There is an epidemic running rampant in all our lives and in society. This epidemic shows its self every day. Most of us are unknowingly guilty of spreading this disease. We have either come to accept it as a norm or we overlook it. No one is immune.
In ancient times, people living in a society adapted moral codes to live by. Even before the advent of laws, moral codes were prevalent. Their roots can be traced back to ancient texts such as the Hammaribi’s Code, cave paintings, the Old Testament and all other ancient or old religious/spiritualistic documents that exemplified the way people should act in a society; civilized or otherwise.
Today it seems we know and understand the lessons our ancestors established, but we do not practice them with their full intent.
We live and act in a society today marred by contradiction. We say certain things, and we act differently. All of these new interpretations are deemed socially acceptable. However, do the ends justify the means? Is it acceptable to lie and embellish facts as long as we get what we want?
When applying for a job, many of us will say or embellish certain personality traits or accomplishments about ourselves. Then when it comes time to do our work or be assessed on our performance, many of our claims that got us the job are not exhibited. We struggle to do our job effectively or it takes time to actually learn how to perform to the level of standards we claimed to already possess.
I applied for many teaching jobs before I finally landed at a place of employment that I wanted to be at. To get that job I had to claim I was a certain person and could perform my job at a certain level. Most of what I said was true, but I embellished. I embellished a bit about my knowledge and expertise at using technology in the classroom. I am certainly proficient at using technology, but hardly and expert.
We all embellish our facts and accomplishments. Employers even expect it.
According to a survey conducted by careerbuilder.com, only 8% of people admitted to either lying or embellishing facts on their resumes. However, the same site stated that human resources found inaccurate or embellished information with 53% of applications. Of those that were caught lying or embellishing facts, 60% were immediately dismissed from potentially obtaining a job.
What stands out to me most here is that over 40% of people surveyed lied about lying. Those numbers are staggering, further proving that in today’s society almost half of the population feels it is okay to lie or be dishonest in some manner. Even more astounding, a good number of people feel it is appropriate to stick up for their lie! We must also consider the number of people who lied and embellished but did not get caught, so that number could potentially be higher!
In ancient times, liars, cheaters and swindlers were often outcast from society. However today, it is much more socially acceptable that we are not even surprised by it and we have come to expect it and accept it.
Lying and embellishing enter all facets of life. They even creep there way in to relationships.
A healthy foundation of all relationships is trust. However, in order to establish a trusting relationship, we must first get our foot in the door with a parter we feel passionate about.
On many first dates, we often make ourselves out to be more than who we really are. We want to impress the person we are out with. So what do we do? We tell lies, or we embellish facts to make us appear more appealing.
I live my life by many mantra’s and codes. I believe in virtues and honesty. Yet, I too am guilty of embellishing facts when I first meet a new potential partner. I will never lie, but I will occasional embellish certain merits and achievements that I have accomplished in order to impress my date. I can’t speak for everyone when I say that I don’t lie that other’s don’t lie as well. Many people do and many people accept the lies.
I have embellished on certain interests of mine in order to hopefully connect with a partner I really like. I have also claimed to be more knowledgeable on topics that I knew little about in hopes of making a good first impression.
Since I know I do this, I expect the same from my date. I will look for clues as to certain claims she makes about herself and her life. They do not always lead to negative outcomes, as we eventually will learn the truths by our continued involvement with a partner, but it is the fact that we as a society, myself included, are willing to overlook these little lies and embellishments and accept them as norms.
We constantly contradict ourselves by claiming to advocate for causes and give off the appearance that we are honest people. The cold hard truth is that no one is honest all the time. There is a saying that “nice guys finish last.” It’s this saying that leads me to believe many people feel it necessary to lie or embellish fact about themselves to get a job or to meet a special someone. No one wants to finish last, so therefore we can’t always be nice.
Contradictions surround us everywhere. We need not look far and in many cases need only look in the mirror to spot one. I claim no moral high ground above anyone else, but I do recognize and understand that in the society we live in today, lying, embellishing facts and contradictions are a norm that we have all come to accept.
Author: Adam Wilkinson
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