The Season of Lies

This time of year reminds me that some lies are considered acceptable, or even required, by society.  Kids are taught that an immortal obese man can give them everything they want – except for those things that he cannot make or bring for one reason or another that varies from family to family – for absolutely nothing in return.  Families “put their differences aside” for twenty-four hours in order to remind each member therein that love and kinship trumps all – at least for those days that are considered sacred.  Messages of hope and accomplishment are given to those that will never see either.  Eventually, many will see through those lies, but the idea is the same: some lies are considered appropriate for the season and are mandated by society.

I don’t quite understand why some lies are considered okay but others are not.  I don’t understand how some can be considered acceptable and others are considered deceitful.  Is not a lie a lie?  The sociopath is abhorred for her ability to lie without the slightest concern for another.  Yet, this time of year lies are thrown all over the place in order to make others feel better or more worthy, and that is considered noble and “part of the season”.  I have the greatest difficulty even typing these words.  It simply does not make sense.

I remember this season when I was five.  The newest round of video game consoles were hitting the masses and I knew there was no way that my family could afford one.  My family was quite poor and I was reminded of such every day by my peers.  Other kids had where I had not.  However, I was encouraged to ask Santa for what I most wanted and my mother and father told me that the man could get me whatever I wanted.  Sure enough, when I woke up on Christmas morning, the console was there.  I remember believing that there had to be a Santa for much longer than other kids – there was simply no way I could reconcile my family’s poverty with that gift on my fifth Christmas.

I, admittedly, have a hard time understanding issues of morality.  Thus, it is extraordinarily difficult to understand why some lies are acceptable and some are not.  To my eye, the holidays are nothing but an endless stream of lies and no one bats an eye.  It seems hypocritical; either lies should be acceptable or they should not be.  Why would my lies be any less acceptable?  Why is the sociopath singled out for telling falsehoods when certain times of the year are driven solely by lying?

And yes, I am avoiding discussion of what I consider to be the biggest lie of them all.

Empathy as a Weapon
Less Human Than Human

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