Lance Scranton: Deception among world’s oldest professions
Almost as old as the world’s oldest profession is the ability to deceive and the willingness to be deceived. Deception is a curious behavior and constitutes the attributes of many a storybook antagonist. Eventually, as most stories go, the deception is discovered, and justice is served. But stories, being what they are, can’t compare to reality.
What is most curious about deception is the willingness of people to be deceived and the lengths to which people will go to cover their tracks to advance the “greater good.” There are religions that believe if you knowingly deceive people in the interest of advancing the cause, it’s OK. Some business practices glorify the company’s ability to hold back just enough information so as to turn a tidy profit.
I remember vividly, the government hearings after the tobacco industry was discovered to have willfully deceived the public with its claims that smoking wouldn’t cause cancer and had actual health benefits. The truth was agonizingly discovered through years of testimony and investigation into the fraudulent practices of scientists and doctors who were willingly deceived by the promise of so many almighty dollars.
The deception inherent in the practices of the social media empire is just now being discovered, and investigations will take place, intentions will be discovered, people will talk and we will discover that the harm caused by our addiction to technology and blue screens is one we likely knew deep down was a problem, but chose to ignore.
The world is a complicated place and sometimes seems as though it is spinning out of control. Practicing deception doesn’t help, and as someone who has fallen victim to the practices of deception, the pain lingers and is not easily forgiven or forgotten.
The world is a less complicated place when we know we can count on people to put forth their best effort, admit their mistakes and tell the truth. It’s really a simple formula, but maybe I’m deceiving myself.
Lance Scranton is a teacher and coach at Moffat County High School.