Thursday, March 25, 2010

To Lie Or Not To Lie

Our parents always taught us not to lie. Then they started to lie to us about anything and everything. We then learnt sometimes lying is acceptable. Sometimes it is not acceptable.

Lying is a good thing. But lawyers and politicians gave lying a bad name because they are professional liars (Except of course our Neha and Sanand).

Thirukural says: Telling a lie is not good but one can do so if it is going to be beneficial for the good of all.

It is acceptable to lie when someone asks you “How are you doing?”. You lie and say “I am alright or fine”. You don’t want to say what things have gone wrong for you. And, the person who asked you in the first place is not interested in any of these details.

Lying is recommended when someone asks you if he/she looks old or looks fat. It is highly recommended when someone asks you if someone can see his bald spot. It will make them happy.

Lying is a MUST if someone’s wife or girl friend asks “How do I look in this dress”. Go ahead. Lie. She is an important person in your life. Make her happy.

Exaggeration is also a form of lying. If you tell someone something for 5 times and then say I told you a thousand time, it is a lie. Another form of lying is withholding information. You might tell a loved one that you were out meeting a friend, but in reality, after meeting the friend, you went to a bar.

But perjury is a crime. Perjury is lying under oath.

Adolf Hitler’s Minister for Propaganda, Joseph Goebbels believed if you tell the same lie for a thousand times it automatically becomes a fact.

However, it is easy to find out if someone is lying. When they lie, they don’t look you in the eye. They smile or have a strange laugh if you ask them whether they are lying.

But we should never lie to a doctor. I can tell you two real incidents that happened to people known to us.

A friend of ours went to see a doctor. The doctor asked how is his blood sugar level. He said it is under control. The doctor then asked what is his fasting blood sugar level. My friend did not know. So he wanted to lie. He got confused with the numbers of cholesterol and blood sugar level. So he said his fasting blood sugar level is 180. The doctor was stunned. Fasting blood sugar level should be below 120. If it is more than that, you are diabetic. (It is good if your cholesterol level is below 200.)

Another friend of ours went to see a doctor. The doctor asked “have you ever had a colonoscopy”. He had no idea what the doctor was asking. Therefore, my friend said “yes I have had”. The doctor asked when he had colonoscopy. My friend said “I do not remember”. The doctor immediately knew my friend was lying. The doctor told him “if you ever had a colonoscopy, it is an experience you will never forget that easily in your lifetime”.

Therefore, my friends, it is OK to lie in certain places and to certain people. But please lie in moderation.


  1. Explaining the concept of white lies to children is so difficult.

  2. do we explain this thing called a lie ????

  3. i think a word should be devised that falls between lying and the truth. you know for the lie that doesn't hurt anyone and is for good. my be we shd call it trie (TRuth + lIE)

  4. well, you need not have written my name you know; because Lawyers indeed lie..

    I give you an a case, one party has to win and other lose. If I tell my client that he will lose the case, will he come to me? I have to tell him that we will fight to win.

    and you are right..sometimes lying is a must..especially about a lady's age and size :D

  5. :D And 'moderation' is relative term, I guess. :)

    Nice post. Sometimes it's too hard to figure out which way to take and I'm very terrible if I went the 'lie' way. Not to say I don't lie at all, I do, of course, but only when there's no way out :D

  6. Thanks for your comments Jayashree. Yes it is difficult explaining the concept of white lies.

  7. Thanks for your comments Sulagna. That is a good question.

  8. Thanks for your comments Anuradha. See you are a very capable neologist.

  9. Thanks for your commens Neha. I can understand a lawyer's situation.

  10. Thanks for your commens Titaxy. Yes, moderation is a relative term. May be we can lie selectively.

  11. Some lies are unavoidable. I cannot tell my boss that I find blogging better than the work he assigns me sometimes ;-) Ooops SG, U aren't my boss by any chance are you?!

  12. Thanks for your comments lostworld. Yes, some lies are unavoidable.

    Am I your boss? Does his initials are SG? நான் அவன் இல்லை.

  13. its amazing how u tackle each topic with clarity and examples and yet leave the reader to think! :)

    Its a really tough balance to teach a kid whats a lie and what is not. Like you said modeartion is the key.

  14. Hehehehe :) His initials aren't SG & neither is he in California! ;)

    Nalla vela.. Neenge vera 'evano uruvan' daan :D :D

  15. Thanks for your comments MindfulMeanderer. And, thanks for your complements also. I appreciate it.

  16. Thanks for your comments lostworld. Wish you were working with me.

  17. SG,

    Do you know what does our holy book Geeta say about lies?