To what extent is telling a lie a bad thing? In English we call little lies “white lies.” These are lies that we tell to the people we love because we do not want to hurt their feelings. For example, you might not like your friend’s new shirt, but if your friend asks you your opinion, you might lie and tell your friend that you love their new purchase. Or you might not like your boss’s new idea, but you have to respect your boss, so you lie and say that you love the new proposal.

We asked our CISL students to write an essay about telling lies. Is it ever ok tell a lie? If so, when? We were impressed by the openness of the student essays! Thank you to each student who participated, and congratulations to Ran Joo, the writing contest winner! Below is Ran Joo’s essay on lying.

Student Writing Sample: “Is it Ever OK to Tell a Lie?”

By Ran Joo

Some people think that it is permissible to tell a lie because they want to protect vulnerable people’s feelings while others think it is not necessary to tell a lie. In my opinion, we need to tell a lit to take care of other’s emotions. There are a couple of examples to show my opinion.

Firstly, people tell a lie when they don’t want to neglect people’s kindness and thoughtfulness, even though the things their friend gave to them isn’t always necessary. When your friend’s gift doesn’t fit your style, you will thank them for their kindness. You will try to compliment the person on how pretty the present is. Also, when your mother wants to sure how beautiful she is, you will tell a lie to make her happy.

Secondly, people tell a lie when they want to prove their abilities to someone; for example, when you interview to get a job, you’ll try to be acknowledged by your employer. You’ll also tell a list which wouldn’t be harmful to you when you sell products in a business so that customers perceive that your products are helpful and beneficial.

To wrap up, people tend to tell a lie when they want to appeal or ensure something from people, especially in their social lives. They also tend to tell a lie not to hurt their family and friends in their private life. If you were the person always telling the truth, you might hurt vulnerable people without any intention. I think sometimes, we need to tell a lie rather than tell the truth.

Congratulations again to Ran Joo for winning our monthly contest!

Are you a current CISL San Diego student? Check out this month’s Writing Contest prompt about travel writing and get started on your next submission!