Blulak a Telulechoid (Lies Are Widespread)

By Santy Asanuma —-

White lies as they are called are innocent (ng diak a telemelel) in most people’s mind. I know I had my share in doing it because it is an easy way out in about all matters in my life. Plus, the intent is always good so there is no real harm to it. As I have grown, I can bet that most people, even the best among us, have done or are doing it. But that is the danger of it because it is not suppose to hurt people so it is socially allowed to a large degree.

As a result, good many people are wondering why they have so many relational conflicts (blechoel ngar ngii a checheu ra delongelir a rechad) in their lives. This grudge (ngasechereng) ranges from simple not caring about another person to outright despising another person to the point of combustible (mases ma kasorin) interactions between people. Palau has become quite fertile land for this social anomie (telemelel a klechad ra beluu) because of less truth.

One of the critical social skills in Palauan society is the ability to put up the right faces with others including going along with what is being said even if you do not like or agree with it. Knowing who is for or against you is not as easy as it sounds because people know how to play their cards in front of you by showing only the ones that you like. But the minute you are not around people outright say things against you like that you do not really have right to a certain chiefly title or traditional land because of whatever truth they know. So truth is more conditional than anything else around you. In another words, people say it whenever it serves their purpose or intent, especially to their own benefit. At this point, it sounds like a lie because there are no differences. I have heard people time and time again that they know the truth but are afraid of it. I have become suspicious of such proclaimed truths.

“Honesty is the best policy” has got to be an age old philosophy. We teach our children that a lie is any communication with the intent to deceive others. But we forget to stress it among ourselves grown-ups that not speaking up for truth or deciding to intentionally withhold (orkedii malechub e ke mertii) a pieces of information while telling your story may be thought of as “little white lies” and socially acceptable, but they are lies just the same as the nastiest mother of all lies. Because lies as half truths, misinformation, withholding of information, misleading information, or misstating of information are being intentionally used to benefit the perpetrators (tirka el lomerk) of lies, most conflicts in Palau today for families, jobs, schools, friends, and even churches are results of such lies.

Don’t get me wrong. If I don’t watch myself carefully I too would easily commit one of the above because no one would hold me to task. Writer, public speaker, and trainer James C Hunter says, “honesty is about clarifying expectations for people, holding people accountable…if we didn’t hold our people to task, we were very dishonest. In fact, she used to go so far as to say that leaders (anybody who has responsibility for others-my own definition) who do not hold their people accountable to a set standard are, in effect, thieves and liars.” So be careful of lies.


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