Saturday, August 26, 2006
Net of Deceit...
Pictured: Scene from "The Talented Mr. Ripley."
"Lie to me" by Jonny Lang - remember that song - I wonder if it's written on my forehead? Well, lately, that's just about all I've been hearing. If not out and out lies, then dissimulation and deceit.
I was speaking to a friend recently returned from Rome and when the conversation turned to someone we both know, she said "Oh! You can't believe a word he says." I had heard that before about this person, but coming from my friend these suspicions were more or less confirmed. It turns out the individual is something of a pathological liar. (Did you ever see "The Talented Mr. Ripley" - this fellow reminds me of Tom Ripley...scary.)
Once again, I was speaking to a woman who is friends with an individual whom I also know well. The discussion turned to some negative experiences in our relationship with him - mostly involving conflicts concerning confidences. Although I realized that he is also something of a gossip and detractor. He has not been above resorting to flattery in order to elicit information about others - which he repeats of course. (Unfortunately, this friend we had been discussing is also a cleric. This conversation with my friend, in addition to others I've had with our mutual friend, taught me an old lesson. Not to engage in, or listen to talk about others, it does nothing but bring down one's spirit, and the reputation of others.)
Needless to say, I was rather discouraged with these revelations. I'm not a conspiracy theorist, but an environment of lies can leave the impression that no one is to be trusted. That is exactly what happens when lies infect relationships and permeate society - no one can be trusted. I think that is why there is a breakdown of confidence in the Church as well. Aren't there any straight-talkers anymore?