“For the world is full of trickery” – Max Ehrmann
How can we trust that what we read is true? How do we trust the claims of a product or service? How do we trust what people say? All interesting questions, especially when we see the people we place at the top, lying through their teeth. Barefaced lies as the saying goes. And all for gaining superiority, favour and trust.
The reality is, our ability to filter out lies, has become ever more important. If you’re a particularly trusting type (naive in the eyes of some) you’re ever more likely to get caught out by the trickery of the world that Max Ehrmann spoke of. Another unfortunate reality is, as we age, our cynicism increases and our faith in human nature decreases.
“But let this not blind you to what virtue there is; many persons strive for high ideals, and everywhere life is full of heroism” – Max Ehrmann
So the question we must ask ourselves is this: how do we recognise virtue and truth? I suppose this ability comes from the maturity gained from life’s lessons. To some extent we need to be mislead by lies, before we’re able to recognise, truths. Also, how often we fall victim to trickery, depends very much on our vulnerability.
In other words do we actually need to believe the lies?
We can listen to certain leaders, and even when on a deeper level we can hear their lies, we actually prefer this to the truth. After all, we elected them, and so their false claims may help us to feel better about our naivety.
There are of course those products and services that directly appeal to vulnerable and needy people
In respect of poor choices, fear, is a massive determiner. We can be conned out of thousands when frightened and vulnerable. Interestingly enough, fear can also cause us to be overly cautious. Fear can create the need to be ‘sold’ a product or service. There’s an uncomfortable paradox here, in that our fear may well trick us into believing heavy handed marketing, that bends the truth or makes false promises.
We respond to the lies with courage
Through acknowledging our naivety, vulnerability and fear, we empower ourselves. We’re less likely to fall victim to trickery when we ask ourselves what motivation lies behind the decisions we make. If we need to be ‘sold’ something, are we fearful of making a mistake? Is it not the case that heavy marketing belies the reality?
So we respond to the lies through facing our truth. When we’re true to ourselves, through facing our fears, the lies of con men can hold no sway.