My toddler is learning how to lie.
Today he told Elizabeth that I said some things to him. These things benefitted him and his stance on bedtime. This isn’t new. Other fibs he’s told have leaned towards him getting more candy or TV or bees (long story). I never said any of the things he said I did. I let him know this. I call him on his falsehoods. The word ‘malarky’ floats around our home like a disoriented butterfly.
I tell him things like, “Just because you say it, doesn’t make it true” and “Lying makes your words mean less”.
With the current state of the world, the conversation about lying is a very difficult one.
In my head, I keep coming back to: What the fuck is truth anymore?
If I wanted to, right now, I could show you ‘proof’ that Michelle Obama is a man and murdered Joan Rivers.
Or that the Denver Airport is a portal to hell (I’ve been there twice and the only portal I saw was one tricking me into spending too much on protective phone cases).
I could also point to the hundreds of things Donald Trump has lied about. But that would take me countless hours of research and too many hyperlinks to…hyper. Oh, wait, someone did it for me.
What inspired this post, aside from my son’s hobby of evidence fabrication, was a wonderful thread by Bashir Mohamed about a fake news story banging around in the bullshit echo chamber of some angry people. This was a wonderfully uplifting dissection of how lies are infiltrating the lives of adults and how to battle them – i.e., Brexit – i.e., the aforementioned Trump – i.e., (insert future Canadian election).
I think I’ve figured it out though. Aside from toddlers who don’t know any better and are constructing their means of expression/manipulation for personal gain, the adults of the world have lost sight of what is true.
What I mean is some can’t differentiate realness from the sideshow anymore. They want to believe that the mermaid is real. They want to embrace ghosts. They want to believe in a white genocide (I’m not linking The fucking Rebel). Why? It’s easier than the blunt force trauma of trueness. It is easier than accepting that magic isn’t real. It’s easier than dissolving entitlement. The world is changing. Just expecting something is yours doesn’t make it so. You can’t just will things to go your way. You have to work for them. You have to put effort into positively changing your station in life. As per Daniel 14:13 “Jesus only answers thine prayers if thou put some elbow juice into the asking.”
This isn’t about the philosophical search for truth, this is the laziness of accepting what one wants to hear. This is the comfort circus of false legitimacy. Nobody is challenging themselves for the better in this situation. This is the dime novel Western version of Wild West was glamorized as but wholly was not. The wall between reality and infotainment has disappeared. It now takes an effort to form an educated opinion. Whereas some, they still just want to be told what to think.
But, I still tell my child that he is better off sharing what he can prove. He is better off with the tangible. He is better off using a spoon rather than yelling food into his mouth. He is better off protecting himself with a seatbelt, rather than the thinking that he can talk his way out of a car accident.