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Nothing works when the lie enjoys greater credibility than the truth

I recently needed some rather urgent electrical repairs at my home. The electrician I hired told me that he was half an hour late because I was at the wrong address. In fact, he suggested that I should check the title of my property because, he said, surely that important document was wrong.

I explained to this man that he had gone to the wrong address and that, after living in my house for decades, I had no doubts about the validity of the title to my property. The man did not believe me and decided to leave. (The next day another electrician came. He was on time, and, in a few minutes, he fixed the issue.)

For the first electrician it was easier to assume that I, the owner of the house, was wrong about the address of my own house than that he, who has never before been in the house, was wrong. This is a clear example of how a lie, a falsehood, and misinformation are so entrenched in our lives that they all enjoy greater credibility and acceptance than the truth (regardless of how we want to define it).

In my case, the "misunderstanding" was irrelevant. It was just a bad moment due to the electrician's stubbornness to admit his mistake. But in other cases, accepting lies and deceit, and refusing to abandon them despite evidence to the contrary, creates very unpleasant and even deadly situations.

For example, earlier this month there were three incidents in the same week where the lie prevailed over the truth for a long time before being exposed.
In the first case, FBI agents arrived at a Boston hotel, entered a room, arrested a man, and interrogated him for two and a half hours before discovering that they had gone to the wrong room and hotel. Obviously, the agents ignored the explanations that the man gave them saying he was innocent.

In the second case, Harvard University police arrived at the residence of four African American students at 4 am after receiving a call that those students were armed and that they were threatening other residents in the same building.

The call was false (a hoax), but again, the police believed the false call more than the truth. The students were arrested and interrogated for hours before being released. The students were reportedly left 'traumatized and horrified', with no explanations or apology from the police.

And in the third case, in Farmington, New Mexico, police, responding to a domestic violence call, forced their way into a home (around midnight) and killed a man, only to discover later that they had entered the wrong house. The real criminal, it was found out later, was in the house next door and managed to escape.

When we believe so sure of ourselves that we don't question our actions or our thoughts, when we don't listen to the other, when our thoughts are the only one we accept as valid, then nothing has any value.



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