Chapter 7: Don’t Tell Harmful Lies

Often the subject of lying can stir up bad feelings. This exercise approaches the subject from a perspective of creativity and should be less troublesome. This will allow you to discuss it more easily.

Get one volunteer to face the class. Tell them to tell the class the truth about something that has no significance. For instance, describe what it was like walking in the building today.

They do so. Ask for more details and get at least a bit of detail. Was it windy? Did you see any cars? Etc. Little things.

Now, ask them to add some small detail to it that is not true. Such as, I saw a plane fly over. Or, I got gum on my shoe. Whatever they say it shouldn’t, in any way, have to do with anyone else in a negative way. It should not be a harmful lie, even in an imaginary way.

Have them add another made up thing. And another, and another, and another. Have them add in a bunch of made up details. Ask the class to add in details and as the volunteer in front of the class to remember all these details. Get them one at a time until you have a complex series of events that occurred as he/she was coming in the building.

This can get very wide open in terms of suggestions or ideas: Aliens flew down and ate cars, etc. Or, it can stay very mundane; it doesn’t matter just so that there many made up details.

Now, ask him/her to tell that story as if it really happened that way. Ask them to mix in both the true and made up details of the story. This can be very funny.

When he/she is done get the class to talk about it. Was this lying? Was it the truth? Did it hurt anyone? What is the difference between being a creative story teller and lying that hurts someone?

You can do this with more than one volunteer.

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