Manataka® American Indian Council




Grandfather Robert Gray Hawk Coke Speaks





 The effects of dishonesty on relationships




 First,  let’s look at these two words:


TRUST is something you cannot own, yet you loan it to others to use with you. Some wise people have said the following about trust:


“Live, as it were, on trust. All that is in you, all that you are, is only loaned to you. Make use of it    according to the will of him who lends it, but never regard it for a moment as your own.” – Fenleon


“Trust in yourself, and you are doomed to disappointment.” D. L. Moody


TRUTH is defined as 1. Conformity, or actuality.  – American Heritage Dictionary


“Truth is the foundation of all knowledge and the cement of all societies.” John Dryden


“To know the truth is easy but, ah, how difficult to follow it.”  - from the Chinese



Next, let’s fit these definitions into RELATIONSHIPS.  We communicate 24 hours a day, even in our dream time. When we are silent, not saying a word can communicate. We shall either destroy or strengthen our relationship.  There is virtually nothing else involved but communication in one form or another.


TRUST is the only reliable foundation on which a relationship can be built, and TRUTH (Honesty) is the cornerstone. When we lie, we destroy the relationship.


As a husband, lover, father, and counselor, I have experienced and observed the destructive power of dishonest communication. When we lie, we destroy the relationship we have with both our own self and with those we have lied to.


A lie is a time bomb waiting to destroy the relationship. Although we may think of lies and dishonesty as  protective devices, we delude ourselves if we think we are protecting the other person. The reality is that we are protecting ourselves. Sometimes, the liar may think he has no other choice or is too afraid to tell the truth. Yet the reality is that lies weaken or even destroy the fabric of the relationship between two people. If the fabric is torn, how can there be trust? If there is a lack of trust, how can there be any intimacy?


One basic kind of lie is the overt lie.  Usually spoken, it is a falsehood. Many of us consider this a “little white lie” that does no damage.  Scam arts are very skilled overt liars. If the overt lie can be detected, it can be defused before it explodes.


The covert lie, more subtle and used more often, is harder to detect. This lie is usually detected through body language. Think of a poker game with the “poker face” – no expression at all. Expressions may include false smiles and body movement such as tapping or twitching. Eyes often signal by darting around, glancing to the side, or avoiding direct contact.  A covert lie is more damaging than the bold-faced lie because the unaware person may never perceive that something is wrong.  If and when this lie surfaces in the future, payback is large. The good news is that with focused practice, anyone can become good at spotting a lie.


Trust and truth are choices each of us makes in our relationships. Remember, we are known by our choices.


Robert Gray Hawk

July 2010