Children are Smart

by Annaelle

Children are smart. They are not fools, nor simpletons. They just lack the experience to see through the veil of lies we put over their eyes because we are afraid to answer their questions honestly.

For some reason, we are told that, a person growing up with unrealistic, downright bizarre and even dangerous understanding of how the world works, that we should find it cute and feed this veil of lies and untruths.

To be dishonest with children because we like our kids to be fools and simple-minded. Because we don’t like to think that they could handle the truth : that sometimes, there are questions to which grown ups just don’t know the answers to.

And sometimes, there are injustices that we would have the power to change, but we don’t want to, because we can’t be bothered. Too much work.

There are those who are the children that, with their curiosity and their keen sense of what is right and their intuitive grasp of logic, put our own ignorance and evilness to our faces. By obsessive and systematic use of a simple but annoying three letter-long word : “Why?”. And we, adults, don’t like that.

So we will lie to children, discourage their curiosity and mock their inept understanding of the world (You’ll understand when you’re bigger) hoping that, when they grow up, they find themselves too caught in a web of inertia and powerlessness to act on the moral intuition they had since the day they learned to pronounce a simple, but annoying, three letter-long word : “Why?”.

A question, the most important of them all, to which, sometimes there is no answer. Because we haven’t found one yet. But instead of telling them so, instead of telling them : “I don’t know why there is something instead of nothing; but many people wiser than I have wrote countless, fascinating books about the subject. Maybe we should read one of them together ?” or “I don’t know why is it that some children can’t have as many present at Christmas than other children  ; In fact, surely there isn’t so much evil in the world that all the children who can’t have food, even on Christmas, somehow did something to deserve their situation. Maybe, you and I, should do something about it. Change the way the world works, make it better.”

Instead, we tell them stories of extravagant, magical beings who created the world and gave a shape and proper order to it. We tell them things are what they are the way they are because that’s the way things are, implying that way the the world is but an immovable megalith in which we are but mundane.

And thus, for yet another generation, injustice will prevail. Because we lie to children who are smart.