Here There and Everywhere

Expat wanderer

Internet Phones Giggle

From a teeny-tiny article on page 2 of today’s Kuwait Times:

‘Phone’ Teams Honored

Kuwait: It is important to reduce charges of international calls to prevent illegal activities, Communication Minister Dr. Maasouma Al-Mubarak stressed yesterday.

In a press conference held on the occasion of honoring the team of the ministry’s telephone control department, Al-Mubarak said the department succeeded in cooperation with the Interior Ministry in locating and stopping illegal international calls dealers praising their efforts that continued despite the dangers they faced.

My comment: I’m sorry. I truly mean no disrespect. And at the same time I am having a very hard time trying to maintain a straight face. Oh, these dangerous telephone callers out there!

• Raiding brothels.
• Chasing drug dealers.
• Dealing with arrogant/immature/drunk/drugged drivers.
• Family disputes involving knives and guns.
• Protecting the borders, land and sea.

All of the above can involve serious dangers. One of the axioms in policing is that your most dangerous call is getting between a fighting husband and wife. But the bravery of raiding telephone call centers? Please. Spare me.

You can’t turn back the clock. Technology has given us a whole new way of making international calls. The MOC can spend its resources fighting a numerous enemy – people who want to make reasonably priced phone calls – or they can become a part of the solution, regulating and encouraging growths of new technologies to the greater good of all.


March 11, 2007 Posted by | Bureaucracy, Communication, Crime, Customer Service, ExPat Life, Family Issues, Financial Issues, Friends & Friendship, Humor, Kuwait, Language, Lies, Living Conditions, News, Political Issues, Social Issues, Technical Issue, Uncategorized | 7 Comments

Lying Hurts the Liar

I came across this post in an old archive. The author was writing to teens about the Monica Lewinski scandal, but as I read through his wise words, I found myself thinking how appropriate the words are for all age groups:

Lying Hurts the Liar

If you lie, it will make things worse for you, too. Oh, you might get away with it once or twice, but you will get caught sooner or later.

How Does Lying Make Things Worse?

Lying makes things worse because it hurts your personal relationships: relationships with friends, brothers and sisters, parents, children, teachers and other adults.

Think of it for a moment. When you lie, it is a burden you have to carry with you. It makes you feel bad inside. You know you hurt your relationship with someone by lying. It violates the trust people have in you. Usually you have to lie again to cover up the first lie, and you feel even worse for doing that.

Have you ever noticed how badly you feel when you discover a friend has told you even a little lie? It hurts a lot. You wonder why a friend would do that to you. You think about it a lot, and you just don’t trust your friend as much after that. It’s not the same.

Then think about how you feel when someone is telling you what a good, good friend he is, and then he goes behind your back and says just the opposite. It destroys all trust.

A Way You Can Understand Lying

When you become a friend to another, you put your life in some small or large way into his cupped hands. You trust the person by putting part of your life in their hands. You want and need your friend to be worthy of that trust. When they lie to you, he lets your life slip through his hands, and is not worthy of your trust. How lonely that feels! How disappointing!

Lying harms not only personal relationships, but business relationships as well. In conducting business we also put ourselves into the hands of others. Our business associates need to be worthy of our trust. Take the simple example of going into a store and buying a box of chocolate chip cookies. The picture of the cookies on the box looks terrific. The chocolate chips look tasty, but you open the box at home and find cookies with no chips. You feel cheated because you believed what you saw. You believed a liar. No wonder you feel cheated. No wonder you’ll probably avoid that brand in the future.

Why Are We Tempted to Lie?

We are tempted to lie because we want something and use a lie to get it . . . That sounds a little selfish, doesn’t it? No wonder lying makes us feel lonely. No wonder the devil is called the father of lies.

We lie because we believe it will make things better. So you shoplift, and when questioned, say: “If I lie I won’t get caught. If I’m caught, they will be mad at me. I want to avoid the pain.”

Once we give into this temptation to lie, we start lying some more by saying: “I want to spare my loved ones the pain of knowing what I did.” So you try to spare them that pain by lying to them. That doesn’t make sense.

It’s like saying: “I’m not going to admit I robbed the bank because it will upset the police.” What kind of nonsense is that?

