The Mirror Of Society In The Ways We Lie

Today, a lie is our second oxygen, thanks to which we survive in our society. In her essay, Ericsson revealed to me the type of lie that, in my opinion, our entire society illustrates. Facade. Facade is like wearing a mask. You create an image for someone or something else. I will give an example from life, the profession of a blogger, in my opinion, the most striking example of a lie. A blogger is a person who deceives himself/herself, his/her audience, in order to survive. Just turning on the camera, a liar person appears in front of us. Why? Because, the way he/she looks, the way he/she says - this is all untrue. Behind the scenes is the incredible preparation of oneself for work. Did he/she wonder, “why do I want to like to everyone, but I can’t be myself?” Probably wondered, but he/she has no choice, he/she must correspond to this person, whose role is played by the camera because without doing this, he/she will be a beggar. Unfortunately, we all play false roles to save ourselves. According to Ericsson, “But facades can be destructive because they are used to seduce others into an illusion”. Why did she come to this conclusion? Today's society is used to listening with their eyes. For instance, after watching an advertisement for a fitness bar on TV, we go and buy. Why not? Beautiful wrapper, attracts the name. But how many people read the ingredients of this fitness bar, in order to be make sure that it does not affect our figure? Agree that almost no one ever does this ... Is this not a lie? Lie hidden everywhere, it is like a ghost walks behind us. No, it doesn’t destroy us, it hypnotizes us, it makes us robots.

Well, let’s talk about another type of lie – stereotypes. Stereotypes and clichés are made up of “exaggeration, omission and ignorance” says Ericsson. The older I get, the more I note how people are dependent on stereotypes. And how dangerous stereotypes can be for people. For example, if we take the stereotype that the life of any normal person should look like this: born, went to school, then went to college, then found a job, got married/gave birth to children, gave children a good education, brought up, then pension and rest. Agree, in the head of most people, the life of an ordinary person seems to be in this vein. This is absolutely normal. All who deviate from it are either fools and crazy, or geniuses. So, if we take some negative element of our society (drug addict, alcoholic, criminal), then I would be happy to instill a standard stereotype in such a person. Instead of doing bad deeds, he/she should do good ones. But if you take a person who does not have addiction to addictions and bad deeds, then for him/her such a stereotype can be fatal. In fact, such a stereotype limits any person. It puts in a framework, not allowing to fully reveal all the abilities and talents. Sometimes life reminds me of a computer program that works according to certain algorithms. This is both good and bad. It’s good when there is order in the head and the intended route. But it’s bad when you can grow out of this algorithm and create a new program, but you don’t do it because you think that it will be a violation of the algorithm that you are currently living on. Add here public opinion, friends, relatives, television - and we get a powerful press that breaks our will, faith in ourselves and our strengths.

Ericsson says a good expression, “Stereotype and cliché serve a purpose as a form of shorthand. Our need for vast amounts of information in nanoseconds has made the stereotype vital to modern communication. Unfortunately, it often shuts down original thinking, giving those hungry for the truth a candy bar of misinformation instead of a balanced meal. The stereotype explains a situation with just enough truth to seem unquestionable”. A person who is happy to do something achieves much better results. I think the development of large corporations, the eternal race for the implementation of plans, leads to the fact that geniuses are dying out like mammoths. I think that in order to become something like Einstein, Tsiolkovsky, Mendeleev, you need to devote all yourself to your favorite business. But is this possible under current conditions?

Today, children are not trying to make an outstanding personality. They try to make the average so that it is like everyone else, not out of the crowd. Today, a child should become a manager, a banker, an accountant - such will always be with the money - parents argue. And this is also a stereotype. With it, destructive. Why not set a goal, make your child a great football player who would overshadow the talent of today's stars with his talent? Why not make a great artist, writer or scientist out of your child who will change the world with his invention? You may not like the word “make,” but in fact, anyway, we make someone out of our children. Children need to learn from someone. If is parents do not help them in this, then you have to learn on the street.

As long as most people think as the rest of the majority thinks, nothing will change. But the more positive examples will be around them, the more results from these positive examples will be seen by others, the more questions will appear in the heads of those people who need changes.

According to Ericsson, “No matter how pious we may try to be, we will still embellish, hedge, and omit to lubricate the daily machinery of living. But there is a world of difference between telling functional lies and living a lie. Martin Buber once said, 'The lie is the spirit committing treason against itself.' Our acceptance of lies becomes a cultural cancer that eventually shrouds and reorders reality until moral garbage becomes as invisible to us as water is to a fish”. We will not change the world, we will not change society, since initially we had a false algorithm from our childhood, thanks to which we now have what we have. But ask yourself, “Do I want to change anything, I like it, am I?” ...

Works Cited

  • Ericsson, Stephanie. 'The Ways We Lie.' Patterns for College Writing: A Rhetorical Reader and Guide, edited by Laurie G. Kirszner and Stephen R. Mandell, Bedford/St. Martin's, 2018, pp. 466-473.  
16 August 2021
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