I hate people who lie and I hardly ever lie. But I totally believe in white lying. Lying about something stupid, to avoid hurting a person. Eg. A friend spends $$$ on a T-shirt with a donkey on it. He loves it, you think it's really sad - a true waste of money. When he asks you what you think, you say 'cool man'.
Another example: a very good friend in town keeps calling you to go out. You have seen her over 4 times in the same week, and yet the calls keep coming. You love her company and enjoy hanging out, but today you just don't have the ganas. Try telling her that you don't feel like seeing her today and hurt her, or instead, say that you have diarrhea. Works beautifully. She doesn't feel bad, you get to do whatever you want.
You might say, a lie is a lie is a lie. But when you lie about trivial things, to avoid complications and unnecessary misunderstandings - it's a white lie and it's ok.
I rather white lie and not do something, than do something under obligation. You hardly ever enjoy doing things you really don't want to, so what's the point.
A friend is getting married next month in a small village in India. We were good friends in school and our families are friends too - but I have hardly seen him over the last 10 years. As much as his wedding would probably be fun and a trip down memory lane, for me it involves taking an overnight train, bus and taxi after I get to Bombay; there is nobody else I really need to see in that village. The wedding is four days - no way am I spending 4-days out of 12 there, and going for one day just doesn't make sense.
He totally thinks I'm coming. I've told him 'I'm trying to get a flight to make it, it's difficult as it's peak season, but I'm pulling some strings.'
Before you jump to conclusions: in Indian weddings there are normally over 500 people. Tables aren't booked by name of person attending and no per-head money is lost. The bride and groom are so occupied doing the 1001 rituals over the four days that you would be lucky to get more than a 'hey so good to see you' and a hug. So, no love is lost.
I'm very happy for him and wish him the best from the bottom of my heart. If it was more convenient and I had a bit more time, I'd go. If he'd understand my simple reasoning, I'd tell him the truth but he wouldn't, and probably never speak to me for the rest of his life. So there you go, I white lied again.
I guess it's just easier to white lie sometimes. And as long as your intentions are good and heart is clean, I really think it's ok.