How Do We Respond When We Are Caught Lying?

Our response is usually to say: “Everybody lies. So what difference does it make?” The trick of a good liar is to attack the accuser. So when another kid accuses you of lying, you say: “Well, I heard you lie once.” It’s the “look who is calling the kettle black.” Attacking the accuser does not make the lie less a lie. It is still a lie. It still hurts relationships.

Your trying to justify lying by saying everybody lies is like saying: “Everybody hurts their loved ones so hurting loved ones must not be so bad.” Do you really believe that since so many people steal, stealing must not be so bad? It’s like saying everyone makes your life miserable so being miserable must not be so bad. This doesn’t make sense.

Why Are These Rationalizations Wrong?

Lies decrease the love we have for one another. They diminish hope. They extinguish trust and belief in one another. Lies are morally wrong.

Why don’t we just say: “Let’s forgive and go on with life?” Forgiveness makes us feel good, and like anything, it can be taken to excess. For example, if a person has no remorse, don’t forgive him just so you can feel good or look good. It mightily confuses the liar. Likewise, don’t forgive someone who has done nothing wrong. It confuses others.

On the other hand, don’t hold onto forgiveness as a form of vengeance. “I won’t forgive you because you need to suffer some more.” That’s like saying until you extract a pound of flesh, the score is not even.

The action of appropriate forgiveness is an action making the situation better . . . it produces a good set of outcomes. Failure to forgive in a situation where forgiveness is warranted makes the situation much worse.

It doesn’t do any good to censure a person who feels no shame, who feels no guilt. He will just make more excuses.

On the other hand, it does a great deal of good to refrain from censuring a person who already has censured himself. This is the person who really feels guilt and tries to make amends. Failure to forgive here is inappropriate.

It’s also good to remember that there is a difference between forgiving and condoning. Condoning diminishes the action. It’s inaccurate and it’s a cop-out. The religious call to forgiveness is not a call to be a sucker. If what was done hurt you, you need to say that, and not pretend it didn’t hurt and it doesn’t matter.

At every point a person has a choice to forgive or not forgive for the right reasons. Conciliatory personalities tend to forgive too much, too quickly. Aggressive personalities tend to forgive too little, too late. We need to strike a balance.

Is it Hard to Forgive After the Lying Has Stopped?

Yes, it is a lot easier to forgive when the person is trying to make up to you for all the lies he told you. Even then, it takes a long time for forgiveness to settle in. Why? Because the hurt is still there.

It is rather easy for a person who lies from time-to-time to quit. It can
be done rather readily if there is determination to do so. What about a person who lies habitually over a period of time and cannot quit easily or without consistent help? A habitual liar will be tempted to believe he just has to say he’s sorry, just as a habitual drinker will tend to believe all he has to say is he’s sorry. It doesn’t work that way. On the other hand, bull throwers, braggarts and exaggerators are a tiresome lot, but they are easier to get along with than habitual liars.

How Is Lying Made Worse?

The bigger the role model, the worse the lie. If someone I hardly know lies to me, it is bad. However, it is much worse if my mother lies to me. She is a much bigger role model in my life. That makes the lie worse.

That’s why the President falls off a mountain when he lies. Yes, he falls a great distance, and if he lies over and over again, he falls an even greater distance.

You may say that if we raise the bar too high, no one will run for public office. Then all we will get is the biggest bully or the guy with the most money. That’s really not our problem. The problem is just the opposite.

We need to raise the bar high enough so better people will run for office. We need to restore the expectation that includes honest behavior. The solution is not to take the bar away. To put it another way, if many people are lying, the solution is not to approve of lying, but rather to rekindle the fires of devotion. Otherwise, human flourishing is diminished.

Every time we see someone shoplifting in the store, we need to cry out: “Thief, thief!” Similarly, every time we see someone lying, we need to call out: “Liar, liar pants on fire!” We will be better off with fewer liars, not more.

These are just some of the reasons why the good Lord tells us not to lie.

Here is the source of the article: Girls and Boys Town.

March 11, 2007 Posted by | Communication, Family Issues, Friends & Friendship, Lies, Marriage, Social Issues, Spiritual | 19 Comments