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Lies: From White to Bald-faced and Beyond

February 19th, 2022 by Michael Dyet

Hmmm, when does a lie cross the line from dishonesty to insidious?

We all tell lies from time to time. 24/7 honesty is an ideal we may aspire to but will never reach. There are, of course, a number of different classes of lies ranging from harmless to damaging to insidious.

There is the mischievous lie. It is playful game where we string some along for a while to get a rise from them or see how long we can get away with it. We fully intend to come clean and always do. It ends with a laugh and a “Oh, you got me that time!”.

Next there is the white lie – an untruth about a small or unimportant matter that we tell to avoid hurting another person. It does not change the general principle that honesty is the best policy. It is just that there are times when sparing someone’s feelings trumps being fully honest.

Then there is the off-white or gray lie – an untruth about something we deem to be a small or unimportant matter that is not quite as small as we make it out to be. We stretch the boundaries because telling the truth will be difficult and we are not in a courageous frame of mind. Our conscience scolds us but not so much that we relent.

Next comes the lie of omission. We tell the truth but not the whole truth. We leave out a detail or two that is likely to push someone’s buttons or make us look bad. We rationalize our way through it falling back on the adage What he doesn’t know can’t hurt him.

Now we come to more insidious classes.

The self-serving lie. This happens when a person has got themselves into trouble and cannot find an easy way out. The lie is a means of covering one’s tracks. Harm is done but the perpetrator chooses not to own it. Although we are tempted, most of us refrain from this particular practice.

Now we come to the bald-faced lie. It is obvious to all parties that the truth has been left behind. People who practice this type of lying barge ahead shamelessly trusting that their brazenness will see them through regardless of how their reputation may suffer.

And finally, there is the politician’s bald-faced lie which has all the qualities of a regular bald-faced lie and more. The truth does not serve the politician’s purpose so they simply abandon it. They know full well that any reasonably intelligent person will see through the lie. But they forge ahead with blinders on believing that being an elected official gives them an exemption to the standards that apply to others.

Let me emphasize that not all politician’s engage in this practice. But there are a few who regularly do and who are doing so right now. I will refrain from pointing fingers. You can fill in the blanks yourself.

This last category of lie is a wilful and insidious forgery of the truth. Remember the ones who perpetrate it the next time you go to vote.

~ Now Available Online from Amazon, Chapters Indigo or Barnes & Noble: Hunting Muskie, Rites of Passage – Stories by Michael Robert Dyet

~ Michael Robert Dyet is also the author of Until the Deep Water Stills – An Internet-enhanced Novel which was a double winner in the Reader Views Literary Awards 2009. Visit Michael’s website at .

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