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C05P12 – Deathbed Lies

C05P12 – Deathbed Lies published on 27 Comments on C05P12 – Deathbed Lies

Lies are a very interesting thing to write. Particularly since we, myself included, tend to assume that anything written down is true. There are some members of the cast which are habitual liars, and others, like Warren, that are TYPICALLY truthful, until it really counts.

Personally, honesty is hugely important to me. A defining moment for me as a kid was when I told a blatant lie to my parents, blaming something on my sister that they had witnessed me do. I still recall them sitting me down and saying, “Robin, it is your choice to lie or be honest. However, if you choose to be a liar, you must accept that we will no longer trust you.” That concept, that nobody would trust me, had a major impact on me. To this day, I still consider honesty a major personal value. On my “Personal Constitution” the first line is “1. To be Open, Honest, and Nurturing.”

Do you have a set of guiding principals or personal values? What qualities are at the top of your list?

27 Comments

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I believe in honesty as well. I too remember the lesson taught by my mother. I used to be a habitual liar. I would lie about anything. To this day I still lie, but it’s in good fun. (like, i’ll tell a falsehood and when people believe me i’ll tell them it’s not true, just to get a rise) BUT – one day my mom caught me in a lie again and told me she wouldn’t believe anything i said.
And I don’t know how long it was; it felt like YEARS, but i think it was maybe a week, and she held true to her word. She did not believe a WORD I said; even if it was blatantly true.
So that changed me big time. 😀

Oof! I can imagine that being terrifying!! I’ve also heard of parents that, if angry, will have a “silent treatment” where they won’t acknowledge the child’s existence until the kid apologizes. Personally, I think that’s going too far! Your mom seemed to have the right balance!

Ooh, like Jacob pretending to be Esau.

I’m religious so I have strong moral guidelines. …As you can tell from the first sentence. Hard to define what would be the top guideline, but recently I’ve come to realize that judging with stereotypical or partial information is stupid. So I guess I pride myself in realizing that there is more to everything than I can possibly see and that I need to see as many sides of things as I can before making judgements of right or wrong.

That’s a lesson I’m still learning myself! There are so many different perspectives in the world, and it creates so many different versions of one experience. The idea that there is more than one side of things first occurred to me, oddly enough, around blood sugar. I have to eat regularly, and avoid sugary things, because I’m borderline hypoglycemic. As a result, I always assumed everyone needed to eat as often as I did. Except then I was roommates with people that had vastly different eating needs, and realized what a big difference just body chemistry can cause. We’re all human, but we can have very different needs person-to-person, even with something as basic as food!

Do you remember a moment that made you decide to gather more information before making a judgement? What was it?

It’s mostly that I’m shocked when I realize there is more to something than I imagined. Like with comics. I had no idea what comics really were until I started to get into them. (At the end of a Teen Titans episode’ credits I saw that it said “Based on DC comics characters” which led me to google DC and buy a couple old Doom Patrol books.)
Or when I walked into a hockey game and I realized that there is an entire subculture that revolves around hockey.
It makes me think that there wouldn’t be racism if people had an appreciation for different cultures and that hate wouldn’t exist if you really knew the person you hate.
This is a fairly recent thing I figured out, and so I can’t really pin down a time where I have applied this.

This actually makes me feel more sympathetic towards Warren than if he’d chosen not to lie, despite the fact that honesty is also at the very top of my values list…it just speaks VOLUMES about his inner feelings, kind of softens him up and makes him seem like a more real person behind the strict face.

Wow, some of your parents were really clever about teaching honesty! As a kid I was a bad liar, by which I mean I did it often AND did it poorly. My mom and I got in so many fights about it that one day, and this is one of my clearest memories, I just remember getting in the car to go somewhere in a total huff and deciding RIGHT THEN AND THERE I was going to stop lying, because it wasn’t worth the trouble.

And so these days I am a little too honest sometimes, but the best thing about the decision is that it keeps me from doing things I’d need to lie about in the first place!

I do find it interesting that choosing to lie, or tell the truth, for many people boils down to avoiding “trouble” — but for some, lies make things easier, and for others honesty is key. It makes me wonder if we all just define “trouble” differently! Personally, I’d rather try to be myself genuinely, even if it causes short-term ripples, because I’ve found that the long-term benefits are worth the short-term disruption. So “trouble” for me is the long-term cost of a lie, rather than the short term discomfort.

Oh Warren…was what your father had to say to your brother THAT important that you had to pretend to be him to hear it??

I agree this makes him more realistic…but man he must be REALLY hurting inside to play this falsehood on his father’s death bed…

Actually, the opposite happened to me when I grew up. I’m usually a pretty honest growing up because I never got into too many situations where lying was a BETTER option than the truth. However after I got into college I found there were a few serious situations involving personal relationships and the status of my scholarship where it actually paid off more to lie than to tell the truth. As I’m diving deeper into the professional creative world, I’m also finding that people lie out of sheer self-preservation.

“Uh, sure I thought your script was great!”

