Fool me once, shame on me… I heard you the first time!

Greg Middleton
5 min readApr 22, 2020

The power of deceitfulness and lying is very mesmerizing. There are people who make a practice out of doing such things. They package something to intentionally look attractive to the point that you actually believe them. This is what magicians do to perform their magic tricks. They give you the illusion of what they want you to see and believe but it is not true. They are not lying because it is all about fun and games. Lying is telling someone something that you know is not true to deceive them in order to persuade them to make a decision that you otherwise would not make. The fact that they have to trick you into doing something that you would not normally do is being deceitful. This is not good! God forbids it and so should we? “You shall not give false testimony against your neighbor.” “Thy shall not lie!” Unfortunately, disobeying God is not new to us.

It is easy to be deceived because we really want to believe in things. Once someone presents us a good sounding argument we were already leaning towards believing so it took just a little nudge to push us over to the other side. Most of us can be fooled at least once and probably twice until it dawns upon you that you have been tricked; deceived, cheated, bamboozled, duped, hoodwinked, swindled, mislead, hoaxed or any other term that indicates that you have been screwed over. The intent is evil and you are the victim. Since we are gullible we tend to admit that we were tricked into making a poor decision and most will attempt to walk away in order to avoid further harm. Our penal systems are filled with people who build a lifestyle around using this practice. The ones that are in prison are only the few who got caught. Imagine how many more haven’t got caught yet and some never get caught.

When it comes to lying we learn that skill as a child because we don’t like the alternative. Your parents tell you not to do something that you want to do it so you lie in order to do what you wanted to do. The more you get away with practicing deceitfulness the more you feel comfortable with using it as a way to achieve things you want. Soon it becomes a habit and a personality trait. Those who have a conscious know it is wrong to take advantage of others using deceit. When we hurt others using this practice we feel remorseful and try not to do this to others, at least not intentionally. However for those who have made it a part of their personality they feel no remorse and could care less about hurting others than gaining what they want to achieve. They only see their gain.

As we get older we tend to be on the lookout for thieves and charlatans. When you have been duped a time or two you become vigilant protecting what belongs to you. You might get fooled once by one of these unscrupulous thieves even as a seasoned senior but after that, it is like Maya Angelo said, “when someone shows you who they are, believe them the first time.” We used to say, “my mamma didn’t raise me to be a fool.” Perhaps another one you have heard is, “there ain’t no fool like an old fool.” The point is, you must be vigilant in protecting what belongs to you, including your integrity. We cannot just sit aside and allow anyone to continually and ruthlessly take advantage of us when we know they are lying to us. This would be bad for children and fools but when it comes to the most powerful leader of the world it is beyond shameful.

I understand being an optimist when you so desperately want to take the positive side of things. I even understand how some of that “bad boy” or “tough guy” mentality might appeal to many people. Most of us grew up with television and the movies so somehow we pull for the villains now more that we should. We know it is not right but it is all about make-believe and pulling for the bad guys. Movie plots are written that way intentionally because the consumers like it. I get that! It is okay in the land of make-believe but in real life real people get hurt. When the director says ‘that’s a wrap’ at the end of the movie set, everyone gets up and goes home. In life real people who die do not get back up. Real people who are harmed do not get over their loss that easily… they suffer greatly. Again, when the leader of the free world uses this practice as his natural way of dealing with things then imagine how many people are harmed by his gut inclinations?

In reality, the majority of the people were able to see this man for what and who he is but that bad guy mentality fooled a significant number of citizens so he got elected. So many never thought that such a charlatan would ever get elected so they did not vote thinking their vote would not be needed. Fool me once! The fact that there is this a running total of the lies this man has told since he has been in the office of our president is not even funny considering the seriousness of his position. One false statement and we could end up in a war. The stock markets listen intensely to his statements and tweets causing them to rise and fall in a moment’s notice. The entire world used to listen intensely for our views about things and willingly follow us. Fool me twice!

I often say, ‘why would you blame a skunk for being stinky because that is how it was born.’ ‘Why would you blame a ferocious predator animal for being ferocious and deadly because that is how it was born?’ I don’t blame this man for being exactly who he is and for acting as natural as he is by nature. That is who he is and he is just being himself. But what I do not understand is why very intelligent people insist upon being duped by a person who has proven who he is. If you like who he is and what he stands for that is one thing but if you do not think such a person is good for our country and good for the entire world then will you be fooled once again? When someone shows you who they are, believe them the first time! -Maya Angelo- May God rest her soul!

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Greg Middleton

Greg is a prolific writer of books, essays, blogs, and videos where he shares his opinions on life. Visit Straight Talk with Greg on YouTube.