Dr Kedar Padte
To Trust or not to Trust…
That is the question. Most relations of sincere love begin during teenage years. Be it the classmate, tuition companion, playmate, travelling companion or the neighbour.
Early infatuation turns into sincere feelings that culminate into true and lasting love. Though love at first sight is a historic axiom, the theorem of love has developed triangles, quadrangles or more.
Jealousy and suspicion have now been far surpassed by the ‘throw caution to the air’ and ‘live for now’ attitude. This makes a teenager leave lonely vows and jump into small time flirtations that perhaps last from minutes to moments, if not days or months.
The problem starts when the teenager regrets his or her actions and starts the cover up programme.
With the presence of the internet, SMS, WhatsApp, Facebook and what have you; all actions, good or bad are flaunted nay broadcast within no time.
While morally accepting the act and deceit and asking for forgiveness would be the right way out, it’s not the course taken by most. Lies start in small ways, and are overwritten by fake accusations and counter accusations. If you think this is uncommon you are mistaken as I firmly believe this breakup-cover up phenomenon happens in 50 per cent of the relationships in our country itself, if not more. In some cultures the multi-relations and lying has become a casual and accepted way, where cheating would be considered a misnomer.
When true love is lost, the psyche loses it all. The lover identifies the relation as life and often wants to end it all. Most teenage suicides from love say it all.
But where does this lying come from? How come it has become so common?
Ian Leslie has written a stimulating book ‘Born Liars’. He believes that lying has now become genetic. The example of a two-year-old is classic. The mother is trying to force feed the child some bland food that the child holds in its buccal cavity and spits it out the moment the mother turns her back. Children start telling lies as they start learning language says Ian Leslie. Between and two and four years these lies are usually self serving and very simple to avoid punishment or to hide a minor transgression.
At ages five and six something changes drastically. The survival, the ego and gain replaces the childish lie. In an experiment on peeking game by Victoria Talwar called Temptation resistance paradigm at the McGill University in Montreal, she proved 95 per cent children tell lies. From Snow White to 101 Dalmatians and from Doyle to Agatha Christie a lot is written about the glory of the hero which is mounted atop a pile of deceit, treachery and lies.
In another experiment the ‘Bully’s crime’, when questioned individually most students told the truth, and they all denied seeing anything in his presence.
Fear demands lies.
Doublina, a teenage girl, was brought to me by her harrowed mother for counselling. When treating her urinary infection I enquired why she was so disturbed.
Doublina has two boyfriends and is sincere to both of them with two different cell phones and accounts. I asked the mom why she gave her two cell phones and her reply was “As a safe backup”. I asked Doublina why she has two boyfriends. “As a safe backup” was her reply.
Unlearning, dropping conditioning, laying emphasis on blunt truth and free upbringing with education in a natural garden setting may initiate the reversal of a lying mind.
Though it may take centuries or millennia, unless genetic mutations towards the truth occurs, our race is heading towards disastrous extinction.
Laws, regulations, CCTV and experiments are unlikely to reverse the hurtling stone of the cheat. Religions have not been able to help much too.
Only genetic change will help.
To quote an orator I heard – ‘Telling a lie is a prank for a child, an art for a lover and a matter of survival for the married man.’
(Columnist is a well-known gynaecologist practising in Panaji. Send in your queries to firstname.lastname@example.org)