I would not consider myself to be a dishonest person. In fact, I’m honest with everyone that I know and don’t know unless I am thrust into a situation in which nobody benefits from the truth…well, nobody who deserves to benefit, anyway.
In order to figure out when it’s acceptable to lie, you should take a look at some basic rules of life:
1. Never break a promise. If you give someone your word that you will do something, you better stay loyal to your promise and help him or her out.
2. Help those that you care about. Stay loyal to your friends and family members whom you like. This is interchangeable with the first rule.
3. Don’t hurt innocent people. If someone doesn’t do something worthy of earning punishment, why should he or she get it?
So, if telling a lie would interfere with any of these rules, then don’t do it. For example, if a lie would hurt someone you care about, then you shouldn’t tell it unless it was to keep a promise to someone else you care about. However, you probably shouldn’t even promise to tell a lie in the first place, but you may end up needing to cover for a friend or two by hiding the truth.
You may tell a lie if it has absolutely no effect on the events of the day. If you’re feeling horrible one day and a co-worker asks you, you could theoretically respond “very well, thank you!” simply because it doesn’t cause anyone any trouble; however, there isn’t really a reason not to be honest here.
If more people benefit from a lie, then perhaps it isn’t such a bad idea. Again, this depends. It has to truly help them, not just give the appearance of helping them. The truth is usually the best way to go, and sometimes making the announcement that the school is corrupt, while it may appear to hurt the student body at first, will help it in the long run. Usually, though, people need to hear the truth, and that is what you should give them.