To be human is . . . What a crazy month this has been! Do you feel the same? So much has happened – from the great Muhammad Ali’s passing, to the Orlando shootings, to the Brexit vote in the United Kingdom. Some major shifts for us as humans has taken place and it’s what struck me deeply in preparing for today’s blog. I was doing some research for inspiration so my blog wouldn’t focus or weigh too heavily on the sadness and darkness of some of this months events. Interestingly enough, I found this documentary on Netflix called THE (DIS)HONESTY PROJECT: The Truth About Lies.
Dan Ariely is the catalyst behind the project and it was extremely interesting from a human study perspective. You might be wondering where in the world is she going with this – well, I thought the same thing, but I’m always open to see where my heart leads me. To be honest, I thought I would just have the documentary on in the background and pick up a few pointers here and there while I was crafting my blog. HA – not only was the documentary interesting, Dan was very funny and enjoyable to watch. (I highly recommend it whenever you’re in the “grow your brain” mode)
White Lie – Orange Jumpsuit
So, to get to the correlation – besides the traumatic events mentioned previously, I found out a few weeks ago that a high school friend and someone I dated for a blink of a moment, landed himself in jail for robbing two banks. He held a Senior VP position at a respectable company, has great family around him, etc., etc. It made me reflect on myself. I have a saying – desperate people do desperate things. While on the surface this robbing banks thing, may seem like a money issue – and it may be, I have no idea what his finances are – but being a Senior VP wouldn’t lend itself to being financially strapped. So, what then? What was it, that triggered this behavior?
The reason I have this saying is because I understand it first-hand. The reason I was intrigued by The (Dis)Honesty Project documentary is because I’ve lied. And what I realized in watching the documentary is – that we ALL lie. Anytime, you negotiate beyond a limitation, i.e. the speed limit, no trespassing signs, your parent telling you not to do something, fudging info on a resume, etc. – those are all lies. Some human came up with the saying “white lie” but it’s laughable. Who decided that if you add the word ‘white’ in front of the word ‘lie’, that it becomes acceptable?? It’s a lie, no matter how you color it.
I can relate to my friend who was shown on TV in an orange jumpsuit. I’ve been in an orange jumpsuit myself. YEP! Here’s the lie that created my orange jumpsuit moment:
I was in Hilton Head, SC and was out one night and was pulled over for drunk driving or what they thought was drunk driving – I had only had one drink (that’s the truth) – BUT, I was being silly with my friends in the car and my driving was erratic. So, I got pulled over. Passed the DUI test with flying colors. BUT, my tags were expired AND they were from Georgia, not South Carolina. I had been in Hilton Head long enough that it was overdue to change the tags. So, my lies were starting to accumulate: I had violated the law in not switching to SC tags from GA and my tags were expired. The police officer gave me a ticket, which I deserved. Seems simple enough, right – just take care of the ticket.
Well, my roommate at the time, had become friends with a fairly well-to-do attorney in Hilton Head and she told him about what happened and he said he would take care of the ticket. Having come from a small town, that seemed easy enough. HA – well, he forgot about it, and I was irresponsible in even considering allowing him to do it. So, as it happens when one lie leads to another – I was speeding on a road that everyone in Hilton Head knows you get a ticket on if you speed and I got pulled over – again.
Next thing I know, I’m in the back seat of a police car WITH handcuffs!!! (By the way, those things HURT when you have to sit with them behind your back) They are telling me they are taking me to Beaufort County JAIL!! Well, of course, I’m crapping my pants (no not literally, but almost) and I have to leave my car on the side of the road. Nuts, right?!?! So, I call my fiance at the time and he jumps into “fix it” mode as good men do. The reason they arrested me was because my Georgia drivers license was now suspended because I had failed to pay the ticket for the expired tags.
It was like 1 or 2am and I’m all tucked away in my jail cell, in my orange jumpsuit and an officer comes and tells me that I could leave. My fiance and roommate had come to get me. I actually don’t remember ALL of what happened because it was such a nightmare for me. I ended up driving to Atlanta so I could get my license taken care of and then back to South Carolina to take care of getting everything in it’s proper order.
The story is a bit funny now, but when you tell yourself – oh, I’m just going 6 miles over the speed limit – you don’t think, you’re going to end up in an orange jumpsuit. The two just don’t seem on the same page. But, I chose to not be honest in many of my decisions about my life at that time and it caught up with me.
It Comes Down to Honor
In watching the documentary on human behavior and thinking about how much has come to pass over this past month, what resonated with me most is that we are all human. Everyone of us lies about something. For me, what I’m learning is that the more I love, accept and appreciate myself, the less I have reason to be dishonest about anything.
That thought ties into the documentary’s conclusion – when we are reminded of our honor, we make the right choices. And if you are thinking that this has anything to do with religion, you’d be wrong. Regardless of your belief system or lack thereof, when we are reminded of our honor, we did the honorable thing every time. For me and my beliefs, it’s even more scientific proof that we are ALL children of God. The honor that is in all of us, is innate in us and given to us by God. He gave us free will and we all need to be reminded sometimes . . .
For my friend who found himself in jail and myself, it’s good to be reminded of our honor. We are all HUMAN.