The journey from lies to truth.
How do you feel when someone lies to you? How do you feel about that person? Yes, awful. You dislike that person!
Next question: how can you do your business like this? (Is it halal if your income is gained through lies?)
Why do we trust people abroad, more than Pakistanis? Why is online shopping in Pakistan today, nowhere near what it is in the rest of the world? Yes, because here people lie a lot. You cannot trust a person or nation that lies. So, lies and cheating go together, just as Truth and Trust do.
Results of lying in our society:
On the one hand there is this constant talk about religion. Then there is so much lies. Honestly? Yes, I once heard a doctor say, ‘honestly, it is very hard to be honest!’ Is that why lying is so prevalent here?
Just look at these common scenes in our society:
- A wedding invitation says: 7.30 pm we all know it means 8.30 pm. There is no response to the RSVP, so the hosts have a tough time planning. If you aren’t going and inform in time, another person can be invited. It is normal for events to go up to two hours beyond the given times.
- Other functions: It is assumed that the ‘program’ will start late. Why? At the most, a ten or fifteen minute delay is acceptable. Usually, the excuse is that someone important or chief guest is late. Why make three hundred guests wait for one person? The truth is that the ones who arrived on time, are being literally punished. The one who disregarded it, is getting all the importance. (Naturally, the ones who came on time, will never repeat it!)
The beginning of lying:
It starts from a young age. Mothers often give live demos of it. They lie to the child by saying, ‘I’m going to the doctor.’ When she is actually going shopping. After two hours, when mother returns with shopping bags, the child knows where she went! So, the child isn’t fooled. When the mother doesn’t want him to go near the edge of the terrace, because he can fall through the bars of the balcony, she says, ’there is a ‘jhin’ standing below who will eat you up!’ Soon, child knows, there is no Jhin there.
So, it keeps happening throughout the child’s life. By the time the child has grown up, he is a professional liar! Of course, the whole family is into it, because it is considered to be with ‘good intent’.
Naturally, the child lies to the mother too. He will say he is going for a sleepover, and goes out of town. He returns without her finding out. So he believes!
The truth about lies:
Remember that blog post of mine given here in which there is a video of Tariq Jameel quoting a saying of Muhammad (PBUH) in which four things are given which can bring success in one’s life in both worlds? (Truth is the FIRST one!)
These four habits are:
- Telling the truth.
- Not cheating anyone.
- Having a pleasant personality.
- Honestly earned means of livelihood or halaal
The main reason for lying:
- The main reason for lying in our society is the reaction to truth; Our people are terrible about facing the truths. So people use the short cut. They lie. It has become a habit now. They lie, even when it isn’t necessary. For instance, if a person tells you the truth, and has to pay a heavy price next time he will be ‘wiser’!
- So, if we want people to be truthful, we have to check our own reactions also. We have to be more tolerant. A person was literally lynched to death in Mardan some time back for some remark he had made on Facebook which was misconstrued. This kind of intolerance makes being truthful rather hard here.
- A boy and girl who love each other can be murdered for their feelings for each other. Literally! So, you think they will tell the truth about their feelings for each other?
- So, until and unless tolerance to truth becomes the norm here, finding truthful people will be difficult.
- Our people are extremely judgmental. I loved a dialog in a play where a girl asks, ‘while discussing the drama in other people’s lives, why don’t you look at the circus in your own?’
Qualities of truthful people:
A person who tells the truth is seen with these characteristics:
- Brave and fearless.
- Forthright and straight forward (some people consider him ‘rude’.)
- She doesn’t care about how things will appear, stating facts as they are.
- Comfortable with herself as there is nothing to hide.
- If it isn’t appropriate to tell the truth, he or she will say so, (While not revealing the facts.)
What should mothers do?
- Tell the truth to the child. Believe me, they can take it better than you. It can be something small like you’ve kept toffees for him, or something big like telling him he or she is adopted. Even a six-year-old, can understand this. You need to put it simply, so the child can understand. You need to be clear that lying isn’t acceptable in the child. Remember, it begins with you.
