If you had a relationship with a person who consistently told you lies, which you totally accepted as truth because you trusted them, what would you do? Until you knew that they were lying, you’d probably defend them to others and continue to invest your own time and energy into keeping the relationship alive and healthy. Until you are equipped to see the things they say and do as falsehoods you cannot really be blamed for your actions. You were acting with honour.
What about when you are given proof that their words had no real meaning, they were merely a tool being used to manipulate you into compliance or even worse to actively gain your support to keep that person in a position of authority, not just over you but over others too? Would you do everything in your power to expose that person’s falsehoods and take their authority away from them? It’s not easy to do, but it’s the honourable thing to do. It may result in suffering on a personal level. Is it still the honourable thing to do?
What about if the person lying to you is part of a strong group? Is it even more important to expose and challenge them? The range of people their lies affect is vast. Does that make it ok to be silent? Questioning those around us, whether on a personal relational level or on a less personal level is not wrong. It equips us with the information we need to regulate our behaviours in line with our conscience. The way we question needs to be mindful and not just to deliberately cause harm for no reason. Questioning doesn’t have to be a threatening stance, we can moderate our questions to fit the context of the situation we are in. This is healthy behaviour.
Our government lies to us, as a unified body, as individual departments and as individuals who are elected as MPs. Not just in one party, no one party or individual only ever speaks the truth, we need to question everything and everyone with whom we have given the trust to represent us. We need to press for changes to allow liars to be removed from office. We need to be able to discuss policies and make informed choices. This is impossible if we know that we are being constantly lied to and nothing gets done about it. How can we bring about the changes needed to rout out deliberate deception? How can we retain our personal integrity and honour if we do not?