Tell me a lie (1)

One of the lessons I have learnt in life is not to choose to lie over telling the truth. Many do not know that when I say the truth never changes and occupies less of the mental hardrive I would be meaning it from personal experiences.

The problem (or is it problems?)  with telling a lie is that you will always have to remember what, how, and when you said it. If some caricature has been created in the fib a great length has to be gone to remember the specifications of the contents of the lie. Worse if you are called to recall the fib months or years later.

Not so the truth. It does not change. The dimensions remain the same and have not to be remembered. I have also found it easy to recall the truth as it is simply that: truth.

I recall the last beating I got from my mother. I had started Form One and had been gifted a wrist watch that got lost in between classes around second term. Fearing to be punished for being careless, I told my mother that I had left the watch in class during a Science experiment (it was a lie). A week later I was asked again and I said something to the effect that my teacher had asked for the watch and was keeping it (a worse lie).

After a series of other tales, my mother rocked up at the school unannounced and after demanding to know which teacher had her son’s watch, I was called from class to come and identify the teacher!! One can only imagine the chill that ran through my spine when I saw my mother seating in the staff room and I immediately knew that it was about the watch and my movie script like yarn.

When pressed to reveal the teacher, yours truly, eyes down, whispered that there was no teacher, I had lost the watch. A gasp from my mother punctured the air as my Teacher in Charge, Mr. Mehluli Ngwenya, (May His Dear Soul Rest In Peace) remonstrated with me about lying. My mother never said a thing.

When I got home she was seething with anger, humiliation and disappointment. I was bashed like she wanted to kill me (where was Child line then? But then there were no toll-free phones by then).

Years later i realized the source of her anger. I had lied to her. I had made her look foolish and she had confronted a whole staffroom on the basis and strength of my lies.

 She believed she was fighting for a child who was being deprived of his watch. Premising on my lies, she had taken on the whole school in quest for justice for her son. Based on a lie and she had had to apologise, eat her words and walk away humiliated.

That was the first incident that consciously drew to my being the effect lies have on other people around us.

 Lies create a wrong impression because loved ones act on your story with faith, trust and confidence only to receive an embarrassing ricochet.

I realized that when I lied I debased myself, abused love, hurt those who cared for me and I sought to conscientiously stay away from the toxins of lying.

But the lessons did not end there…… (To be continued)