A recently concluded study has suggested that children who lie are more likely to succeed than the ones who don’t lie. I don’t think there was ever any doubt in that. What’s interesting about this study is that it suggests the sooner a child starts lying, the better for them!
Years of social conditioning and the larger than life looming presence of middle class morality has suggested that perhaps lying isn’t all that wrong. One should lie if one must. Better still if that damn lie is saving someone’s life or making someone happy. Naturally it becomes doubly better if that life happens to yours. After all if Lord Krishna could lie his way through Mahabharat then who are we to question the ways of the universe? These are lies that are, in fact, bigger than the truth.
Why does one lie?
As a child I remember lying at the drop of the hat. These were innocent remodeling of information to make a story or life more interesting. Don’t make too much of. Try growing up in sleepy army cantonments in the 1980’s and you know that bending the truth a little only added color to the otherwise mundane existence. Did my lies hurt anyone? On the contrary, I’m pretty sure they infused excitement.
I guess everyone develops a sense of how things ought to be and hey if one can alter reality to make things better then what’s the harm in fibbing a little. This sparkling ability to feign apparently reveals the presence of a fast developing brain and boy was my brain fast! I’m perhaps the only one from my childhood days who is doing exactly what I set out to do. I must have been in 2nd standard when I realized I wanted to be a writer or a filmmaker. It must have a lot to do with the fact that my maternal grandfather, Arudra, happened to be a celebrated poet, a film lyricist and a literary doyen. So did my wonderful superhero like ability to convincingly lie help me? According to this research it did. Children whose lies are more plausible turn out to be quick witted and have a better ability to think on their feet!
The truth be told- everyone lies. Some years ago people still used to think a few times and worked out a lie in their minds but now it’s all instant. Every time someone calls on the cell the first question they ask is ‘where are you’ and no matter who calls 90% of the time we fib! The problem isn’t in lying but it’s the extent that one can fake. Come to think of it till Satyam Raju was lying to the extent he could handle it we were conferring awards on him, Harshad Mehta was just the thing dreams were made of, David Davidar was a publishing genius, Tiger Wood was the poster boy for world peace, Hansie Cronje was captain courageous but they didn’t know where to stop. Then there are the other lies that are simply unpardonable. OJ Simpson and BMW Nanda lies perhaps became bigger truth than their lives.
But what allows a lie to become a truth?
There is an interesting research that reveals that the human brain is incapable of differentiating between a real experience and an imagined one! Does this recent study merely suggest that a socially acceptable level of lying is good enough? This would boost the confidence, develop cognitive skills but it shouldn’t translate into some thing else...
The line’s too fine and only getting finer. Research or no research social consciousness has started making room for a just a lil dose of that manufactured truth every now and then. We have accepted it just like the hole in the ozone layer and there ain’t nothing one can do anything about it.
Dr Kang Lee, director of the
Interestingly such studies and researches allow the wee bit elbow room between Tiger Woods and OJ Simpson. The world might not need so many liars but it needs the bakers and perhaps one needs to figure a middle path but as far as I’m concerned lying might not have made me smarter but it surely made me imaginative!