So in while in Istanbul I got lied to and instead of being butthurt in response, I decided to record this video sharing my views about honesty and integrity.
Video came out a little bit feel-good and unclear about some things and there is some sound issues, I don’t know why the mic didn’t work well in this one. Anyway, the stuff that I talk about in the video is something I genuinely believe in, not just a butthurt response over things going not the way I wanted them to go. I don’t think you have to lie and cheat your way to the top, if anything that will only detriment your life.
I know, I’m easily counter-argumented with lot of deceitful people who got it all in life. Perhaps some of them were even happy doing it. But I am talking of normal people here. For me I don’t see any benefit at all in lying. Only thing it would do to me is strain my mind more with having to keep up with the lies. It’s liberating and relieving to not have to manage any image or a web of deceit.
It might sound astonishing that I’ve not knowingly told a lie since probably 2011, but its true. I might have tricked myself and told something like that to people, but I’ve not knowingly lied to anyone. I’m not saying it to be high and mighty to suggest I’m better than everyone – I’m saying it to point out “I know what I’m talking about, I live according to my values”. And I’m telling you, its a much better way of life than toxic little lies that weigh down on you. Everyone deceives and manipulates sometime, but when you don’t consciously do it, its easier to catch yourself when you’re doing it unconciously.
Now you might argue there’s time and place for little white lies… but the thing with those it that it becomes very grey area – what if you choose to lie in a matter that you think don’t matter, but don’t realize it matters more to the person lied to? It doesn’t matter if you never get caught, but if you do get caught with the lie, it can be much more destructive than you think.
Is honesty painless then? Of course not, if it were, everyone would naturally be honest. But it is in the long run much less painful. You exchange lot of short-term pain for being in long-term in better alignment with your values and life. Often lies are just delaying pain.
Being honest doesn’t mean telling everything to everyone. If I am getting to know a new person, they won’t know much about my pre-existing relationships aside the things I mention in the blog. I tell a lot of my life in this blog and its all genuine truth, but at the same time its only a small glimpse to my life – it’s like looking at surface of ocean, you can’t see what’s in the vast depths below. As person grows in importance in my life, they will gradually “earn” to know more about me.
But this is where absolutes, in my perspective, end. That’s a whole another discussion what should be told and to whom. Also, I could easily lie to a person I don’t know at all. If a beggar comes ask for money, while I usually tell them they need to work for their money, I could just say I don’t have money on me without guilty conscience.
Honesty With the World
Finally there’s the thing about honesty with the world. It represents doing the hard work instead of going for the shortcuts. If you want a successful relationship, the “dishonest” way is to get someone a bit out of your league with trickery and then keeping them in line with manipulation. Leads into a toxic relationship for both that’s ultimately horribly end. Less dishonest way that lot of people do it is just settling on someone that’s kinda good just to get the problem out of the way – then losing passion for that person slowly over the years. The honest way, of course, is to get through the years of grind to become that person who deserves an awesome person, going through a lot of people and ultimately coming out with someone who you really know fits you.
I’m not saying that’s the only way to make it work, of course there’s countless examples that would go against that example, but the general principle is the same – you have to be “honest” with the effort you put in to tip the odds in your favor. You can’t buy a program that promises you to get rich overnight and then expect to roll in cash. No, you gotta do it the hard way through lot of effort and failure, probably even public failure as your first attempts in business go broke. When I was playing poker, I went bust countless of times.
Achieving riches through lottery, for example is cheating the system. You won’t change as a person when you win the lottery, all it is that you now have more cash, which you soon realize its largely just superfluous and doesn’t matter that much to your life beyond your survival and maybe driving around in a more expensive car. If you were uninteresting and unhappy person before winning, you will be that after too. Money can help change that, but unless you’re doing the change yourself, it won’t do a thing.
Often time lottery winners just waste their money cause they haven’t learned the process of managing their cash. As they say, fool and his money are soon parted. The worst thing about losing that fortune for them is that they can’t recover it. If a man who worked a decade loses his fortune, of course he will be as miserable as the lottery winner, but he will get back into the grind next time with firm belief that he can rebuild. That will give him real security and confidence – one that’s based on his own character, not just having a lot of assets.
It’s a hard concept overall for me to communicate, this honesty thing. I know 99.999 % of people lie all the time, and this will probably do little to change it especially since some people can make convincing counter-arguments about how lying and pretending are good. I just don’t agree. I don’t pretend I don’t like people. I either like them or don’t communicate with them.
Isn’t it enough that we lie to ourselves? Why further complicate our coexistence with hidden intentions to each other?
Yes, deception can be a form of power. But in this world where everyone are kings in terms of possessions, health, living situation and amount of food we have available, do we really need power games? I don’t want to assert my power over other people aside from how my words might improve their lives through new insights. It’s obsolete – but I guess like fear its one of those obsolete primal responses, faults of human psyche that’s gonna stick around until we start actively modifying it. But you can on a personal level start taking control of it today. But its tough since telling the truth is often punished, especially if it is a hard truth. For me it is easy cause I see the overall picture gets better over that small discomfort, but convincing that to others is harder.
I don’t judge anyone for lying. People I love and still love have deceived me many times. I don’t think they are evil for it. Every time I just look at their senseless lies and think to myself “she didn’t lie cause she’s evil… She was just retarded.”
Yeah, that’s also kind of reframing it funny to call her retarded for it. There’s no judgment in that. We are all retarded. That’s why we lie and are scared and lazy and… well list goes on and on. Let’s just all try to be a little bit less retarded.