As most of you know, I sometimes run across a bit of Mr. Ruskin’s that just seems to me to be truth put down on a page. This is one of those. Not long. Trenchant. Laced throughout with thought provokings. About something we’ve all done. About something we may still occasionally do. (Only in weak moments, though!) It comes from The Seven Lamps of Architecture; from, more specifically, the chapter he called “The Lamp of Truth,” which is, in truth, really worth a read.
We are too much in the habit of looking at falsehood in its darkest associations, and through the color of its worst purposes. That indignation which we profess to feel at deceit absolute is indeed only for deceit malicious. We resent calumny, hypocrisy, and treachery because they harm us, not because they are untrue… And yet it is not calumny nor treachery that do the largest sum of mischief in the world…[I]t is the glistening and softly spoken lie, the amiable fallacy, the patriotic lie of the historian, the provident lie of the politician, the zealous lie of the partisan, the merciful lie of the friend, and the careless lie of each man to himself that cast the black mystery over humanity.
Be well out there!