Life is a dilemma between living a lie and speaking one.

Life is a dilemma between living a lie and speaking one.

All human wisdom, be it commonsense, spiritual or sublime, tells us to stick to the plain and simple truth. The greatest philosophers and the noblest of men have told us how life is purer and happier when we stay on the narrow path of truthfulness.

Nonetheless, there is a sea of difference between theory and practice. We lead double lives. We present different facets of our personality to different people We are not averse to bending the truth to suit our purpose.

Dealing with the varied aspects of life

Why do we do so and to what effect? Does it make us lesser humans, flawed personalities or temperamentally weak?

The dichotomy exists because life itself presents us with a multitude of situations. These situations make it convenient for us to conceal. Man seeks societal approval and many a time, not revealing the truth helps gain acceptance. The pursuit of wealth and material comfort is another factor that goads us to be what we aren’t. And there are times when we are caught up in emotional attachments. Such entanglements demand a great deal of opacity in our conduct.

The challenge of a moral dilemma

Perhaps, the most demanding situation is the one that presents itself as a moral dilemma. For instance, does encouraging a child with positive feedback for a poor performance qualify as a lie? Or does it act as motivation to do better? In this case, the lie does more to put the child on the right path than the brutal truth that might scar her for life.

Moral dilemmas apart, such behaviour sets us off on a path that progressively shrinks our universe. We tend to lose our spontaneity in speech and action. We justify our acts by blaming the world at large for it. Not that there is everything to lose. We often gain the things we set out to achieve by doing so, which makes sense to many of us. Because, nothing ventured, nothing gained. It is a material world, after all.

Who is to sit in judgement?

Each one of us has their own reasons that none else can understand.

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