- In situations when you can’t tell the truth: Tell the child that you cannot share the facts with him now. Say, ‘I’ll tell you later, for now you’ve got to trust me.’ The child will trust you, when he knows you have been telling the truth always. You can even say, ‘it is not something I can tell a small child.’ ‘Yeh bachon say karnay wali baat nahi hai.’
- As far as the ‘shopping’ situation goes: tell the child that you are going shopping and wouldn’t like him to go with you this time. Actually, you don’t take them shopping because they misbehave and want something in every shop. Tell the child frankly that you cannot afford everything he wants. Simple. It is the same for you, he sees you don’t buy everything too. You only buy what is necessary and what you can afford. My mother told me, ‘Don’t get your child something every time you go shopping.’ Then the child accepts the situation. It is more important for you to keep your child with you.
- Always be candid about your financial status: Keep the child involved in other things. There are no complexes here, being unable to afford is fine. Being a crook or liar isn’t.
- Share good values with your child: Your child should know that it is more important to be truthful and fearless than putting on a fake appearance.
- Never threaten by using their father: Do not use your husband as a threat. It is not fair to the child or your husband. The poor father isn’t even there, he has no idea about it either. Saying, ‘wait till your father comes!!!’ When he comes home, the child thinks he will sort him out. Whereas the husband gets home tired from office, he needs to bond with his child while unwinding. You are creating a distance between them like this.
- Behavior with animals: I’ve owned pets, so when I see a child going near the cat I often hear the mother saying: ‘It will bite you!’ I look at my innocent pet, and feel like telling the lady that if you are afraid, don’t say such things. Don’t put fear into a child’s heart for nothing. Once a friend said, ‘I’m scared of animals, I don’t want that to happen to my children. Can you teach my child how to approach a cat or a dog?’ So, then I showed my dog to the child. I taught the child how to approach without showing any aggressive behavior, especially never to pull the tail. If you are scared (it is most probably because someone scared you off as a kid!) Isn’t it time, that cycle stopped?
- Find alternatives to lies: It is humanly possible to not tell the truth, and not tell a lie either. There are personalities in our society who cannot swallow the truth. So, one has to lie sometimes. My answer to this is to find an alternative. Don’t lie, tell another truth instead.
Truth in Pakistan also happens:
I’ve held grand functions inviting over three hundred persons, while I was principal of a school branch in Sargodha. By the time the function took place, in the year’s calender, the people knew that I do things on time. So they came on time. That’s it. Even chief guests arrived ten minutes early. The tonga wala came on time too! (- when we held small events with tonga rides for our little students.) So, in this society, those who stick to their schedule do it anyway. People respect it and follow it too.
My experiences of truthful Pakistani organizations and persons:
- Daewoo buses starting and arriving on time, they keep their word.
- We have schools beginning and ending on time.
- Several other organizations working on time.
- There are a few weddings which I’ve attended and were held on time.
- We have courier services working on time specially TCS.
- We have NADRA working on time and even before their schedules! (I mean they said my card would be ready in ten days, it was ready in four!)
- I know Feddex is an international company, but it works on schedule in Pakistan as well.
- Business is flourishing now as they realize that truth is the way to success.
- Paying taxes is important when you do not lie about your belongings. Literally, the Income tax department constantly adjusts my taxes when they find I’ve overpaid them.
- Wapda (electricity) and gas companies have paid back to me, when I proved to them that I had paid more than necessary.
- The pension guys also gave me a good amount when they realized I was being under-paid.
- I’ve got millionaire friends, and they know my status, still we are good friends. No one wants a friend with a ‘fake’ identity. How long can you hide the truth? I’m telling you, being truthful gets you more friends. Just be proud of yourself and your family.
- I’ve interviewed many personalities during last twenty eight years. The interview always began punctually and was candid. This is the secret of success.
- One of my favorite books is called the Speed of Trust by Stephen R. Covey, where the author talks about how fast one’s business moves when there is trust. So, once we get this element going in our lives and in our country. Things are going to move fast in the right direction.
So, you see, it can be done, has been done and will continue to be done here too. Those who make up their minds to be different no one can stop them. Words like integrity, authenticity, and good will come with being truthful. Your business and life will certainly flourish like the rest of the world.
Stay blessed with truth and trust in your life. 🙂