Will Smith was over in the UK recently promoting his latest film in various interviews with Jonathan Ross and the like.
The renowned ‘nice guy’ has a reputation as giving one of the best celebrity chats. He never seems to get upset by anything and several media folk asked him if there was anything that really wound him up.
He replied: ‘Lying. The worst person in the world is a filthy rotten liar!’ And went into some depth about how upsetting that particular trait can be. The gist being that the commission of a sin can be rectified but the perpetration of an untruth cannot.
It came up again in the series ‘Criminal Justice’. Ben Coulter was asked in the witness box whether he considered himself a responsible, truthful and honest person. When he replied in the affirmative, he was led through his behaviour on the evening of the murder for which he was on trial. How he had borrowed his father’s cab without permission and with no insurance, picked up a strange young woman, driven her to the beach, imbibed Class A drugs and alcohol and then driven her to her home. Woken up to find her dead and run away from the scene of the crime, returned and tried to cover up the evidence and then continually refused to reveal the details of what had happened that night. That revelation did nothing to improve the jury’s opinion of the young man.
Both situations made me stop and think.
I would like to think that I am a decent, honest and truthful person but a closer inspection of my behaviour over the last couple of years would tend to belie that assertion.
Sometimes I hate the person I have become.
Lying, cheating, duplicitous, untrustworthy.
These are not words that I would like associated with me but that is how other people might view my current persona with no knowledge of all the other mitigating circumstances… and perhaps they still would, even if they did.
The mistress of spin.
Where the careful composition of a sentence, the omission of a few salient points can turn veracity into a half-truth that will satisfy any enquiry as to my actions or my motivation.
The worst part is that once you have told the first fib, they start to proliferate. Each additional lie covering the original until you have constructed this whole fabric of untruths and feel like the proverbial Pinocchio.
It is not a nice place to be.
I have tried to keep my falsehoods to a minimum. Preferring not to give too much information unless specifically asked. White lies then, rather than full-blown whoppers.
But, however much I try to dress it up, I have still fashioned a web of deceit, in total contrast to the whiter-than-white honesty of my former self.