Make Belief

I wonder why some statements, true, half true or plane out false stuck in our heads while the others don’t. For instance, someone long ago when I probably had my baby teeth falling out, told me that the boxer, Muhammad Ali was Pakistani. Now, obviously that’s not true but I actually believed that for the longest time. I think almost up till high school. Similarly, someone told me that Pakistan’s Armed Forces are only second to USA’s in strength and quality around the world. And I actually believed that well into my teens, too. I am sure one of the know it all kid of a very foolishly patriotic father told me that. Here is a funny one, once someone told me (and I still know this guy, even though I am not in touch with him) that one day he flew his kite soo high that it could not bear the heat from the sun and burnt up. I actually believed him.

Unfortunately, parents also tell their children half truths or all out lies, even if they do it with the best of intentions. Like, don’t eat the seeds or a tree will come out of your nose. Or don’t make silly faces or your face will turn that way for ever or that those who use bad words have a black colored tongue, etc.

Wrong thing to do? I am sure most will say it depends and site good little lies like that of tooth fairy, Santa or the stork story etc.

But you know what, no matter how harmless your lie is, it teaches the kids the value of dishonesty. It teaches them that end does justify the means and if they can somehow justify it to themselves, its all good. And that some lies are necessary and often do good like telling children about the scary old man who will snatch them if they go out alone at night.

Who knows, they might go to their graves believing your lies.

That being said, I do want to acknowledge I don’t always take the high road and that its not easy telling the truth. Try justifying to a three year old why she can’t have more candy vs. the easy option out by telling her ‘its all gone’. As someone said, often in life, doing the hard thing and the right thing are the same.

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