You’re running down a tunnel. There’s a boulder like from one of those Indiana Jones films rolling behind you. You ‘re able to outrun it, except that you hit a dead end.
Not exactly a dead end, though. There is a door in this wall, and it’s wide enough for you. The boulder is too wide, though. But, there’s a problem. The door won’t open without the password. There’s a panel in front of you with ten digits, and a clue as to the password. You think you solved the clue, and you type in the password, but the door doesn’t open. Maybe you panicked. You try it again slower. Still nothing.
At that point, you realise a speaker on the wall. The people you call your friends are on the other side of the door. They can talk to you through the speaker. They can help you out with that password because, as it turns out, the password is printed on the other side of the door. You tell them what password you were using, and they assure you that it’s the correct password. You keep trying it, however, but the door doesn’t open. You ask, “Are you sure I’m not typing in the wrong password?” to which they reply, “No, no. You’re doing it right. There’s no problem with you. Just keep doing it the way you’re doing it.”
Before you’re able to figure out whether you were typing it in wrong or your friends were just deliberately barring the door shut from the other side, you’re crushed by the boulder. One of your friends indignantly says to the others, “I’d have told him the real password, but I didn’t want to hurt his feelings,” to which another says, “Yeah. You can’t win with him. Why couldn’t he take a hint? (or she if you’re female)”
So, after you’re crushed by this metaphorical boulder, and left friendless because they all lied to you, some contacts you barely talk to might ask you if you’re sure you didn’t type in the password wrong. But, you know what? It doesn’t matter whether you typed in the password wrong. Because your “friends” could have told you the right password. Could have saved your life before you were crushed by the Social Boulder, yet chose not to. Even worse, they could have been holding the door shut. You can’t find out because you’re dead or, the social equivalent, out of their lives without any way of contacting them again.
They tell themselves that they’re noble for not telling you how to escape the boulder. They tell themselves they did the right thing. That they couldn’t tell you the truth because you’d be hurt. But, being crushed by the Social Boulder? Perfectly comfortable. They’re lying to themselves because, to save your life, they’d have to admit they’ve murdered before. They’re putting appeasing their own fragile conscience above doing the right thing, thus continuing to repeat their past crimes in perpetuity. And you, my friend, are nothing more than collateral damage caused by their own selfish ends.
I used to do that too. I used to lie to people I called friends and justified it by fallaciously appealing to their feelings, but it was never about their feelings. It was about my feelings. On the one hand, I didn’t want the discomfort of having to explain unpleasant news to someone. On the other, I didn’t want to acknowledge that my actions had destroyed people socially. However, I had to come to terms with the evil of my ways and correct my future actions to become a decent person. I also try to do the right thing by informing people that lying to people you call friends is social murder.
A decent person will tell you the password to the door and help you open it to escape the boulder, yet I have never met a single person, other than myself, who would do that. Everyone I’ve ever met would either lie about the password or hold the door shut, and then justify it by citing my “feelings.” The irony is, if they really cared about my feelings, they’d have told me the truth to begin with.
I can’t be the only decent person in the world. There have to be others who would tell the person on the other side the password and help them get the door open. My existence suggests there must be more like me. I can’t be a single anomaly. I can’t believe everyone’s that evil that they’d put their own social comfort above the lives of those they call friends. And, even if that were somehow proven to me to be the case, my heart couldn’t live with it. There have to be other decent people somewhere out there.