Rant and Rave #1: “THEY LIED!”
Note: this is a rant and rave. They are good and healthy for the soul. Also, they sometimes come with f-bombs. You have been warned.
People lie. That’s a fact. But what really rubs me no end of wrong is to hear someone immediately leap to the conclusion that another person is lying – not a “no those jeans don’t make your butt look big” lie but a malicious, calculating, “I have made a conscious decision to give you false information” lie.
The quick, knee-jerk assumption that another person is lying with intent sends me from calm, cool collected Spock to raging Hulk complete with torn shirt, purple pants and a bad wig. That type of “assumptive” thinking leaves no room for doubt or other possibilities. It’s sloppy thinking. It’s unfair and unjust thinking.
People are less strategic than they are inept. That is, most people are less likely nefarious, malicious and calculating liars than they are misinformed, misguided or lazy. Lying takes an effort that most of us don’t want to expend. AND the person being lied to isn’t usually worth the effort.
Case The First: Software Support
A software support tech gives an answer that you don’t like. Which is more likely?:
Option 1: The tech, working 700 miles away, woke up this morning, rubbed his hands together and said “Now, how can I fuck with Sally’s day? I know! I’ll tell her that her Heisenberg couplers don’t match the Dyson sphere. MUAHAHAHAHAHA. That’ll really screw her!”
Option 2: The tech is one or more of the following:
- Poorly trained.
- Too lazy to look up the answer or get you help.
- The tech has given you the right answer but you don’t like what you are hearing.
Case The Second: Weather Reporter
When a predicted cloudy day turns sunny, I have heard otherwise intelligent people state “The weatherman lied”. Which is more likely?:
Option #1: The weather reporter woke up this morning, rubbed his hands together and said “Now, how can I fuck with Sally’s day? I know! She’s expecting good weather this weekend and probably has plans so I’ll say there’s a horrible storm coming and then she and all her friends will cancel their plans and when the weather turns out great, I’ll have the golf course all to myself! MUAHAHAHAHA”
Option #2: The weather reporter is one of the following:
- Poorly trained.
- PREDICTING THE WEATHER FOR A 100 SQUARE MILE SEGMENT OF AN ENTIRE PLANET IS FREAKIN’ HARD, PEOPLE!
Case The Third: The Politician
Alright. I know I’m going to get some argument on this one. Just bear in mind that politicians started out life as PEOPLE. And people are less strategic than they are inept. And I’m talking about flat-out, bald-faced, on-purpose, intent to harm lying.
A politician makes a promise and then the promise doesn’t come true. Which is more likely?:
Option #1: The politician woke up this morning, rubbed his hands together and said “Now, how can I fuck with Sally’s life? I know! I’ll promise that bridge she and everyone else has wanted but I won’t ever really try to get it built. Ooh! Or maybe I’ll promise to bring that new factory in to reduce unemployment but I’ll make sure it never happens. MUAHAHAHAAHAHAH”
Option #2: The politician did one or more of the following:
- Ran out of time to fulfill a promise.
- Did no research at all on their promise and once in office learns it’s not possible to do what they promised.
- Seriously overestimated the power they’d ACTUALLY have when they gained office.
Take a Moment
Remember, I’m talking about jumping to the conclusion that when you hear something you don’t like or that doesn’t make sense, the other person is lying. And I’m not talking about the kind of lies that we tell to spare a friend’s feelings. I’m talking about lies told with the intent to harm. There are some bad people out there who do lie maliciously, calculatingly and on purpose. But those are special people. Rare and special (like cancer, not like filet mignon).
I believe that, for the most part, people are too stupid and clumsy and lazy and just plain busy WITH THEIR OWN LIVES to put any effort at all into ruining our lives on purpose. We’re just not that important.
And I take comfort in that.