Deceitful: (adj) attribute of a person who engages in concealment or distortion of the truth for the purpose of misleading
Top Three Reasons Given for Being Deceitful—A.K.A. The Sure, Pure, Cure Dilemma
1. “I was deceitful because I was not sure I was being deceitful, having seen other people do exactly the same thing. I was fairly certain I was on solid ground—until it was obvious I wasn’t. So I do not believe it’s right for me to be punished since I wasn’t sure, when other people have gotten by with it, most assuredly.”
2. “I was not being deceitful. I was merely looking for a cure for the situation. Everybody else was standing around or sitting on their hands, so I did what was necessary in the moment to produce a solution—a cure, if you will—and set in motion some relief from the drama and tension. How was I to know the way it would be interpreted or viewed by those around me? Does it not matter that my motivations were good?”
3. “There is no doubt—and you just try to find someone who can prove that my actions were not pure. But because circumstances came about that tainted my efforts, the purity of my mission was marred by decisions that were made in the moment, which ended up being erroneous, if not erred.”
These are the three positions that are taken by scoundrels who would like to walk away from their actions by averting your attention from what literally happened to what might have occurred if things had worked out better.
Left out of the explanation is the moment of clarity—when each and every one of us knows that what we set out to do has gone awry, and if we’re going to continue it, we’re going to have to lie and cheat to make sure that no one notices how wrong it has turned out to be.
It reminds me of the first time I made a cake in the oven.
It was going to be a special one. Why?
A. Because I usually don’t bake cakes.
B. It was a special kind of cake that needed to rise at just the right moment for it to be considered cooked correctly.
C. And it was a tribute for a very kind person who was worthy of our attention.
I didn’t tell anyone I had never made a cake before, but it quickly became obvious to me that I should not be the baker. Still, that didn’t stop me from trying.
When I didn’t have some of the ingredients, I walked into the room and warned the people that the cake might taste a little different than what they were accustomed to eating.
When the cake didn’t rise high enough, I explained to those around me that it was “my rendition” of this cake—that I thought it would look better if it were not so high and mighty.
Yet when it finally burned, I stepped out and said, “I fucked up the cake.”
I suppose I could have tried to sell them on the notion that burning a cake was a tradition offering great homage to the special guest.
Somewhere along the line we have to admit that what we set out to do is no longer in play.
Otherwise, we are deceitful.
And the sooner we confess, the less we look like flaming assholes.