|Mr. Glombowski, Elizabeth, Matthew, Scott,|
First of all, I did not express an opinion or position at all. I only asked two questions.
Do you regard all fiction as lying? Do you think pretending is lying?
Mr. Glombowski comes on like gang-busters accusing me of context dropping and explaining it is wrong to lie to a child.
I appreciate Mr. Glombowski's concern for my treatment of children, but it's a little late, since I presently have more grandchildren than children.
Now to all of you, there is something strange about this view that Santa Claus is a lie. I do not know about you, but my wife and I read to our children from the time they could understand, even a little, of what we were reading. Most of those children's stories were total and fantastic fictions. We never explained the animals didn't really talk, or that the magic beans did not really grow into a beanstalk that reached a kingdom in the sky. They would not have understood what we were talking about, anyway.
I grew up in a large family of very intelligent and imaginative people. I was told more fictions (lies) than truth growing up, among them, the terrible lie about Santa Claus. One of the great joys of my life was discovering which of those marvelous stories and creations I was told were real, and which were really fictions. You cannot imagine how much I learned in sorting those things out, and how much pleasure it gave me when I figured out that some story one of my uncles had told me was pure fiction. It made me feel very grown-up each time I discovered one.
No one worried that my little psyche would be damaged by being told these, "heinous lies." They knew, unless there was something wrong with me, I would figure out the difference between the fictions and the facts, and that it was part of growing up, a delightful and edifying part.
The fact is, not one of those fictions (or lies as you would all call them) ever harmed me at all, because they were never integrated into my hierarchy of knowledge, except is the interesting fictions that they were. One of the things I learned is how to tell the difference between what is only a story, and what is truly grounded in reality.
And, by the way, it is a very good thing none of you were around when my relatives were abusing me with those delicious lies, because if you had called them liars, it would have been the last thing you called anybody.
I think you all do not understand children, either because you forget your own childhood, or have none of your own. I know you are certainly underestimating them. I cannot think of many things more cruel than the dreary dry and unimaginative world you would ban children to with all your paranoia about Santa Claus and, I suppose, the Easter Bunny and tooth fairy.
Scott's right. "Randroids have this way of sucking all fun out of the world," especially, for children, it seems.