Lies, damned lies, and fact checking


In my life, in addition to being a licensed member of the bar in Massachusetts, I act as a Brehon (fact-finder, mediator, negotiator, judge) in an ecclesiastical “court” setting.

Everyone sees things differently.  I know this.  I use the bowl of flowers analogy (place a large, mixed bouquet on a table and no one sees exactly the same arrangement)  I’m happy to work with that since we all have our own version of reality.  However, when I run into someone who blatantly lies to me with no reason – in fact, introduces the lie into the conversation – and then I find out it is a manipulation of the truth, I find I have little tolerance.

I’m not interested in what the definition of “is” is and I’m not into hair-splitting.  I am not looking for Bill Clintonesque soft shoe maneuvers in my life. There is little that will get my dander up and someone’s ears boxed faster than this sort of behavior.  Don’t offer me lies. I’m just too old fashioned to put up with them.  Don’t tell me anything.  Tell me it is none of my business.  But don’t walk up to me and initiate a bald-faced lie, have me defend you, and then think I’m not going get confrontational about it when the truth outs – as it always well.  Gods know, it is easy enough to deal with me without the use of overt lies since I’m of the mind that people do what they do for whatever motivations they have and they usually feel justified in doing what they do.

I probably should have kept my lips tightly sealed until I cooled off, but I didn’t.  And I can’t say I regret saying, “Don’t ever lie to me like that again.”  At my age I’ve a right to be curmudgeonly if I want to.  I don’t take sides, but I do take umbrage.

So what have I learned?  Never trust anyone completely.  If it walks like a duck, quacks like a duck and looks like a duck, it’s a duck. Always fact-check.  And then forgive, while never forgetting.  I’m not hauling this around with me, but I’m keeping the lesson.

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4 comments

    1. Thanks for visiting and thanks for the comment. BTW, I’m quite taken with your blog.

      There are some folks whose veracity is critical to me. In that case, I become all kinds of unhappy over lies. Granted, I don’t harbor grudges, but I do not suffer fools lightly. And it is foolish to lie about important matters.

  1. I worked in a residential rehab, and, honey, you don’t know lies until you hear theirs. I was thinking about writing about it this week myself, how it all seems like a bad dream now. But I’m with you. I don’t do liars.

    1. I’ve worked in residential rehab. I expect deceit, or at the very least, an attempt to tell me what I want to hear. I’ve worked in a methadone center. Ditto. I worked with abusive parents – Ditto.

      However, when someone straight and sober, from whom I expect accurate information, reaches out to me and affirmatively lies about responsibility, a boundary has been crossed. Using an agent to do the dirty deed for the purpose of deniability doesn’t exculpate in my book.

      No point in staying angry. No point in doing much other than ticking off the “untrustworthy” box next to the name and verifying all future data.

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