Deception, Deceit, Dishonesty — Is This Our 3-D World?

You younger women — under 35 — may find this odd, but not so many years ago, a married woman did not appear on a credit card account as a real person.

In some ways, it’s a different world than it was 10 years ago, but in others, it’s still the same. Photo by Steve Henderson Fine Art

As the wife of her husband, she was presumably allowed to use the card with his permission, but she didn’t really count, and she certainly couldn’t make changes, dispute charges, or talk to a customer service representative (who were real people, not computerized voices) about the account. If she could get a card with her name on it, that was a coup indeed.

I’m not that old, you know, and I remember living under this system. And I am remarkably grateful that things have changed.

Things do change, these days incredibly quickly, and what was the norm ten years ago is archaic now. In the case of credit cards and women being recognized as real people, the changes are positive, but sometimes the changes are so many, and so fast, that they overwhelm.

Before my father passed away, we watched movies together — on TV, not the phone or computer — and after a commercial break he would ask me, “What, exactly, were they selling?”

Frequently, I could not answer. The commercial featured lights, pulsating music, sullen women and metro-men, terse commentary, and a web address at the end, but what was being hawked could have been a car or cookies, software or underwear, corn or computer chips — the emphasis was on emotion as opposed to information; sensation, not knowledge.

While visual imagery is an essential component of fine art, when it comes to buying a car, we depend more upon facts and information. Highland Road by Steve Henderson

So, also, is much of life’s ongoing change presented to us: “news” consists of short bites of sound and imagery, remarkably similar to a car commercial, and any major event is long on commentary and short on actual facts.

In the end, we are bullied and pummeled into accepting specific opinions on guns, gay marriage, freedom of speech, genetically modified food, domestic and foreign terrorism, medical care, health insurance, or how many eggs we should eat a week not based on actual information, but on carefully chosen, selectively screened “human interest stories.”

If there are stories about humans who do not mesh into what a particular media source thinks we should be hearing, then they are of no interest.

But within this panoply of noise and pressure and mis-information, one thing does not change, and that is human behavior, which has a tendency toward greed, avarice, selfishness, and deceit, and requires conscious decision on each individual’s part to develop and nurture our better side of compassion, thoughtfulness, humility, mercy, honesty and kindness.

Good or bad, the results of human behavior are fruit, and if we remember that, no matter what anyone says, apples come from apple trees, and oranges come from orange trees, then we can eliminate some of the confusion caused by everything that we are reading and hearing and experiencing in this rapidly changing world of ours.

Apples grow on apple trees, and lilacs grow on lilac bushes. Lilac Festival by Steve Henderson
  • If someone implies — or states — that you are stupid, or insensitive, or threatening, or dangerous because you believe differently from how he believes that you should believe, then he is manipulating.
  • If someone says one thing but does another — she’s lying.
  • If someone pushes you — or Congress — to make a fast decision before all of your questions have been answered, and accuses you of standing in the way of progress when you hesitate — then he is bullying.
  • If someone presents some of the facts, but deliberately holds back on others, she is practicing deceit.

Manipulation, lying, bullying, deceit — these are bad fruits that we accept as norms in our society, but we don’t have to. First, we start with ourselves — identifying and seeking the good elements of our nature and enabling them to grow. Then, once we recognize these attributes, we look for, and demand them in others — our businesses, our schools, our churches, our government.

And when someone tosses a handful of raisins in our face and tells us that they are watermelons, we don’t believe them.

In process this week — a shopping cart feature at Steve Henderson Fine Art. We’re in the midst of putting it into place, and it should be functioning and working well by May 3. 

This article is linked to Holistic Squid, Next Generation Homeschool, Mama BZZ, Hope in Every SeaasonMy Cultured Palate, Katherine’s Corner, Wholehearted Home, Gnowfligins, Little House in the Suburbs, Our Heritage of Health, Small Footprint Family, Happy and Blessed Home, Life as We Know It, The Chicken Chick, Butter Believer, The Prairie Homestead, Nourishing Joy, Real Food Forager, Healthy Roots Happy Soul, Adventures of a DIY Mom, Granny’s Vital Vittles


6 Responses

  1. Excellent post and well said! How sick our culture is when we are lied to in front of all the cameras and then expected to be quiet. Such is the way of bullying and intimidation…
    So glad to see your relevant posts at Deep Roots!

    1. Thank you, Jacqueline, and thank you for being open and engaging enough to accept my articles. Many people are hyper-narrow minded, and if it doesn’t have to do with sauteeing kale in olive oil from one’s own tree, then it doesn’t make it in.

      I am a Christian who, as an independent Christian who no longer attends church activities or services, feels deeply for, wants to find, and wishes to reach out to the many many other Christians like me and my family — those who have been marginalized out of the established church and made to feel that we are no good, that we are not really following Christ (or we would be in weekly small group studies), and that there is no purpose for our lives.

      There are a lot of us — many granules of salt scattered throughout the world, seasoning, but often not realizing it.

      I appreciate your kindness and encourgement because we are walking different paths, in different ways, but under the same Master. You are one of the few Christian-based blogs I have found with a sense of warmth and acceptance, and there is much that we can learn from one another. — Carolyn

    1. Thank you, Katherine. It makes me smile being called “sweet” — it tends to be the last way I think of myself, but I get a warm feeling by having it applied to me. Thank you!

  2. Came over from What’s Working Wednesday. I had never thought it manipulation when people called others stupid, etc., when they disagreed but now that I’ve read this I can see how it is. It’s not a very subtle manipulation, which is what I’ve been more cautious about, but it truly is manipulation at is basest. Great article that will hopefully give us a lot to think about.

    1. Sara — thank you for visiting from What’s Working Wednesday — I hope that you’ll be back!

      Manipulation is an interesting concept. As you observe, frequently we think of it as subtle — and that is the most insidious form of it, since it’s difficult to spot — but any time we direct an attack at someone with the idea of affecting how they believe or behave, we’re manipulating. It can be as innocuous as commenting or speaking while someone is concentrating on making a chess move; we are deliberately distracting them to achieve our own ends.

      The intriguing thing about deception is that it is so difficult to spot, and frequently, 99 percent of what we’re doing is above board. But that 1 percent is what makes all the difference. If our compass is even one degree off, we miss the mark.

      I say this not to make us neurotic, because we don’t have to be. If we’re walking our path each day in all honesty and good heartedness, God graciously nudges us when we head off in the wrong direction. I think that’s what He means by His yoke being easy — it rests lightly on us, and in order to feel His tugging, we have to be alert.

      I wish you a lovely weekend. — Carolyn

Comments are closed.