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Marc Mason is a freelance writer based in Tempe, AZ.

Sunday, December 02, 2012  

I’ve been thinking a lot lately about lies. It’s hard not to during an election season; lying becomes a game, an art during that time, and we are fed a steady diet of them. The only good thing is that that lies are calorie-free. That’s the kind of diet I think we can all get behind.

The funny thing about lies is how much we say that we are tired of them. For proof, head to an online dating website. I swear to you, at least 90% of the profiles I’ve read, the woman talks about how she is tired of liars and how she wants an “honest” relationship. It sounds great on the surface; I’m sure she has been victimized by a man’s falsehoods. (Hey – we guys have certainly taken our hits from some of you ladies as well.) But any honest look at relationships reveals that a little bit of lying here and there is what keeps things going. No woman wants to be told that her butt does indeed look bad in those pants. No woman wants to hear her man admit that Christina Hendricks is exactly what he wants. And she certainly doesn’t want you to give an honest answer when she asks if you’re sexually attracted to any of her friends.

Guys: she is not asking because she’s thinking threesome. Trust me on this.

Instead, she wants to hear “Your ass looks amazing.” “You are exactly what I want.” “You are way hotter than any of your friends.”

Look, I’m not suggesting that dishonesty should be your go-to response. It just seems to be embedded in us. We are born, and then the lies start flooding into our lives. There is a cycle, and with each successive generation, we keep peddling the same crap. It is inexplicable. It is crazy. It is stupid.

Think about the lies we tell children. “There is no such thing as monsters.” Fuck yeah, there are! Whether they are strapping bombs to their bodies and walking into a crowded shopping area, or they are polluting fresh water and making people sick in the name of profit, they are opening fire with assault rifles in movie theatres, or they are molesting altar boys, there are monsters all around us. We are not safe from them, no matter where we live. Think of the terror that registered on your face once you realized that the world is a scary, brutal place. I suppose we’re lucky our faces didn’t get stuck like that, eh?

What we’re doing is implicitly telling kids that it is okay to lie. “I didn’t do it.” “It was like that when I got here.” “My homework is done.” “I took a bath.” It escalates. “I’m sure I was going the speed limit.” “I’m working on that right now.” “The check is in the mail.” “I would never cheat on you.”

There are two lies, though, that bother me most. The first, I suppose, is a matter of personal philosophy, so to some it may not count. That would be “Everything happens for a reason.” I would find this particularly repulsive if I were a child with a horrific disease. What possible reason could there be for a ten-year old to have leukemia? How does that make sense to anyone? It attempts to rationalize the shitty, random nature of reality, and that offends me deeply. I think I would punch someone in the face if they said that to me in that kind of scenario.

But the worst lie, the whopper of them all, that we tell people of all ages is this: “Good things come to those who wait.” The idea being that we should exercise patience, I suppose, but this is such a pile of horseshit that it makes me want to punch puppies. In the face.

I believed this one. For a very long time, I believed this one. I tried to be patient. I led my life on the fringe, and I took away meager scraps of happiness. But then I realized that I had put my faith in a lie, and that is a nasty feeling.

The truth is this: good things come to those who bust their asses, accept and learn from failure, and never give up.

Over the past two years, I have lived out my reaction to discovering this truth for myself. I have worked harder, feared less, and created more success for myself than I had in the previous forty years combined. I have seen first-hand what happens when I have walked outside of my comfortable little bubble and doubled my efforts. And it has been worth it.
Lies, you see, make us soft. They make us stagnant. They take away our inner drive and our fight. And that is a shitty, shitty thing. So do yourself a favor: find the ones in your life that are holding you back and destroy them. Confront them. Eliminate them. Then get to the process of busting your ass. Whether you succeed or fail, you will know one thing:

You will have lived honestly.

1:17 PM

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