Monday, April 10, 2006

The Exception Excuse

Is it ever good to lie? Is it ever good to NOT tell the truth?

Many people will argue that truth is relative to the person who hears it or understands it. What may be truth for me may not be truth for you. One plus one equals two in my world, but in the world of quantum physics and chaos theory, one plus one has an infinite group of possibilities. So what about telling the truth? Obewan Kanobe in Star Wars tells us “many of the truths we hold dear are only true from a certain point of view.”

Picture a friend in a terrible accident, hours from death and that person looks at you and asks, “Am I going to die?” You are faced with a choice to give him motivation to keep fighting for a miracle or risk that person giving up. Maybe a less morbid example would be this. Your spouse asks you, “Does this look good on me?” or “am I getting fat?” What do you do?

Sure, there may be times when lying is NOT bad. But that is definitely the exception to the rule. The problem is that people use the exception as an excuse for breaking the rule and for hurting other people. “You can’t handle the truth!” screams Jack Nicholson in A Few Good Men. We build a matrix of exceptions around us like a spider web that, we believe, allows us to do whatever we want.

We use that exception to the rule like it is the rule and not the exception. What we have found is that a truthful person has now become the exception and not the rule. We speak in spin and mirrors. Turning things to our benefit and reflecting the accusation back on the accuser who obviously doesn’t have the whole picture like we do.

Have you used the Exception Excuse this week? Try something radical and tell the truth, take the blame, admit what you did and even make a confession. You will find momentary discomfort will give way to an amazing cleansing.

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