The most popular oxymoron is the term “white lie”. A white lie is a lie that is innocent and is used to help, not harm someone. Sometimes white lies help conceal the truth, which may be painful for the other person to hear.
The occasions that I think are allowable not to tell the truth almost all concern saving someone’s feeling. We have all experienced situations when to be totally frank and truthful would be to hurt someone, sometimes very badly. In such situations, I feel that it is all right to tell a white lie.
The thing about white lies is that they are really useful. They build confidence, and sometimes, they even help encourage people to do better.
For example, you may happen to be at a large party where a friend’s boyfriend is one of the guests. Your friend is not present because she is away at a conference. You cannot help noticing that your friend’s boyfriend is with a very attractive young woman to whom he is behaving rather amorously, and he has not noticed you.
Unfortunately, your friend asks you if you saw her boyfriend at the party and if he was with anyone. Do you tell your friend the truth? It may well be better not to do so.
For all you know, there may be an innocent explanation for the boyfriend’s behaviour, but if you tell your friend what you have seen, it may damage the relationship between her and her boyfriend and also between you and her. It may seem very disloyal to your friend, but it might well be best in these circumstances to say that there were a lot of people at the party and you did not notice her boyfriend. If he is being unfaithful to her in such a blatant way, then she is going to find out in the very near future anyway.
Some other examples are: a fifth grader may return home with an average grade, such as a B. After a parent tells a white lie, by saying that they were really proud of him, he would try to aim for a better grade to impress his parents even more. And maybe next time, he might even get an A.
A cancer patient might have given up hope, but if the doctor tells her that she is going to be okay, she might build confidence and have a stronger will to live. One white lie might even save a life.
Sometimes white lies are even used in miniscule situations. If a friend wanted an opinion on her hair that day, you could lie and say it looks fine, even if it actually looks awful.
White lies are really harmless. Everyone lies about things, even adults lie. When they’re talking to their friends or co-workers, they can brag about their new car or how smart their child is when it’s actually not even true.
On mother’s day, you might give your mom all these white lies to make her happy. You can tell her how good she looks in her sweatpants even when they’re really baggy.
Strong people don’t need white lies, because only strong people can handle the truth. Ask yourself this, would you rather hear a random lie? Or the hard truth?