Eyes That Don’t See, Heart That Doesn’t Feel
How many of us have not used this justification to explain something we’ve done, or are doing, that we know is wrong? Most commonly associated with this dicho are affairs of the heart, but what about the more mundane lies we tell each other on a day to day basis? The so-called white lies we employ perhaps as a nicety, maybe to spare others from grief, or just maybe by force of habit. Do they merit acceptance in our lives?
Over the years I’ve gotten progressively better at the art of fibbing, although my family would definitely contest that they can always tell when I’m lying. And they can! For some reason my nose flairs up, my eyes become larger than what they already are, and a ridiculous smirk takes over my face. Strangers can’t always tell because they’ve not spent a lifetime around me, but as they get to know me better they too eventually concede that straight out lying is not my forte.
A few months ago we were playing a pretty sinister prank on one of my new coworkers. The idea was to make her believe that singing and dancing was part of her job description. Mind you, she was hired as a business professional. We had her going, she was actually swallowing our crazy prank, saying things like: why didn’t you tell me this before I got hired, but the more our story unraveled, the more I could not contain my laughter. It got so bad that I had to step out of the room to not ruin the setup completely. Poor thing, she ended up believing what we had told her for a few weeks until we finally confessed our mischievousness. She later confirmed my theory that my inability to fib had almost ruined the lie.
My parents weren’t always so fortunate.
When I was a boy my abilities to blame my younger brother for everything were incredible. My siblings knew my tales were quite tall and so the objective was always to get my parents alone. More often than not they would believe me. To this day I do not completely understand why, but they did. Needless to say my brother was quite agitated with me most of the time. Eventually they stopped.
Today, I am more careful about what I lie about. Somewhere along the way I realized how much white lies can actually hurt. Like words, even though they are not sticks and stones, they do hurt. A lot of times a lot worse than a good punch. Because the pain of a bruise will eventually go away, but the sting of an insult can last forever. More than two decades later, all of the fat jokes I endured as a young boy still burn when I think about them. Not to the point where I would want to go on Jerry Springer and confront anyone, but like it or not they do awaken buried emotions within me.
That’s why for me, the pain of knowing that something was kept from me albeit for my own good, or the idea of someone having looked at me straight to the face and lied to me, is more heartbreaking than anything else – especially when that person is someone that I care about. My preference is to hear the truth no matter what it is or how painful it might be because at least then all the cards are on the table. Yet, I’ll admit, I too have done my share of protecting others by telling them only so much and lying to keep my personal interests at bay.
Each time, my dishonesty has caught up with me and my relationships have been tested – at least resulting in a hostile argument.
We don’t like to be lied to. It is insulting, unattractive, and just plain hard to deal with. But who among us can claim never again to bend the truth in any way?
Does the heart not feel what it cannot see? Perhaps not, but eventually when the truth comes out who knows whether the pain will be less or more harsh, and if our relationships will be strong enough to overcome the feelings created as a result. Affairs of the heart gone awry are awful, yes. But isn’t it equally devastating to find out that we are always being lied to about the simplest things? You can’t build a relationship around lies. If you do, you are only lying to yourself. And that is the worst kind of fibbing we can do.
Ojos que no ven, corazon que no siente – think about it next time.