This morning at 0630, FM Channel of IGNOU broadcasted talk of a young Member of Parliament on science education in the country. He started the talk stating that when he completed class 10 about 25 years ago, he was not aware of any education beyond that. A chance meeting with a visitor made him aware of strange things like colleges and higher studies. He narrated several other personal stories, forcefully projecting how naive and innocent he was.
Was it humility and innocence? What was the intent of the talk, knowingly or unknowingly?
The teachers in his school were college graduates. His father was a teacher too. It is not easy to believe that a smart person who did well in studies would be unaware of options for further studies on completing high school. His stories were fictional. As a listener, should I feel upset that he is trying to fool me? Does he think me to be so naive? Or is he so naive to think others naive? I discounted his talk with a smile.
It is a pity that by repeating such stories he would start believing in them, leading to self-deceit. A person who understands the harmless exaggeration of the talk would discount the contents. Those who believe would think him to be very humble and forthright. Those who discount him will trust him less in future.
If weaving seemingly harmless stories becomes a habit, we do harm to our credibility and to our relationship with others in some way.