I was talking to this woman about life with her husband who has dementia. His behaviour is getting more and more bizarre and difficult to cope with. She says that, sometimes to manage, she will tell 'golden lies', fibs that defuse difficult situations and don't hurt anyone. When the dear man gets an idea into his head it can persist for hours if it's not nipped in the bud at the outset. It's at times like this she uses this little resource in her virtual toolbox to minimse her husband's distress. She was also honest enough to say it's sometimes brought out of the bag just to make her own life a bit easier. After all this is someone who already has more drama in her life than most of us would cope with.
The last time I remember using a golden lie was when I was single. There's a sweet man that I often bump into. I can't work out if he has sustained a head injury, has a learning difficulty or is overmedicated. He seems to lead a lonely life and I often pass the time of day. Once he asked hopefully whether I had a boyfriend. When I said yes I was a liar, liar, clearly with pants on fire. I still can't quite reconcile being untruthful but maybe a knock to my conscience is a reasonable price for it avoided a vulnerable person feeling hurt and embarrassed.
I often lie by omission too with similar motives to avoid inflicting undue suffering.. What trouble could I cause by letting a person know that I'm taking them from their home and they'll never return there? A demonstration for sure that things are rarely black and white and that we often have to resort to the grey zone. I like to think that a judge might understand why I do not always tell the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth.
Let's lighten up shall we? Here's Baron Munchausen whose fantastical stories delighted many and stretched the knicker elastic of honesty beyond its limits to good effect. Ping!