Reflections: a parable, or perhaps a fable, or perhaps introspection


Strange how often stories start with that word. 

Perhaps that’s healthy, a sign of varied perspectives and an open mind. 

Now, today, the latter is really strange, and uncomfortable to many, to too many, perhaps, really, to almost all of us.

“Lying” was a strange thing to a particularly strange fellow.  He was ambivalent towards the concept, ambivalent to the extreme, to the extreme end of extremism. 

He loathed being lied to and understood that lying destroys credibility when it is most needed, when it is most needed personally, collectively or on a society-wide basis.  Still, he saw art in lying, and while utterly opposed to it, … still, … he divided lying into diverse categories:

Lying as a tool for illustrating verity, as in metaphors and satire and perhaps, metaphysics. 

Lying as a tool for illustrating verity, as in metaphors and satire and perhaps, metaphysics. 

Lying as a tool for illustrating verity, as in metaphors and satire and perhaps, metaphysics. 

He was intelligent and perceptive so he understood the vast difference between lying and being wrong, between lying and changing one’s mind.  He also understood that there were numerous possible attitudes towards truth, from reverence to disdain with numerous shades centering on indifference in between.  And that there were hot lies, instantaneous emotion laden reactions, and cold, preplanned lies full of loopholes, and that the latter were by far the worst, and the most frustrating with which to deal.  The cooler liars tended to be educated professionals, masters of rhetoric, with the means to make their lies stick and to use them to victimize the innocent, and to make the honorable appear dishonorable.  The cooler liars seemed to congregate in the specific professions that most required honesty, in the law, in journalism, in politics, and in the pulpit. 

How strange.

How strange too that although he could not abide being lied to, in fact, that at times he reacted virulently to being lied to, he was not above lying himself, and not only when he found it essential for his protection or for the protection of those to whom he owed a duty of protection, but sometimes, just to win a point, one he did not deserve to win, or for the Hell of it, or in fun, but fun of which he would not have enjoyed being made the butt.

You see, although he did not realize it, or ignored it, or just didn’t care, like too many of us, he was a hypocrite.  Something he also detested.

Troubling reflections in an all too clear mirror.

© Guillermo Calvo Mahé; Manizales, 2020; all rights reserved.  Please feel free to share with appropriate attribution.

Guillermo (“Bill”) Calvo Mahé (a sometime poet) is a writer, political commentator and academic currently residing in the Republic of Colombia (although he has primarily lived in the United States of America of which he is also a citizen).  Until 2017 he chaired the political science, government and international relations programs at the Universidad Autónoma de Manizales.  He is currently a strategic consultant employed by Qest Consulting Group, Inc.  He has academic degrees in political science (the Citadel), law (St. John’s University), international legal studies (New York University) and translation and linguistic studies (the University of Florida’s Center for Latin American Studies).  He can be contacted at and much of his writing is available through his blog at

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