Lie – Part of Culture
14 July, 2011
Lie – Part of Culture

 

Let us recognize without a fear of lying that a lie is natural condition for man, used as a tool of survival. We all lie when we need to, or have to, especially if we can get away with it. People lie anywhere in the world.

Any ethnic culture admits a lie to be something regular, if not acceptable at all. But let us also acknowledge that certain cultures are trying to defy a lie as a way of life, and

some of them legitimize a lie as Modus Vivendi as well as Operandi. My twenty years’ experience of living in the United States is persistently telling me that it is more difficult, inconvenient, obliging and dangerous for my valued Americans to lie than for my precious compatriots here in Georgia. I will not go as far as comparing Americans with other nationalities, especially of the oriental origin where a lie is a normal everyday staple. The other day, I decided to go to amazon.com to have a look at a number of books about a lie, and I found there plenty. Augustine of Hippo wrote two books about lying in the 4th century AD. Famous Georgian fabulist Sulkhan Saba Orbeliani wrote his brilliant ‘Wisdom of a Lie’ in the 17th century. Or let’s just visit the page on a lie in Wikipedia and we will see a huge article there on the subject. My intentional allusion to these facts makes a strong case for me to state that humans are seriously concerned about a phenomenon of a lie and its socio-psychology. The funny thing though is that while being concerned theoretically, they continue blatantly lying in practice. Why so? Is it just a habit? Or it is the way we all live? It could be a malady, or even a requirement of our daily life. Falsehood and prevarication flow in our veins. We just want so much to deceive others, damn it! But the intensity of disregard for truth varies from place to place. As I said, here in Georgia we do it more without restraint and fearlessly than for example in America. In the States they think that lying is a bad thing to do; it is unsafe and has a solid potential to embarrass the liar. All those prerequisites have created a social habit and psychological approach in the American public that it is better not to lie than to lie. Our society – and many others around the Globe – has not yet matured for adopting, let’s say, the Western kind of stand which in general should be more a winner than not. I would even put it this way: the higher is the level of deception in a society in the process of communication, the less civilized the society is deemed to be. Moreover, a lie might have its considerable weight when it comes to material losses, suffered by a nation because of the practicable intensity of lying in the country. The angle I am trying to drive home is that being a boy who cried wolf is detrimental and it should somehow be punishable by law. Right now as we speak, lying is simple in this culture and it is commonplace too. It is even being encouraged to a certain extent, which is terribly regrettable. Emulating USA does not only mean learning English, singing jazz, imitating their manners, wearing jeans & T-shirts, eating in McDonalds and copying the American television. No!  The readiness to stop lying with ease and at every convenient occasion would probably be what we want to take from America as an example, which will give our society a chance to seriously better itself. You might think that I am joking, but this could even be one of the guarantees to accede to NATO, EU, OSCE and other Pan-European bodies. When taking a new member, these guys are considering the national character too – whether we are natural Westerners or not. No kidding!

 

 

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