“Yes, we have openings for hire.”

“Go talk to XYZ over there. He can help you!”

These are lies I’ve heard told and have told myself just to save my own neck, because it’s easier than confrontation (which HAS happened to me as the result of being brutally honest about certain things). Whether or not to lie depends on which outcome brings the least resistance. “Honesty is the best policy” is one of the biggest lies of them all.

What Warren is doing here is probably something I’d do, if only to grease the wheels.

I suppose that “honesty is the best policy” does lack flexibility. And there are times when one’s truth is best kept to one’s self. Particularly since “truth” can often be defined by mood. If I see a drawing and I’m in a terrible mood, I might be highly critical of it, regardless of its actual quality. Would ripping something apart in an unbalanced manner be helpful? So in that case I could be “honest” about what I see, or choose to keep it to myself.

Still, lately I’d much rather say, “Now is not a good time. Can we do ___ in an hour instead?” It’s still honest, but it gives me space, which is usually all I need to get back into an objective mindset.

I have Asperger’s Syndrome and as a result I find other people very unpredictable and worrying. I also hate displeasing people, but it’s hard for me to anticipate what will do that.

So my koan is similar but not quite the same: if you agree to something, keep to it unless it becomes impossible to maintain. The one thing that enrages, upsets and bewilders me the most is when I have an agreement with someone and they break it or try to redefine it later – I’d rather be forced to abide by an unfair rule than make a compromise that won’t be upheld by the other party.

I think that’s a noble goal, if difficult to keep. I very rarely make promises because I always try very hard to keep them once they’re made. In general, I try to be true to my word, but a promise = unbreakable. Except lately I’ve been realizing I often make promises to the wrong kinds of people, or for the wrong kinds of tasks, and end up causing myself harm because I was unable to adapt to change. It’s been challenging to realize that most people don’t view promises and agreements the way I do, and even harder to let myself bend when things go “off script”. Have you had similar struggles?

Honesty might not be the best policy for getting the best results, but I’m usually too lazy to come up with a lie. And certainly too lazy to maintain any lies. I also don’t want to have to work hard to convince people at every turn that I’m telling the truth, so I wouldn’t want to get caught lying. And not lying in the first place certainly helps with that!

Still, I have lied in the past and would most likely do so again if the result seem to be worth it compared to the risk. And I don’t blame Warren for taking what seems like the only chance to find out what his father has to say. In a way he’s offering his father the chance to forward this knowledge to the next generation, when otherwise it would seem likely that he would take it with him to his grave. (I’m too lazy to see if they bury their dead. And I guess a god might convey secrets from the dead to the living, but lying certainly seems preferable to paying a god for riddles.)

As for my top guiding principles, one of them is the old “don’t judge someone until you’ve walked a mile in their moccasins”. In fact, my personal interpretation of “turning the other cheek” basically means the same thing: People are different and do different things for different reasons. So I don’t get angry when people act like idiots, because they probably have their stupid reasons and might not intend any harm. I just let it slide and save my anger for situations when people are actually attacking me or my possessions.

One of my favorite concepts of the past few years that goes well with your “don’t judge someone until you’ve walked a mile in their moccasins” principle is “You can be Right, or you can Win.” Being right is simply being acknowledged as correct. Winning means solving a problem. And solving problems mean learning the issues the other person is facing, and how they’re trying to deal with it, and how you both can help each other to resolve an issue in a way that is satisfactory to both sides. Whenever I find myself getting mad at somebody, I try to remember that the goal is to win, rather than have someone tell me my opinion is “better”. Hard to keep in mind sometimes tho!!

Actually, I thought it was kind of Warren to pretend to be Renar if Renar couldn’t make it in time. That way, his father was at peace thinking Renar had made it. I have known people who did this when someone was on their deathbed and anxious to speak with someone they knew could not make it. I believe that there is a story based on this kindness about someone who sat all night with someone until they passed even though they did not know the person at all.

I’ve got five ‘rules’.

1. Take responsibility for each and every one of my actions, whether I like the outcome or not, whether I can blame it on someone else or not.

2. Don’t change my mind just because it would be easier to go with the flow, do what every one else would do.

3. Love myself first and formost, cause every one else comes and go. I’m stuck with me forever.

4. Always look at both sides of the story, twice, before making a judgement.

5. Pizza as often as possible.

I rarely lie for two reasons.
1) I am terrible at lying and normally get caught, making the problem worse.
2) Once someone lies, there is always the chance they’ll lie again in a similar situation. Since I’ll probably get caught the first time, even if I’m honest the second time I most likely won’t be believed. This prevents me from helping a situation that could potentially be worse than the first situation.
I consider teasing to be something completely different, so I can lie if everyone (including my victim) laughs about it soon after.

Lies do have a stacking issue, whether they’re caught or not. One lie that’s successful propagates the necessity of continuing it. A lie that’s unsuccessful damages trust, as you pointed out. Either way, they damage our ability to actually communicate with one another. Which is something that’s hard enough as it is!!

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