new short story collection. Out now!

Thursday, April 18, 2013

Q is for Questions



““Option three?” pleaded David as he watched the congregation break into conversation cliques.
 “Option three,” said John with a disturbing tone of reluctance, “is the worst option.” “Uh-huh,” said David with half an eye on the people pushing through the doors into the foyer. If anyone recognized him they would come straight over and he would have to wait to hear about option three. He hoped John could hear the urgency in his voice. “What is it?”

-          Loathe Your Neighbor ch.8

Some questions should never be asked because the answers will not be pleasant for, or even acceptable to the asker. Some questions should not be asked because they cannot be answered. Some questions should not be asked because the questions themselves may cause embarrassment. Some questions should not be answered truthfully for the same reason, and not only because of embarrassment but also potential hurt, emotional pain. You seriously have to challenge the adage honesty is the best policy, or at least modify it by adding the words in most circumstances. If you’ve seen the film The Invention of Lying or even Liar, Liar (an admittedly less profound example), or if you have been alive for at least 12 years or so, then you know how damaging the truth can be, and how unloving it can be. I used to hate the term white lie when I saw the world in more black and white terms. It seemed like a cop out: another example of the relative morality so prevalent in the world today. The truth is that love is more important than honesty, and wise people do not ask questions when they are not fully prepared for the answers. The answer to the question, “Do I look fat in this?” is always an emphatic no regardless of the truth. The answer to the question “Are you having an affair?” is up to you. How honest are you? How loving are you?


3 comments:

  1. Some people are just compulsively honest. Myself, I have a hard time lying, but I don't think I'm mean either. If I have nothing nice to say I tend to stay quiet :)

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  2. That's the way to play it, Trish. Thanks for visiting and for taking the time to comment.

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  3. The thing I have against white lies is they're often told to protect the liar. The answer to, "Do I look fat in this?" is indeed always "no," because an alternative response would benefit no one. But sometimes hard truths are necessary. I suppose what I'm trying to say is, sometimes not speaking the truth can do more harm than good and that cowardice is often cloaked in the "white lie defense."

    VR Barkowski

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