I hate lies. Even little white lies. Dolefully this puts me in the minority. Most people think it’s okay to tell little white lies. I don’t. But my battle for truth has formidable foes. Example: Dr. Robi Ludwig writes an article called, “Truth Be Told; When it’s OK to Tell A White Lie.” Of course Dr. Ludwig is talking about interpersonal relationships. No wonder the divorce rate is 50%.
Another example: Lisa Kogan writes on Oprah.com, “Lisa Kogan Tells All: The Lying Game.” Lisa says it’s okay to lie to your friends if you’re busy. What are frieds for if not to deceive? Besides, if it’s on Oprah.com it’s gotta be right. Right? Well I say wrong!
Here’s why it’s not alright to condone even the littlest of white lies:
Moral decay doesn’t happen over night. It’s starts small and continues with baby steps until boundaries are fuzzy and no longer perceptible. If you get comfortable telling white lies without retribution eventually you’re going to tell bigger lies. Without a consequence where’s the harm, you’ll reason with your conscience.
The Erosion of Trust
Getting caught telling white lies pulls on the stitches of trust until there’s a systemic open wound infecting any opportunity of credible transparency. After all, if you’ll lie about little things where is the line demarcating little from medium or big? It’s not easy trusting a known liar.
Little white lies do hurt others
Most will argue that white lies protect people from hurt. On the contrary. I think people tell white lies because it’s easier on the lier, not on the recipient. You might say you lie to protect the other persons feelings but what you really mean is, you don’t feel like taking the necessary time to convey inconvenient news in a truthful but non harmful way. Sometimes it’s just plain conflict avoidance. However when you practice this form of deception you’re in effect robbing the receiver of their right to act, feel, or take action based on truthful information. Finding out you’ve been lied to is far more difficult to reconcile than dealing with factual news, even if the facts aren’t pleasant or desirable.
Little Lies Grow Big
When you tell little lies inevitably you’ll need to tell bigger lies to perpetuate your new designer truth. This is how little lies grow big.
Lying And Foreclosure
I hung up the phone and shook my head. Another case of someone losing their home to foreclosure. Instead of going down gracefully the homeowner chose the dishonest road leaving an insurmountable mess in their wake. What’s worse; they were aided in the lies and deception by a lawyer.
The Scam Goes Like This
Joe Homeowner is notified by the lender they’re headed for foreclosure. Sam Lawschool calls right behind the lender and promises to keep Joe Homeowner in the home for a long as possible–legally. Joe believes Sam Lawschool because Sam’s a lawyer. Aren’t lawyers supposed to uphold the law? Sam Lawschool tells Joe Homwowner they’re going to deed random people, people you don’t know and have never met, on the property Title thereby delaying the lender from taking back the property. This sounds wrong in Joes head but he decides to go along with it. Joe has now just crossed into the dishonest zone but justifies it by getting mad at the lender. “Those big banks are evil and are hoarding all the money.”
The harm this scam permeates is far reaching. The property becomes so encumbered by unknown people it can no longer be short sold. The Title is too clouded to unwind. The resulting foreclosure brings down property values, increases the loss to banks, degrades trust from lenders and drags down our economy’s recovery. That’s a lot of damage from one selfish lier!
Recently I asked Stuart Price, an honest attorney (they do exist), how many above board, legal ways there are to stop a foreclosure. Stuart was very precise. He said in his matter of fact way, “Ric there are only 2 ways. (1) Pay what is owed or (2) Get a judge to stop the foreclosure with an action, like bankruptcy for example.”
From a broader perspective, business losses to liars are staggering when considering lost dollars. Experts predict a range from the low billions up to $40 billion annually. From the few dollars the movie house loses from a child who really isn’t under 12, or merchandise bought with full intent to use and return, to the proprietor arsonist who torches a building to collect the insurance, billions are lost every year. And guess what? It’s the honest people who end up paying more for everything to offset the losses inflicted by liars. That’s why I hate even those little white lies.
If we all agreed to be tell the truth, all the time, wouldn’t we as a society be much better off? What do you think?
Please feel free to leave comments. And Remember, Sharing is Caring. Thank you.
Note: I’m a Title Rep. In other words, I sell Title Insurance. Comments made here are my own and do not necessarily belong to my employer; Chicago Title & Escrow.
Chicago Title has been in business for more than 160 years. It’s a company you can trust.