Sunday, December 7, 2008

Sifting through lies

I minister to people from a variety of perspectives and lately I find myself struggling to sift through the "facts" of their stories. C tells me she's been clean for 3 years. M tells me C has been using rock recently. J tells me K and T are smoking dope on the church property. K and T says it's all a lie. B tells me he only drinks and then months later tells me he dabbles in rock. R straight up told me, "You know all of them are lying to you, right?" Yes. I know there are lies. But I couldn't help but wonder, "Does that mean you too R, because you're one of *them*?"

There are many challenges to working with a "street mentality". For starters, the rules are different. Decorum is unheard of (at least not like I know it). Respect is earned, not granted. Image and pride are of the utmost. People will do whatever is necessary to uphold their image. Often, that involves lying.

Quite frankly, it's exhausting. I'm tired to trying to figure out what's true and what's a lie and which is an exaggerated truth or enhanced lie for the sake of image. Knowing there are so many half truths makes me more cautious, more cynical, and more guarded.

I'm normally a trusting person. And I like the truth. I'm fairly honest and straightforward. So much so that it sometimes gets me into trouble. So I struggle with people who aren't honest. It aggravates me. And not having a "street mentality", I don't get it. I don't understand why people aren't straight with me and how they can justify such flagrant lies.

Regularly I find I blog without an end goal. There's no moral to the story. There's no final thesis. Just sharing my frustration. It's been one of those days. Now, if you happen to deal with street mentality, or understand it better than I do, I'd love some insight. How do you manage? How do you keep a mental distance? How do you maintain your sanity? How do you not succumb to its temptations?


David said...

two things for me:
1) ask a lot of questions
2) go with what you observe [become the master of deductive reasoning]

johnsue said...

Sorry, once again I failed you... though a sociology major I too believe in telling the truth and trying to be reasonable and honest. It sure would simplify life if everyone "played by the rules"! Love you, mom

John Meunier said...


Your situation sounds miles away from anything I know, and yet I bet many of the people I encounter lie in less extravagant ways. A lot of us spend a lot of time trying to manage our image. We just do it in more subtle ways than your people.

Keep venting and keep praying.