The importance of lie (December 14, 2003)

“How are you doing today? I’m fine, thank you, and you? Pretty good, thank you.”
We hear the above conversation everyday in life. We start with those greetings when we meet someone we know or we don’t know. It’s a custom in the States. Sometimes I am wondering, is everyone really fine? When someone asks me how I am doing, without a thought, I would reply “very well” even though I am not feeling good. Is it a lie? Do we know we are lying everyday?

In Buddha teaching, we have to follow five precepts (Nga Par Thi La).
The Buddha's five basic precepts are:
1. To abstain from killing,
2. To abstain from stealing
3. To abstain from wrongful sexual conduct,
4. To abstain from lies, harsh speech, and slander and
5. To abstain from intoxicants and liquor, the cause of sloth and other evils.

Telling lies is a sin Buddha said. But it’s so difficult to live without a lie. I can keep the others four though.
Ask yourself how many times did you lie today. You probably don’t even notice that you are lying in your communicating with others in your daily life. Other people do the same thing as well. A saying goes, “Mu Tar Ma Par, Lin Gar Ma Chalk” that is really true.

It’s common that we have heard that hill people in Myanmar (villagers or Taung Paw Tar or Ywar Tar) are simple, humble, and honest. It might be true in a certain extent because I myself am from northern Myanmar. We become what we are depending on where we were born, how we were raised, and what we exposed in our surrounding.

I left my hometown, traveled many places, lived in different cities, and now living in the States. The way I make friends, communicate with new people, and doing business with others is my original hometown recipe: simple and honest. That really works to some points but not in everything. Experience has taught me a lot after leaving my warmest home.

For others, our sincerity and honesty become weakness and dumb ideas. The way some people treat us seems we don't know anything. They think we are dummies. When you are talking with someone or have relationship with someone for a while, you can have a sense if he or she is honest or not. Amazingly, in reality, I have found out that "telling lie" really works in many situations. Actually it works in our everyday lives. I hate to say that but it is true.

I have got many new friends in my new place. I have learnt from them, I have seen how they deal with people, and I have experienced how things work out. Most of the time that “lie” plays in a major role. Without “lie” things can go wrong, relationship can be broken up, and your career steps can be derailed.
Human evolved from apes, right? I have evolved too: from an honest guy to a man who can say lies. Don’t worry, no matter what, I always value honesty. I think I am still an honest guy but sometimes I may lie.

“Mu Tar Ma Par, Lin Gar Ma Chalk”