As kids, we’re told, time and again, that lying is wrong. Do you believe that’s always true? In your book, are there any exceptions?
Born and raised in Singapore, the smallest country in size in South East Asia, I cannot recall being told that lying is wrong. I think the older people around me then had more pressing concerns than dealing with my truthfulness.
Growing up in a rustic village was more action packed than wordiness. We did not spend time talking much and ran around playing games screaming our heads off more than anything else.
If I were to come home dirty, bruised or with bloodied knee or elbow, it will be an earful of scolding and dagger stares from my grandma. No room to lie. The common reaction of adults who see me at the end of an adventurous day was the shaking of heads or eyes rolling.
I do feel that they had given up on trying to communicate with me. On calmer days when I was not let out to play due to family dinners or festive occasions, they would say very few words to me like, “How are you girl?” or “Study hard ah?”
So until I was able to hold decent conversations perhaps teenage years onwards, that’s when the issue of lying became a matter of right or wrong. I know it clearly from the Ten Commandments that Thou shalt not lie. I know that lying makes me dishonest and made me fool another person.
Till today, I cannot comprehend the term white lies, half truths and gray as a description of lying being right or ok. The truth hurts, it is hard and may make things worse. That I can understand. It is the choices we make that determine where we stand.