest, is the one who has to carry it forever. If not consciously, then subconsciously. The producer of a lie is the bearer of its weight. Unless they find an authentic way to release it, this baggage will come for them in ways they won’t understand.

It’s like collecting a free radical, which would be radioactive for one’s own health somewhere down the road. Or like collecting dust on a window and never cleaning it. Once the window becomes too clouded, it’ll start to choke the ones inside and defeat its own purpose.

Whereas honesty is like keeping that window clean, strengthening its purpose, and maintaining longevity. And it is hella practical. I couldn’t even write this post if I weren’t being honest to myself while writing it.

The choice of honesty is only available with a creator of lies. And that’s why I repeatedly make that choice, more for myself than anybody else. Of course, I slip through the cracks every now and then because I am a regular person with flaws. But keeping an honest mindset, nonetheless, makes me happy.

The other thing this mindset does for me is to not take others' dishonesty too seriously. If it’s their choice, and only their mindset can dictate it for them, then why should I take the load of it, even if it was targeted at me? Why be sad about something you didn’t dictate?

And that is freedom.