Tell the truth about something about which you usually lie.
John's eyes narrow and harden and his jaw sets.
His shoulders relax and his hands are calm. A bad sign.
Are you suggesting that I lie? Are you further suggesting that I am generally given to lying, in fact do it 'usually?'
How dare you?
Not just for fear of me, though that is a factor, but for what you do to yourself and the offence you cause to what is Right?
Do you know the harm that is caused by the spreading of slander? It has killed people! Indirectly, by cycles of resentment and mistrust where it was not warranted. By the birth of deception due to fear, which spirals into nightmares of secrets, betrayal and death.
Of course I do not lie!
Not only do I not lie, I deliberately tell the truth when that truth would harm me, just for the sake of Honour and Honesty. I make a point of it. Anyone can tell the truth when it is easy - when they agree with someone else, say the expected thing, compliment. But to disagree? Why that is hard. To face accusation with insouciance rather than apology, to hold to ones unpopular or original vision, to address Wrong. These are hard. Truth is hard when one stands alone. So I have made a point of exercising will and honour, by telling the truth. Not even just when necessary, but as it arises, when I need not speak.
I do not lie! And I Will Not be questioned!
John thinks of something else. Not lying, but perhaps a flavour of it.
His carefully maintained courtesy.
'How do you do?' when he does not care.
'A pleasure to meet you,' when the pleasure is dubious at very best or there is actual animosity.
'At your service,' when he would happily send them into another world given context.
'Quite fine, thank you,' when he is anything but fine.
'Thank you,' with inner resentment.
'You are welcome,' when he wishes they would leave and fall off the face of the earth.
Shaking hands, a tip of a hat, a bow or acknowledging incline of a head to an enemy.
In his old South, these things were not lies, but maintenance of culture and society. The words, when meant sincerely, were explained as sincere and had depth and feeling behind them. Respect, even fondness. But a narrowed eye with the correct words invested courtesy with its opposite intention. Politeness and elaborate manners could be a weapon, and every one knew the difference.
It is not lying to do this in an absence of understanding and culture. John maintains it, keeps a part of him, almost in defiance of a lack of civilisation. It is not a lie.Name: John H. Holliday, DDS.
Word Count: 445
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Nulli Virtute Secundus