Last week I had a headache. And this headache came at a time when I was listening to someone give a presentation. The person went on passionately to describe the time when he was a young lawyer and found out the meaning of fear and compassion when he saw how a mother had to console her child and simultaneously herself by the scary visuals put forth by the movie “The Exorcist”. He said that he went to the premier of the movie and it was profound. Everyone went “ooooh” and then with tears in his eyes he stated that this was the reason that he is “so compassionate” towards people and their “fears”. Everyone went “ahhhhh”. I looked at my iPhone and found out that the premier was in 1973. The thing was……. The lawyer was just a little older than me so that means he was approximately 10 years old when he witnessed this “profound emotional experience”. In addition, this 10 year old lawyer was starting out in his first practice…… according to the “moving” story. The cause of my “headache”? I could not listen to this lie one more minute.
So, Angela, what’s the point? The point is that everyone loves a good story. Good stories, especially when true, draws people to us. They allow others to view us in a more personal manner. They can be used to bring in business and to get the votes. The story that the aforementioned attorney told was taken from a book on “storytelling” for business-people. The author said to fill in the appropriate dates or movies that correspond to your age and situation. I guess that the lawyer did not get that far.
Last week, Chris Christie told a very good and moving story regarding his mother. It was not a “story” as in the case of the lawyer. It was a moving account of his mother who was addicted to smoking and it was true. I normally don’t agree with “personal stories” unless the “personal story” is about someone who has died (Christie’s mother passed away) and either they don’t have any descendants or the descendants are also deceased OR they agree to the story-telling. Why? Because people lives are not meant to be tools with which you “get the business” or “get the vote”. The Christie story was a good story and a profound story because it was a true story.
The act of “burying a child” (of any age) should be a profound story told only when “dragged out” of the storyteller. I can only imagine that it would be a piercing in the heart of good parents if their child preceded them in death. And the idea of it being sold as a way to garner “something” of value is unconscionable. Tales of drug abuse regarding a living person are “ikkky”. If the person is a child, it stymies their ability to put it behind them. Believe me, people always remember this one story as a way of feeling great about themselves and their own children. If the person is older, it is sad and mean because many times these people “woke up” when it was too late and have many regrets….. the “sad face” they will now garner from strangers can be humiliating and allow them little privacy.
The same with embellishment. Embellishment is something that may not seem like a lie but will take on all of the characteristics of a lie and become a big lie because it often evolves…. into a “bigger story”. Embellishments often get people to say “oooh” or “ahhhh” and marvel at how you arrived where you have given the “adversity” you have faced and therefore feed on themselves because it is pleasing to the storyteller. Make sure that people corroborate the experience lest you be branded a “phony” when it all comes down. I recall a “rapper” who faked his “street cred” and was exposed when it turned out he had a regular middle class upbringing …. Vanilla Ice was a well-off kid named Robby Van Winkle who spent many of his teen years in Texas, won motocross trophies only on the amateur circuit and drove a white IROC Camaro Z28 in high school. In an interview with PEOPLE, his mom, Beth Mino, a music teacher and classical pianist, tried to separate the real Ice from the bio snow job. “The lies were a smoke screen to protect the privacy of the family,” says Mino. Instead they made him look like a phony.
Everyone wants to be “Billy Bad Butt” turned success, sometimes, it is just OK to be successful ….. at least as long as it is true. But then again, the real “Billy Bad Butts” really can’t tell you about one incident or another…….. they just smile to themselves about those conglomerated “incidents” relieved in the fact that they have grown out of them. The “Bad Butts” understand they they wanted desperately to leave the ugly life they had…. The ones I know don’t ruminate or revel in the “bad old days”.
Finally there is the lie about a material fact. The politician will first deny. Wasn’t me, been discredited ….wasn’t me.. Then they will say that the rules were not in place and it was vague…… Then they will concede that the lie might have been true, but YOU did it too…….. “don’t judge me”.
So…. at the end of the day, when you choose a leader, always remember that a liar will lie again. The truth is hard, the truth of often punishable. But a lie is like a three hundred dollar bill, it will purchase three hundred dollars worth of goods but the person receiving this “three hundred dollar bill” will eventually find out that it is “worthless”.
Matthew 22:16 And they sent their disciples to him, along with the Herodians, saying, “Teacher, we know that you are true and teach the way of God truthfully, and you do not care about anyone’s opinion, for you are not swayed by appearances.