In response to The Daily Post’s writing prompt: “Sweet Little Lies.”
The Daily Post has asked: As kids, we’re told, time and again, that lying is wrong. Do you believe that’s always true? In your book, are there any exceptions?
“It is hard to believe that a man is telling the truth when you know that you would lie if you were in his place”
This is what one Henry Louis Mencken said about lying and truth.
If a person has murdered someone, or has stolen something or done something he or she should not have done, then it would be difficult for that person to be immediately truthful about it. Unless and until it is clear that there is no escape.
So is it with something as simple as telling your (exact) age. Women as well as men hide their age if they can, and yet not really labelled as liars.
Even before you ask a woman, “How old are you?” , you know very well that the reply won’t come easy. The replying party will fidget or look downwards and after a hesitant hmmm and ohhh wellll…she will tell that she is around 40 or that she belongs to this and this age group.
Rarely do we come across a woman telling her age directly and confidently, in a straightforward manner without even an inkling of hesitation. Exceptions are those men and women who look much older than their age. Normally, if some rare woman indeed tells her age openly, she should be considered an honest and truthful person. Shouldn’t she? But…she is not. That’s because even if she is telling the truth no one will consider it a truth. Because, nobody believes a woman when she tells her age.
So, whether she wavers or she tells her complete truth, either way it will seem as if she is telling a lie. But a lie that most people accept. Age and height are tentative, always left for others to guess. Unless and until it is a job interview or a competition based on age as criteria, it doesn’t even matter whether a person is 31 or 33, 45 or 49.
Age is a fake and frivolous criteria. It is very biased to judge people on age alone. An older person can be a better worker, an older dancer might be a better dancer – life of the party. A younger person with no sensitivity, no skills, education, taste, class or style should not be deemed better than somebody slightly older but fine in every other way.
Hence, there should be no need at all for any human being to lie about something as fickle as age and yet people are compelled to lie. This is a fake world that glorifies youth and beauty therefore women often dilly-dally when telling their precise chronological age. They have a fear that they would be judged by others on the basis of age. It is this judgmental world that makes them liars.
After reading this article, make sure not to ask any woman her age because she won’t tell the truth. And even if she does, you won’t believe she is telling the truth. So what’s the point in making someone indulge in sweet lies.
In response to The Daily Post’s writing prompt: “All or Nothing?.”
“Perhaps when we find ourselves wanting everything, it is because we are dangerously close to wanting nothing.” — Sylvia Plath
Which one of these two states of mind do I find more dangerous: wanting nothing, or wanting everything?
Well, the first state is ‘wanting everything’ which is a strong desire that shows lack of focus and coherence. This state of mind may occur when we are trying to hold on to things, hold on to our unfulfilled dreams. When we know our end is near or when awareness strikes that all the things we didn’t even notice before, are going to slip out of our fingers, it is then that our desperation shows and we want them all at once. We just want them.
This state of mind may start to show up when middle age strikes and old age is not too far away. We wake up to this fact that time is less but we didn’t do as much as we should have, we didn’t see this world enough, we didn’t travel enough, didn’t have enough parties, didn’t enjoy material comfort, didn’t wear any diamonds ever, didn’t change the curtains since long. This bombardment of desires creates panic and pressure, and in an attempt to do all things at once, people are unable to do justice to all. But that’s ok. They will end up doing a few at least. It is like when we have exams, we do end up studying a lot because there is less time and we make the most of it.
Contrary to this is an extreme state of mind that Eastern religions call ‘renunciation’ and ‘detachment’, giving up of everything. Often people have seen life and can see meaninglessness of it all, the futility of rat-race of life. After that there is lack of interest in anything. They want nothing. No attachments left to any human being, to material things, the whole motivation of life is gone.
Even in this second state of mind the desires are unfulfilled but a person tries a different approach, that is to not have any desires, to learn to curb them. This is ok if one is at peace with oneself. But if by doing so one is shunning worldly responsibilities then they are making their dependents, their children suffer while they themselves rejoice in their make-believe detached state of mind.
I would say, this renouncing is not good for a living person. Life should not be finished before we die. Life itself means looking after our body, having material comforts and provide a good life to others if we can. Having wishes is life, desiring is life, living is life. This also involves, not to weigh up things too much, not to analyse issues too much – but just to live and live as it comes. Meaning of life will reveal itself even when we are living life to its fullest
Thus if one has to make a choice between the two above states, All or Nothing?, the first one is fine if it can be controlled by will and guidance, after which it won’t give panic but happiness. Moreover, the first state of mind means holding on to things (life) too tight… while the second state means running away from life itself.
It’s the right balance that’s needed. Otherwise, we all know what happened to Sylvia Plath’s life.