Self deception

There’s nothing worse than being deceived by yourself3 min read

“If we had a bigger house we could have more people over”

Stop It.

If you have a house, an apartment, a hut, a car, an “unofficial, but generally understood lease” on the space under a bridge – you can host people. You just invite them over, and they come, and you do things together. Repeat as desired.

I believe we will look for any reason to give cause and justification for the things we covet. Yea, I said covet.

Before I continue, let me soothe your nerves – I’ve done the very thing I’m describing. Many times. I may (probably will) even do it again.

We want something, so we begin to search for why we NEED it. Wanting it is not enough.

It’s not enough because “wanting” hits a filter in our brain, or spirit, that says “you want that – you don’t need that”. We can’t get past wanting it – we know that’s no reason to go get stuff. We can’t reason that wanting an expensive item that’s out of balance to the measure of our means is justification enough to have it.

So, what is an American to do? You have to find a NEED.

WE CAN HOST PEOPLE!! We can Griiiiiil and Taaaaaalk and do Biiiiiiible studiiiiies. It will be great! We will enrich lives with our new big house. This makes sense!! Why have we waited so long!?

We HAVE to do this. Yea there will be a BIG FAT payment. But what sort of people are we if we don’t want to enrich people’s lives??

The sort that doesn’t deceive yourself. Back up a notch there partner. Who said you don’t want to enrich people’s lives? And if you did, why do you need a bigger house to do it?

Maybe a bigger question – why do you all of a sudden feel the burning need to go around enriching? Did you have that desire before you saw or thought of the bigger house? How about this – you CAN’T have the bigger house – do you still want to enrich? If yes, you don’t need the bigger house. If no, you don’t need the bigger house, you WANT the bigger house.

What does Merriam have to say about it?

Deception: The act of causing someone to accept as true or valid what is false or invalid. (Source)

Deception: The act of causing YOURSELF to accept as true or valid what is false or invalid. Is it true that you need a bigger house? Probably not. So, don’t deceive yourself in the name of “need”.

If you want something, fine – call it what it is. “I want that house and I’m going to buy it. I may or may not have people over more than I have in the past. The end.”

I bought a $70,000 truck just last year. I “needed” it. Funny. I have two other vehicles that, between the two of them, will do everything that truck would do. I sold it 8 months after I bought it and had to write a check to get rid of it. I didn’t need it, I wanted it.

A quick story. When I was a teenager I saw an unopened bill on a table at my grandmother’s house. I said “grandma, what do you want to do with this bill?” She said “throw it away”. What? You’ve got to pay it! She said “No I don’t”. Yes you do! She said “Son, all I GOT to do is die. The rest is optional”.

It’s hard to argue with that. What do you NEED? Not much more than nothing …. Food. Water. Oxygen. Internet. You know, the basics. Don’t lie to yourself – there are plenty of other people in line to do that.

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