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Truth, Lies and “His name wasn’t really Milan”

August 3, 2018

Your blog will make a great journal for your kids one day.


Ever told a lie? Is it ever okay to lie to someone? Suppose you had a loved one dying of cancer. They want to know if you’re doing okay. You’re not. Your loved one is dying of cancer. But, you know the truth will make them feel worse, and there’s the fact they are already dying of cancer.

And they don’t have to be life or death situations.

I know many comedians. I enjoy stand up comedy. Some of them use stage names. All of them modify their stories to fit their act. They lie.

I have a friend who is a New York Times best selling author. He also uses a pen name.

Maybe it’s as simple as calling in sick to work when you really just don’t want to go that day.

Does it sound like my point is to justify the fact that everyone lies? Apparently I didn’t hide it too well.

I have a revelation to make. I didn’t go to Vicksberg last week. I went to a different city. But, when writing about it, the point was not the name of the city, the point was about interacting with the team.

A couple months ago I told a story about an employee of mine named Milan. He wasn’t my employee and he wasn’t named Milan. But, the story was the point.

I think I had a good reason to lie. I don’t want to get fired. Well, I don’t even want to get close to getting fired. My boss knows I write a blog. I’m not sure if he reads it or not. My client knows I write a blog. Again, I’m not sure if they follow it at all.

But, I’m not a spokesperson for either my company or my client. If I’m telling a story, it should be my story to tell, and should shield other people. . .the real people involved.

Several famous people got fired this month. An actress named Rosanne got fired from her sitcom. The show was named after her. She said something offensive on social media and the company behind her TV Show didn’t want the embarrassment.

James Gunn directed the popular funny movies “Guardians of the Galaxy I and II.” He was working on GoTG III when it was discovered that 10 years ago he posted some pretty offensive stuff on Twitter. He’s now unemployed.

So, I change the details not just to shield my current company but to protect future employers as well. (Not that I intend to post anything as offensive as Gunn and Rosanne said.)

My grandkids were at my house yesterday. It was great. They are 4, 2 and about a year old. The 4 year old was doing pretend meals. She said something that embarrassed her mother. She didn’t mean to, and my daughter took it in good stride. It was even funny in a way.

No, I’m not repeating it here. I’m also not telling you the name or even the gender of the grandchild that said it. That grandchild will eventually grow up and become active online. The grandchild might even find this blog at some point and want to read about the various adventures chronicled here. It’s not my place to post potentially embarrassing comments that a 4 year old may someday have attached to their name.

I’m a big fan of short stories and fairy tales. Especially fairy tales will often have a message attached. The stories themselve are not the point. The message is what’s important. Disney dramaticaly, radically changes every story it tells. Pocohantas was 12 when John Smith arrived. Aladdin was never a thief. The Little Mermaid met a horrific end.

We all lie, or as Geoffrey Chaucer says in the movie “A Knight’s Tale,” Yes, I lied. I’m a writer, I give the truth scope.

Will my scribblings here one day provide a documentary of my life for my kids and grandkids?

Well, so long as they understand I’m lying, sure.

Rodney M Bliss is an author, columnist and IT Consultant. His blog updates every weekday. He lives in Pleasant Grove, UT with his lovely wife, thirteen children and grandchildren.

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(c) 2018 Rodney M Bliss, all rights reserved

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