The Lie That Buys You Fame

„Don’t say what you don’t mean“, my mother told me, „and always be honest.“

The one time I lied to her was when a girl from school had asked me to come over before class, and I was fairly sure my mother would not allow it. I was seven years old and told my mother the schedule had been rearranged and I had to be in school an hour earlier than usual.

When I came home that day my mother was waiting at the door telling me straight away that she met the mother of another schoolfriend of mine. She asked me why I had lied. So, I told her, expecting punishments and a big telling off. But none of that happened. Instead my mother said how worried she had been, and how violated her trust in me now was.

I will never forget the look she had on her face and the soft calm voice. It taught me a lesson unlike any punishment could have done. She showed me how I had hurt her. And I felt as if I had failed her in a way I could never right again.

Needless to say, I never lied again. From then on I choose truthfulness, even if somewhere along the way I had to realize that this path comes with a price tag. Often it’s not the easy way, and it doesn’t always get me what I want. Sometimes it even closes doors into my face.

So, I can see how tempting it can be to just lie this little bit. To make things easier, to gain an advantage. It might not always work, the other one may detect it but why not give it a try? And of course, almost always the liar never expects to get caught.

Especially online. How easy to say things you don’t mean just to please someone and gain something from it. How simple to create a legend around yourself, and to pretend you are someone else. It just takes a little caution.

Invent yourself new, build a story, be whoever you want to be. Think before you post to facebook and google+ or tweet so that you won’t stumble or leave loose ends. Smile at how everyone will buy it. What fun.

Where is the limit? How far can you go? Make yourself younger? Have a more interesting job? Earn more money in a day than you actually do in a year? Do adventurous things? Be a hero? Have a terrible disease? Even risk to be gay while you are straight beause it will make someone interested in you whose attention you so crave for?

Your story will get you fans and followers, among them maybe even celebrities. Go on, have your fifteen minutes of fame, people commenting on your posts and tweeting you that a lot of others will envy you for. Laugh at their jealousy. Feel oh-so important. But at the end of the day, what do you really gain by this?

How will you ever be able to tell if one of your „fans“ would be there because of who you really are?

What is it worth if all the attention you get is only based on who you made up?

How will you ever know that unique feeling of being loved for who you are?

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