Tell me lies, tell me sweet little lies
While I was a Fleetwood Mac fan when the song “Little Lies” was released back in 1987, I must admit the lyrics didn’t make a lot of sense to me. Who wants to be told lies? Don’t we all want the truth?
Now that I’m older and wiser, I realize that the premise isn’t so crazy after all. People often choose “lies” over the truth. In fact we do it all the time. We can readily make the point with a quick walk around the grocery store.
“Excuse me ma’am, but what are those sugary confections in your cart?”
The lady smiles back proudly. “They’re not sugary. Those are yogurt covered raisins and those are yogurt covered pretzels. Yogurt’s healthy you know.”
I take it by “healthy” she means “has an active bacterial culture.” Does she really think bifidobacteria thrive in icing sugar? Or does she just want to think this?
I wander over to the Starbucks kiosk at the front of the store. “Hello sir. That’s a mighty big piece of cake to be having with your morning coffee, isn’t it?”
He responds with a tinge of irritation (and a mouthful of apple cinniamon goodness): “It isn’t cake. It’s a muffin.”
Muffins, you see, are healthier.
And over there the granola bars are “100% natural …” whatever that means. The “Artisan” bread was trucked in overnight from a vast corporate bakery. The eggs come from chickens that are “cage free” meaning, presumably that all 100,000 chickens are kept in one gigantic cage rather than 100,000 tiny ones.
All around us, every day, we are lied to, and we know it. And yet we choose for a thousand and one reasons to shun the unpleasant truth in favor of the comforting lies.
This behavior is disturbing enough when it fills your shopping cart. So imagine how disturbing it is when it fills your life.