The Truth Lies in the Details

“The best lies to tell are the ones people want to believe.”

This interesting quote is from Jasper Fforde‘s Shades of Grey (not the 50 kind, thank goodness).

Interesting because it is both positive and negative (depending on whom you ask). I’m always spotting contradictions because I’m always searching for balance. Balance is the key to getting through the moment, through the day, through life.

Contradictions mimic a scale: two opposing sides battling for weight, for the spotlight. Let’s examine the contradictions in the above quote so that we can savor the balance.

Best and Lies: Can lies, in their very nature, be called best? We are taught right from wrong, and we are taught that lying is bad; lies lead to trouble. They create a tangled web that ensnares and then dumps us into embarrassing (or worse) situations. Does a best lie exist? If a lie is best, does that make it okay to use?

Lies and Believe: If told cleverly, a lie is easily believed. Does that lie become the truth if everyone believes?  We can believe lies if they fit our agenda, but we can also believe truths if they fit our agenda. How in the world can we tell the difference? Confusing, isn’t it? That’s why I like contradictions. They create thought. They create questions, and questions lead to debate, and debate leads to answers or even to more questions. Don’t stop questioning the contradictions. Don’t stop questioning the lies and the truths.

The quote tells us that people want lies if the truth is unthinkable, unbearable, unflattering. This may apply to many, but not to me. I prefer the truth. Yes, the truth can be ugly, but deception and self deception are far worse.

People and Believe: We can believe in people, but we don’t always believe people. I desperately want people to be honest or at least stay silent if they feel a lie coming on. This attitude doesn’t make me gullible, it makes me hopeful. Finding the balance of knowing what to believe is so hard because, lie or truth, we often only see and hear what we want to believe.

You decide which path to trod. You decide if a lie is best or if honesty really is the best policy.

My takeaway: Never look at only one side, and never think that one side is always completely right or completely wrong. It’s a muddle, and life is a beautiful mess of contradictions and balance. Just don’t lie to my face!


This Statue of Liberty is neither THE Statue of Liberty nor the only replica.
The truth lies in the details!


If you want to be saturated with contradictions and balance, read A Tale of Two Cities by Charles Dickens.

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