Every year there are changes some big some small, in the way we all behave influenced by our society, friends, co-workers, environment, financial situation, lifestyle, upbringing, teachers, and more. Some of these changes are shaping us into people we can be proud of and some are changing us in the opposite direction. Those are what I want us to take a good long hard look at today with our eyes wide open.
We tell others whatever makes us feel better at the moment as to why we did or said something the way we chose. But, when the sun goes down and the world quiets down we are left with only our thoughts rattling around and they tend to be louder when we know we did not behave in a way that is high on the morality and ethical scale.
Why do we do this? A lot of times it is because at the moment we think it is easier. But, we are fooling ourselves. You have all heard these: “What goes around, comes around.” “In the end, we are judged not by our words but by our actions and deeds.” “Karma is a __itch.” “It will all come out in the end.” “You reap what you sow.” “If you do not have integrity, you have nothing.” & “The truth will set you free.”
All of these sayings are from years and years of wisdom. They should not be dismissed as platitudes.
Is it easier to tell a professional connection a white lie because you do not have the brass to just be honest? It is a fact almost all lies no matter the size come out in the end and do more damage than the fast rip of a truth bandaid.
Just the other day a conversation was had between two people who interact on a weekly basis together in a professional networking group. Mr. Yellow was offering services (that were asked for) to Mr. Blue. Time was spent working up a great quote based on trust and goodwill that Mr. Yellow wanted to do right by Mr. Blue so he really pulled out all the stops in a great proposal. Upon offering this great proposal that so much personal time, skill, and effort was made on by Mr. Yellow we have the first break down of communication happen on the part of Mr. Blue. Mr. Blue’s initial response was later caught and brought to light as the false words it was. And here is where the hole got deeper and deeper. The more Mr. Blue tried to find a way out to save face the deeper the hole got and the more respect he lost.
The sad thing in all this is Mr. Yellow even with all his hard work would not have skipped a beat had Mr. Blue been honest up front with his needs, expectations, and abilities to go forward with the offer. They would have moved forward as professional colleagues and who knows somewhere down the road might have been able to do business together. But, when Mr. Blue decided it was easier to say what he thought would save face instead of the truth, in the beginning, he not only lost on a potential opportunity, he lost on a professional friendship and has cast a black mark on his integrity.
Society has been shaping us into a mold that is less than flattering. Making it easy to give excuses instead of truths. Today the consequences for our youth are not life altering the way they were when I was growing up. I can guarantee my actions going forward were always given a second or third thought if my past action had been met with the disapproval of my father. We are a society afraid to make waves, to speak the truth if it will cause hurt or disappointment, we would rather make excuses instead of being held accountable and look for the quick escape putting things off for another day instead of dealing with it in the present.
Hint: It never gets easier or better putting off the truth, it only hurts worse and effects more people in the end.
A very eye opening movie that covers a lot of this is with Jim Carrey in Liar Liar. It is about A fast-track lawyer who can’t lie for 24 hours due to his son’s birthday wish after he turns his son down for the last time. This spoof on a real issue shows how hurtful lies can be and how easy they flow off our tongues when left unchecked.
So ask yourself, do you want people to lie to you or tell you the truth? Do you want to know if you are irritating so you can decide to change or not? Or do you want to be lied to and avoided because you never get better?
Do you want someone to tell you they want to accept your quote and they will get back to you, but then avoid you or make up excuses or outright lie as to why they can not sign? Or tell you they appreciate your time on a quoted offer but right now the timing is not right so that you can focus on people that need your services now?
Society tells us it is okay to make excuses and it is easier in the short run, the ethical high road that is harder but in the long run benefits all. The decision is yours – the high road or the low road… For me, I prefer you to just tell it to me straight.