2018 – Most Philosophical 7th Grader in America:
Maria Lopresto, Minnesota.
We all have our own reasons that we lie, big and small. Some of us lie to save face, build up our reputation, others to spare someone’s feelings. Criminals lie to cover up for bad behavior, politicians to gain power or hold onto it. But how do these untruths affect the world around us? Our deceitful ways are human, a natural instinct, but that doesn’t mean we can’t change. We learn to lie at a young age and keep getting better at it. For many of us it becomes a habit, something we do without thinking. Some lies are virtually harmless, saying you like someone’s shoes, or lying about how much money you make. Lying to spare feelings or to inflate your image. Other lies, however, are more serious, covering up a drug dealing or hiding an affair from your spouse. Most of us either lie to save ourselves or someone else, but do we ever think about how it could ultimately hurt them?
Although truth can greatly affect society, deceit has a larger impact. The truth is very important but deceit really has an influence on what people do or how they act. When people are lied to and believe it, they may act differently than they normally would because they have a false image in their mind of what the truth is. If and when they finally find out the truth, they also act differently toward the person who lied to them, and others too. They may be angry with them, no longer trust them or not know what to do. Lies can highly impact how someone feels about themselves or others.
Think about World War II. Hitler used deception to win over the Germans that didn’t support him. He made them think Germany was a victimized nation, that the violent war was merely an act of self defense. The Nazis even staged a border incident to make it look like Poland had started the violence. August 31, 1939, SS men disguised themselves in Polish uniforms and attacked a German radio station. The next day Hitler “responded” by sending troops into Poland. They disguised the concentration camps as a place where the elderly or disabled Jews could “retire” to a peaceful and safe ghetto, when in truth they were deportation sites, killing camps. Hitler’s lies caused the death of almost 6 million Jews.
We’ve all lied at some point in our lives, some of us more than others, but ti’s unlikely we thought about how it would affect people. We probably told ourselves, “It’s just a small lie. It won’t hurt anything.” The truth is that there is no such thing as a small lie. It’s the consequences that are big or small. The more that we lie, the better we get at it, and the better we get, the bigger the consequences. It may cost you a job, trust, or even a whole relationmship. Truth affects society, but deceit may destroy it.
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