Tell White Lies (Occasionally) - Summary | Write to be Read

Donald W. McCullough

Tell White Lies (Occasionally)

Tell White Lies (Occasionally) | Protecting from Unnecessary Hurt - Summary:

The article “Tell White Lies” is written by Donald W. McCullough. The article surprises us that sometimes we have to lie for good manners. He describes the time when he told the truth. He realizes now that a lie would have saved a lot of grief and prevents a lot of trouble. The writer makes it clear that he is talking about white lies, i.e. social lies, which we tell to spare someone’s feelings. The author doesn’t accept the serious lies which he calls gray or black lies and finds morally unacceptable.

The writer gives an example that he told Verna’s daughter was not cute at thirty years. When the writer visited Verna, she reminded him that he called her baby ugly. Due to the incentive judgment, her daughter was deprived of being Miss Universe. The writer shows this incident to support his claim that sometimes it is better to tell lies than to tell the truth, while lies are sometimes needed for the sake of courtesy. Aristotle had said, “Honesty does not mean telling everything to everyone: rather it is speaking the right truth to the right person, at the right time in the right way for the right person.”

We should not tell the truth when it hurts others. Sometimes remaining silence is considered the golden rule. The writer says that a white lie is more important than insensitive honesty. For example: If a person visits the next woman though he has the wife in the house, it is not good to speak the truth with the wife about his activity because it causes disaster. We sometimes need to tell white lies though we are committed to honesty for maintaining courtesy. 

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