Monday, June 13, 2005

girl interrupted #1: lies

(The girl interrupted series will be about innocence lost to the knowledge of good and evil. I thought I’d be past this “stage” by now but it keeps happening. It’s like the sex education (informal) I received in fifth grade at a public school. I knew nothing, literally! But my peers kept on talking about this something I didn’t know about and occasionally they harassed me with their new-found knowledge. I responded as I had always responded to anything they presented to me—“my religion opposes it” I would say. It worked and was true for nearly every other subject in the book. But for some reason they mocked me all the more in this instance. I decided I needed to educate myself. After a bit of research, I knew as much as they did or enough to get the general picture. Since then I’ve had numerous other such encounters with the knowledge of good and evil. Always, I’ve been able to confirm my realizations with a little research. We are the most self-analyzed people I know.)

Recently, I’ve been contemplating the numerous “lies” I have run into. Some have simply puzzled me. Others have been devastating. I’ve been trying to make sense of them…racking my brain, trying to look at them from another angle, other than that I've simply encountered people turned evil spewing out intentional twisted deceptions. Here are some “lies” I’ve run into…
He’s my friend but we make-out sometimes.
He’s my mentor but I’ve only chatted with him briefly once in the past 3 months and I never take his advice.
She was fired but the remaining employees in the company were instructed to say, “she left” when asked why she was no longer working.
It wasn’t a church split: it was a church plant.
How are you?—Fine.
I always have time to hang out with you—but when I’m with you I am so distracted I can’t remember a thing you’ve said.
In the heart of Minnesota nice I suppose it makes sense that it would be fairly common to run into those who alter their rendition of the truth so they and everyone else can live in a thinly lined utopia. Among the Mexican circles I’ve come in to, I’ve also learned that at all costs one must make their guests feel comfortable. It’s common to have people ask, “Ya sientes major?” My pragmatic reaction, backed up by my tradition’s 3-5 century’s worth of literal truth-telling causes me to respond, “It has nothing to do with how I feel!” (Yet if you are lying or I am lying, my conscience will bother me and then I will ultimately feel badly.) Basically, I realize between Mexican culture and Minnesota nice I am often told what the other person believes I want to hear (which to me is a lie) (which to them is something that would make THEM feel good if it were true).

Then, I ran across an article in a Yale news release entitled, Children Develop Cynicism at an Early Age. It basically says that “by the time children are in second grade, they know to take what people say with a grain of salt, particularly when the statement supports the speaker's self-interest.” I think I was standing behind the door the day they handed those grains of salt. I can’t believe it! I’m certainly the most daft person in the world! Or perhaps the most sheltered. Now like a child who has just learned to write her name, I’m applying this grain of salt EVERYWHERE! Never-the-less, it’s a second grade developmental piece that I am learning at 30. On one hand I feel stupid. On the other, I feel sad that my world’s balance is changing. The knowledge of good and evil—gotta live with it.

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