I remember the first time I lied. Our church was having a harvest party of some sort (a way of getting the kids away from "Halloween"). A new game was set up for us that involved hanging giant marshmallows from the ceiling and letting the kids compete with hands behind their backs attempting to get one of those yummy treats eaten before anyone else. Everyone wins right? You'd think a well behaved little girl could wait until "Ready Set Go" but you don't know this little girl. She wasn't allowed sugar at home. She looked at that marshmallow in front of her face and couldn't resist trying to take a nibble. Immediately some other kid tattled and the adult in charge asked "Rachael, did you put the marshmallow in your mouth?" and I was so mortified I said "No?". Immediately, a shame washed over me that I knew right then I never ever wanted to feel again. I was called out on my lie by everyone there and told I couldn't play the game. I was only six or seven years old but I can clearly see the view as I stood with my back to the room, looking out the paned glass just crying my eyes out in horror at myself. I can honestly say I have tried ever since to never lie. Looking back, I'm actually glad I didn't get away with it because what would I be today if I'd learned early on that I could mislead other people to get what I want?
I'm in no way saying I never lie. "Little white lies" my mother called them. Remember the movie "Liar Liar"? Proof that if any of us told the absolute truth all the time we would be outcasts. I'm just like everyone else in that regard. I might keep someone happy with a little white lie or I may just lie by omission. The thing is, we know everyone is doing this and we come to expect it! When you ask if someone likes your new haircut do you really want them to say no? Aren't we horrified when someone IS brutally honest? We learn this growing up and it's possibly what leads people to bigger acts of dishonestly. That whole problem of where to draw the line especially if the line is easy to move.
So what would you do if you knew you would get away with it? How far would you go?
I hope you guys enjoyed this episode as much as I did. The stories were thoroughly entertaining and it was just what I needed this week. It made me think about what happens in our world every single day without making me depressed about it. This American Life remains at the top of my list of podcast favorites. If I could produce my own podcast, I'd want it to grow up to be just like this one...and I maybe would try to sound just like Ira Glass.
Until next week...Pod Club put your thinking caps on for a new podcast. I've been on the hunt and we may have fresh meat soon. If anyone out there in internet land is reading this and not saying anything please join in! Leah and Jill and I would love to include anyone and everyone in our weekly podcast adventures.