I suspect the number of times we misrepresent truth is in the high 90% territory.
We rationalize not wanting to hurt feelings, embarrass ourselves, impact reputations or relationships, polite behavior – good manners, as if there is anything good about such distortions.
Not to say we outright lie in these deflections, demurings and bashful tendencies, but no other word seems accurate.
So why do we lie?
We know exactly how we feel, and we choose not to disclose it.
This is more than a social convention, is it not?
Except when I don’t feel the way I want to feel, or expect that I’ll feel.
Strangeness is probably the best word I have to describe it.
There is nothing I’d like better than to feel better, especially at times when I don’t feel good at all.
I’m probably not alone, but being alone with these feelings is a strange alone feeling – and it isn’t easy to mask, but it is. Why is that?
How I feel is simple.
Ought to be simple, right?
Few things are more basic, more personal, more clear.
We live in a world of feelings and concern about them, oceans of emotions so often dashed on rocks rather than swept gently to a beachy resting place …
Our most frequent greetings are to ask others how they feel, how they are doing – we want to know what is happening with and for them.
Just as often as we ask someone ‘how are you?’ we are asked something similar in return which we so often deflect, dismiss or disguise …
P.S.: to those who might write and say ‘I don’t get it’, consider the times your food or the service is substandard or even just mediocre, and the waiter asks ‘how is everything?’ to which we reply, ‘fine, just fine’. We all do it. It serves no purpose, delivers no value and zero truth. Trouble is, for most of us, our conversations with waiters are the tip of an iceberg where, like icebergs, 90% is below the surface, hidden from view.
column written/ published from the Maui Kamaole, Kihei, Maui, HI
morning walk: 19C/66f, clear, light breeze – mountains no longer cloud shrouded, beach empty (always is if you start early enough) on my outward leg – pause for apple Danish & coffee at the Fairmont, and back again in under two hours … magnificent way to start, or end, any day or week