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No Truth or No Lies?

Flatten the curve, do your part, stay inside, respect social distancing. How hard can it be? Put in print, it looks doable. I too, at first, thought that the fate of our world as the Coronavirus took its toll was a manageable reality to live. But having been through times of quarantine for nearly four months, there were no new places left me to sit in my house for homework and I was becoming increasingly restless. What motivates majority of my community to do their part – and I am proud to say this – is that we feed off of each other’s willingness to stop the spread of a deadly illness. We might not know the victims personally, they might just be mere names in writing, but they all had their own lives.

The COVID-19 pandemic could largely have been prevented from being as bad as it was. This, and I think is safe to say, is impart due to the polarized narratives sent out by different levels of government regarding the sheer severity of this virus. To me, this is absolutely absurd. You will never win if you believe you can run from the truth by immersing yourself in a lie, the situation will prove to spiral out of control. And this got me thinking, why do humans over and over again, choose a lie over the truth when its repercussions are common knowledge? Many people say that there is a fine line between the truth and a lie.

Oftentimes, it is easier to avoid the truth and live in the lie than to face stone-hard reality. Lying, however, is largely prejudiced due to its connotational baggage and can be out of pure heart. Yet this leaves much room for interpretation: which is right? Both stances are technically argueable; blissful thinking comes at a price and we live in a world where ‘right’ and ‘wrong’ remain in the eye of the beholder. So how do we sort out our canon answer for certain?

As we sort out any problem, actually. We look at ourselves. Our vastly different lives undoubtedly make solidifying this answer a challenge, and this will prove to be a large problem. Our experiences, habits and values will tend to point us to our initial and baseline choice. Wether this is the truth or a lie, they are both validated in your mind. But we can see a fitting example made of a similar situation by looking no further than our current situation. Countries, leaders and organizations who reiterated the bad news, ghastly daily figures and mercilessly enforced regional shutdowns are now seeing light. Those previously contradicting reality are now seeing ever-rising cases, staggering death tolls and are facing an all-too familiar situation: complete lockdown.

This picture is as clear as any which can depict the end product of the truth and lies. But we must remind ourselves that this is one situation. A fitting opposition to the Coronavirus would be the Placebo Effect. The Placebo Effect is, at its basis, built out of a lie. But the pure conviction we have in the “medication” itself is what resolves our issue. This conviction gives the mind a blissful lie, as it allows us to rid uncertainty as a possible outcome of the situation which gives us what we wanted. There are countless situations like this supporting the effectiveness of the truth and lies, and naming these would give no further conviction in one choice than the other.

Do I think there is a fine line between the truth and a lie? No, not whatsoever. Whenever I look to better understand my opinion, I turn to making analogies. To me, the truth is a the steep rugged terrain leading to your concealed destination. But a lie is a path with a clear view of your destination but with concealed detours and a misleading conclusion. The truth is inevitable, and I would rather choose what is just compared to what is easy.

The bottom line is, we always have the choice. Life is one massive opportunity, one large blank canvas and we have been given the task to make something of it. So when given the option to choose between the truth and a lie . . .

your path seems clear.

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