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PETERS PIECE: The Power of the Lie

Human beings seem to take pleasure in lying to each other. In fact for some people lying has become so natural that their brain has ceased to make the distinction between a lie and the truth; so much so that when they lie now they somehow believe that they are telling the truth.

The stranger thing is that people seem to, in some way, like being lied to despite all their protestations.

Imagine a scenario where two guys are courting the same girl. One guy is quite honest and admits to the young lady that he has very limited means, is not making much money at his job but he loves her and if they both work hard with dedication he can almost guarantee success and a good life eventually.

The girl may well like the fellow but the prospect of meagre resources and hard work in the early going does not quite appeal to her.

The competing suitor promises her everything. He has a huge bank account, exorbitant inheritance; if she chooses him she will not have to work another day in her life if she doesn’t want to because she will have access to the best treatment a woman can hope for.

Now everything that she observes; all the information she has points to a reality quite different to the picture this second guy has painted but the story and the promises certainly do sound good and in many more cases than not that is the bloke that ends up with the girl. Of course most of the time she ends up regretting the decision but by then it is kind of late.

I don’t know if that really means people like being lied to or weather we are just wired to accept the more attractive story, likely or not. And this doesn’t just apply to stories but to visual realities as well. You get hungry in town and want to buy a lunch. Two different women are selling lunches for the same price but one is visibly bigger than the other.

To most people is doesn’t matter that the smaller one is meticulously prepared with a much more thoughtful  variety of items, well laid out and perhaps tasting much better. The average Joe (or Jane) goes after the heavier lunch box, taste and quality be damned.

I always like to zero in my narrative to Grenada because certainly Grenada is where our main concerns lie. We seem to enjoy being brambled, mamaguyed, fooled and taken for treacherous rides. In our society; con men, cheats, liars, swindlers, shot-callers and rascals are accepted, respected and some cases almost revered.

We seem to gravitate more easily toward glib talking, smooth demagogy, colourful words and phrases than straight eye to eye truth and reality even if it may not be the most attractive story.

To many of us it must sound good, look good, smell good and give a good even though unrealistic projection of the future in order for us to accept it.

This attitude has dogged our politics for years as we have continued to see “ability to talk” and fancy character displays as the primary qualification to get into and stay in political office. Likeability, charm charisma and the ability and willingness to manipulate the perception of the body politic are the preferred attributes over honesty, straightforwardness, consistency of message and willingness to put nation ahead of self and political longevity.

It always bothers me to the core when I hear comments like certain person being too honest for politics; that politics is not religion and that they should therefore stay out of it.

I don’t want to get personal but I suppose it is this inherent nature that allows us to stay silent when ministers of government go about prattling about how good things are in Grenada, how many jobs are being created and how much cost of living is going down even if the opposite stares us in the face every day.

Perhaps; while knowing it isn’t true, we really want to believe it, so we accept. Although we cannot understand how increased employment could mean more and more people home and how a lowering cost of living can mean we are able to buy less every time we go to the grocery, we say nothing and let the culprit get away with the lie-perhaps even believing it himself.

Perhaps the acceptance of dishonesty and untruth is what can cause Senator Nolan Cox to brazenly deny that the project prepared by the seafarers of Carricaou and Petite Martinique for training etc. was hijacked by government operatives and presented as their own.

He does so even when the person who presented the project on behalf of the government has not denied that this was the case and even if there are hundreds of people in the sister isles that know the facts.

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