Personal Response to “Lies We Tell Kids”
Without a doubt, I would say that this is a fabulous piece of writing. This is an essay which gave me the chance to think deeply about what lies are truly all about. Before reading this essay, I asked myself, “if lying is a bad thing, why do we still lie?” As this essay unravels itself, the mystery to that question slowly started to be answered.
As I read this essay, I start to see myself appearing in every page I read. When I was a kid, I was definitely being lied to and right now, as I am older, I see myself lying to kids to get them to do what I want them to do. Anyway, when these kids grow up, will these 6 and 7 years old kids remember who I am? More so what I say?
Paul Graham feels that that one of the main reason why parents lie to kids is to protect them. Graham says
“If you ask adults why they lie to kids, the most common reason they give is to protect them. And kids do need protecting. … It’s certainly not a bad lie to tell, to give a baby the impression the world is quiet and warm and safe.” (2)
I can totally understand why parents do that. Parents do that not because they do not love their children but it is because they love their children a lot. That kind of love is what some people call the ultimate love. It is where you are willing to sacrifice your live for someone whom you really treasure whom you really love. As all of us know, lying is a bad thing however in this case lying becomes a good thing. If a young child realizes that this world is full of deceit, lies and selfishness, which is the true world, then the kid would definitely be at a loss. The kid would not know what to do. The kid has no experiences or whatsoever. You would just have to trust that with time, the answer would come. Anyway, when a kid grows up, would he or she really remember what you say?
There are also the bad sides to lies. Graham says
“…this harmless type of lie can turn sour if left unexamined.” (2)
The way Paul Graham talks about why lies have a possibility of becoming bad really makes me wonder if he has kids. If so, does he have any special techniques in which he lies to his kids so much so that that “harmless type of lie” will not “turn sour”?
I like the way Graham injects humor into his essay. He says,
“The desire for them can cloud one’s judgement- which is especially frightening when the judgement being clouded is the already wretched judgement of a teenage kid.” (4)
In this quote “The desire for them” is actually referring to sex and drugs. The way Graham wrote this paragraph totally brought justice to it. By saying that the judgement of a teenage kid is “wretched”, just tells us that kids are too naïve. Teenagers think that they are at an age where their judgement is more or less correct however, in the perspective of Graham that is totally untrue. Teenagers are not able to make their own judgement, as the judgement they think is right is in fact, very wrong very twisted.
I myself have experienced this before, just a little different though. I could still remember vividly when I was, if I am not wrong, 8 years old thinking about why I looked like my parents. Did it just happen? Was it God’s will that I looked like my parents? How did it happen? That 8 year old me was having waves and waves of questions like these. I could not answer my own questions. I just did not have the answer to it.
At that time, I did not even know how to ask my parents that question. I told myself or rather, I hoped to myself that with time, I would know the answer to those questions. If you have any problems with friends, relationship, work or family, just know that ‘time’ is everything. With time, those unanswered questions would soon be answered.
Know the right time to lie to yourself to make yourself feel better. Know the right time to pick yourself up to carry on. Just remember that with time, things would be better and that you would be able to understand more. Just…hope.