We all have a stake in the truth. Society functions based on an assumption that people will abide by their word - that truth prevails over mendacity. For the most part, it does. If it didn't, relationships would have a short shelf life, commerce would cease, and trust between parents and children would be destroyed. All of us depend on honesty, because when truth is lacking we suffer, and society suffers. When Adolf Hitler lied to Neville Chamberlain, there was not peace in our time, and over fifty million people paid the price with their lives. When Richard Nixon lied to the nation, it destroyed the respect many had for the office of the president. When Enron executives lied to their employees, thousands of lives were ruined overnight. We count on our government and commercial institutions to be honest and truthful. We need and expect our friends and family to be truthful. Truth is essential for all relations be they personal, professional, or civic.
We lie with our faces because that’s what we’ve been taught to do since early childhood. “Don’t make that face,” our parents growl when we honestly react to the food placed in front of us. “At least look happy when your cousins stop by,” they instruct, and you learn to force a smile. Our parents—and society—are, in essence, telling us to hide, deceive, and lie with our faces for the sake of social harmony. So it is no surprise that we tend to get pretty good at it, so good, in fact, that when we put on a happy face at a family gathering, we might look as if we love our in-laws when, in reality, we are fantasizing about how to hasten their departure.