It is a peculiarly human endeavor, not known to be prevalent — if in existence, at all — in other species of the animal kingdom. Shakespeare references it often; criminal behavior is detected within the web of it; and in everyday life, half of the population in courtrooms across the world engage in it; or, is that fair? Can it be that there are “differing perspectives” or “alternative truths” (the lexicon of modernity)?
For instance, when an eye witness to an event swears under penalty of perjury that “I saw X stab Y” when, in a closed-circuit video replay, it clearly shows that it was Y who stabbed X — is the “eye witness” lying? Is being mistaken the same as lying? Or is it good enough that the prefatory qualifier of “I saw” enough to justify the mistaken encapsulation of an event having occurred?
Does intention matter? Does it make a difference if, prior to making the statement under oath, revenge was a factor in one’s motive? What if the eye-witness said to her/himself prior to taking the stand, “I’ll get X back for being mean to me by testifying that he stabbed Y first before getting stabbed himself”?
For Federal employees and U.S. Postal workers who suffer from a medical condition such that the medical condition prevents the Federal or Postal employee from performing one or more of the essential elements of one’s Federal or Postal job, it is often the case that — unfortunately — lying abounds when it comes to others in the agency filling out the Agency’s portion of a Federal Disability Retirement application. Whether in stating that the Agency tried everything they could do in their power to “accommodate” a person — when the truth is, they did nothing and didn’t care to do anything — it is unfortunately a pervasive fact of life in the kingdom of man.
We are a species with a proclivity for lying, and the best we can do is to counter our own proclivities by trying to present the truth in as strong a light as possible.
Robert R. McGill, Esquire