When I was young I remember finding out that the tooth fairy and Santa Claus weren’t real and being very disappointed that I was lied to for so long. I also remember my parents begging me not to tell my sister since she hadn’t realized it yet, they begged that I not ruin this for her and that shell realize it one day on her own. I was about 5 when I found out Santa Claus didn’t exist and I remember thinking first the tooth fairy and now this, I wonder whos next?
I thought that it was weird that they would lie but even at that time it made sense. it seemed like a perfectly logical exchange at the time, I behave and believe in this lie and they reward me with gifts for not acting out. Now fast forward two years and my sister is starting to put some pieces together, she’s starting to figure out that some of this isn’t making sense and shes also begun to hear rumors at school about the true nature of Santa Claus. At this point, I also start to realize that this entire charade ends when she also finds out, because if we both know then there’s no need for us to be rewarded with presents at the end of the year. essentially the bribes would stop. So I begin to question her and try to find out how much she knows and in the process, she begins to ask me questions, whether I believe or not, how could he possibly do all that work in such time, how come some kids who are bad still get gifts anyway. I devise a plan and answer accordingly. I want to keep on receiving gifts but I don’t trust her enough to tell her the truth and act it out until we get our Christmas gifts this year. So, I lie, I lie about everything. I tell her I still believe I come up with some terrible 6-year-old logic about how he has to exist so that she keeps on believing and we keep getting gifts. And for a while, it worked, and I was part of the game now too, my parents got well-behaved kids, I got my presents, and my sister got to stay happy and rewarded in her ignorance.
In a way, the reading reminded me of this. the people who benefit from this like my parents and me are like the church in the earliest of times, whether we know or not if someone like that exists it doesn’t matter. we get to stay in power we keep getting what we want which is people to behave and act a certain way for us and they, in turn, get some reward and the bliss that comes with ignorance. i guess this is just me believing that knowledge is power and that lack of it or false knowledge can be just as strong as actual knowledge. i know its a bit of a stretch but the concepts seem very similar to me.