Does it matter if we lie?

“It’s the first time they’ve ever heard me, you know, talk about this. I hid it from everybody.” –Mark McGwire, Jan. 11, 2010.

Former Major League Baseball star Mark McGwire admitted on Jan. 11 that he used steroids when he played for the Oakland A’s and St. Louis Cardinals.  The accusations have dogged McGwire since he chased and eventually broke the long-standing baseball home run record of 61 in a season back in 1998 (Mac hit 70 homers).

The firestorm that followed has focused on the steroid admission and why he didn’t come out sooner.  But, this isn’t the first time someone in baseball or life has, in essence, lied.  President Bill Clinton admitted on Aug. 17, 1998 that he lied about an inappropriate relationship with Monica Lewinsky during his time in the White House.  He first denied the relationship in January of the same year.

In most people’s eyes, President Clinton is still a revered figure despite his denial, or lie.  McGwire may eventually have the same treatment now that he has admitted his lies.  My question though is… does it even matter if we lie?

Regardless of what happened with my two examples, it ABSOLUTELY matters if we lie.  Honesty is still a valued attribute and should be for you as well.  As a public relations practitioner, it is integral for me to be truthful.  If I lie, my reputation with my clients and the media that I deal with will be ruined. The message has to be truthful.

In life, how can a person be trusted as a father, husband, and friend if you lie?   The answer is you can’t be trusted.  Just because people like the president and a baseball star lie about something, doesn’t mean that lying is accepted.  Unfortunately, I believe we have come to a point that where if we lie, but eventually confess, it’s ok.  It’s not.  Your practices and actions will come back to bite you and affect your life and career.

If you ever think you may be in a situation in your career or life where you have to lie, think about the consequences.  It absolutely matters if you choose to lie instead of being truthful.

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About JasMollica

"It's never too late to have a life and it's never too late to change one." That's something I tell students, friends, and family all the time. After living and working in New York City, I took my own advice in 2004, switched my career from the television/radio industry and got into public relations. Now, I spend my days as a PR/social media marketing consultant and get inspired daily. It's been a good ride, so far. But the car has plenty of gas left. I hope you'll join along in this guy's journey!

Posted on January 12, 2010, in Hot Topic, Media, Public Relations, Sports, Uncategorized and tagged , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 4 Comments.

  1. Great reminder. Also I think we can lie to ourselves sometimes which is the worst! Completely agree with you Jason.

    • Jen,

      Thanks for stopping by and you make an excellent point. Sometimes we can believe that our lies are the truth. It just makes for a more vicious cycle.

      Best,
      Jason

  2. I was in a similar quandary recently (it was never a quandary for me but it was a teachable moment for my teenager). Here in our town, you can apply to go to a school that you are not zoned for. Some of my kid’s classmates want to go to a high school that is not as, um, “diverse” as the one they are zoned for. My daughter is applying for school choice because she did school choice as a middle schooler and now wants to stay with her peers. I have submitted the school choice stuff, and although I couldn’t check off one of the “reason” boxes, I took my chances and wrote a letter explaining our situation. My daughter said, “well, so-and-so’s mom is just saying she lives in the zone, she’s lying.” My daughter was replying that it’s “just school choice,” “just in the interest of the daughter getting what she wants,” etc. My point, though, is that the ADULT in that situation is by exmaple demonstrating that she believes it’s okay to get what you want. Ugh. What kind of example does that teach that teenager? Great, true post.

    • Paula,

      Thanks for reading this post. The examples we set for our children are so very important. Lying is one of those “teachable moments” that we need to make certain they understand from an early age not to do. That’s not saying they won’t lie, but they’ll know the consequences if they do.

      I’m glad you shared your experiences here. I enjoy your contributions!

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