Telling the Truth Includes Behaving Accordingly

Honesty is never seen sitting astride the fence.  ~Lemuel K. Washburn, Is The Bible Worth Reading And Other Essays, 1911

The truth is a subject that’s been on my mind almost incessantly over the last month or two. The more I think about truth, the more I realize how multifaceted it is. The truth is both quantitative and qualitative. It is harsh and it is kind. It is obvious and it is subtle. Today I think I have decided on one more thing about truth. Truth is not deceitful. If a person knows a truth about themselves and chooses to be vague about that truth, that lie of omission is just as harmful, if not more so, than an outright fabrication.

This snippet comes from “Rhetoric 101”:

Lie of omission – “A lie of omission is a method of deception and duplicity that uses the technique of simply remaining silent when speaking the truth would significantly alter the other person’s capacity to make an informed decision.”

And it’s not just Lies of Omission that contribute to altering someone’s ability to make informed decisions. Other tools of deceit include:

Concealment: omitting information that is important or relevant to the given context, or engaging in behavior that helps hide relevant information. And my personal favorite: Understatements: minimization or downplaying aspects of the truth. (Deception)

And one more thing, I have been naive enough in my day to have believed someone could tell me the truth while they lied to someone else. I know now that that is impossible. It is impossible to be honest with one person if you are lying to another. The truth gets jumbled up somewhere in the middle, and soon what was once the truth is lost forever.

Here are some goodies — Reminders to us all about telling the truth — to ourselves and to everyone else.

A lie will easily get you out of a scrape, and yet, strangely and beautifully, rapture possesses you when you have taken the scrape and left out the lie.  ~Charles Edward Montague, Disenchantment

The least initial deviation from the truth is multiplied later a thousandfold.  ~Aristotle

The most dangerous untruths are truths moderately distorted.  ~Georg Christoph Lichtenberg

Honesty is never seen sitting astride the fence.  ~Lemuel K. Washburn, Is The Bible Worth Reading And Other Essays, 1911

A lie may take care of the present, but it has no future.  ~Author Unknown

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Filed under 101 Day Project, Moving On


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