Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Omission: Not Just a Lie

Let's take a look at omission, something that is used in a self-serving effort to avoid or elude or deceive -

OMISSION: The act of omitting; neglect or failure to do something required by propriety or duty.

  • The omission of good is no less reprehensible than the commission of evil.  ~Plutarch
  • Three conditions are necessary for Penance: contrition, which is sorrow for sin, together with a purpose of amendment; confession of sins without any omission; and satisfaction by means of good works. ~ Saint Thomas Aquinas
  • While we lack recollection of our pre-mortal life, before coming to this earth all of us understood definitely the purpose of our being here. We would be expected to gain knowledge, educate ourselves, train ourselves. We were to control our urges and desires, master and control our passions, and overcome our weaknesses, small and large. We were to eliminate sins of omission and of commission, and to follow the laws and commandments given us by our Father.  ~Spencer W. Kimball
Now let's take a look at propriety and duty, since the lack of omission is required by both -

PROPRIETY: The quality or state of being proper; suitableness to an acknowledged or correct standard or rule; consonance with established principles, rules, or customs; fitness; appropriateness; as, propriety of behavior, language, manners, etc.

  • “A laugh, if purchased at the expense of propriety, costs too much.” ~ Marcus Fabius Quintilian
  • “Straightforwardness, without the rules of propriety, becomes rudeness.” ~ Confucious
  • “Study first Propriety: for she is indeed the Pole-star.” ~ C.S. Calverley
DUTY: An act or a course of action that is required of one by position, social custom, law, or religion; an obligation; the compulsion felt to meet such obligation .

  • “Life is made up, not of great sacrifices or duties, but of little things, in which smiles, and kindnesses, and small obligations, given habitually, are what win and preserve the heart and secure comfort.” ~ Humphrey Davy
  • “Duty is the most sublime word in our language. Do your duty in all things. You cannot do more. You should never wish to do less.” ~ Robert E. Lee
  • “Duty is ours; results are God's” ~ John Quincy Adams

And finally, let's see what pole-star means -

POLE-STAR:  A guiding principle.
  • “He who governs by his moral excellence may be compared to the Pole Star which abides in its place while all other stars bow towards it.” ~ Proverb
So, an act of omission is basically a failure to feel any compulsion to meet a known duty, to act with propriety, to acknowledge truth as a guiding principle and to govern conversation and actions with moral excellence.

Omission is not just a lie, it's a way of life. It's a personality trait that most often permeates every nuance of the omitter's life. Unfotunately, it doesn't occur by accident or on occasion; it's an habitual and chosen method of dealing with issues and people. And equally unfortunate is the reality that some never get used to it, never understand it, don't even see it coming and always believe that things will change.

Omission is one of the most damaging forms of deception. It hurts everyone, because no one ever really knows the whole truth - only parts of it - so they are left with only half-truths. And yet, the omitter walks away embracing an undeserved self-justification, because in their contorted way of thinking - truth was told - just not all of it.

Jonathan Roy "Lies"

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