I can remember playing pretend when I as a child. I would clean up the little wooden playhouse in the back yard, arrange the kitchen, set the table with dusty old china, and have my mom come over for tea. I was about 5 years old at the time and the playhouse didn’t have electricity so the tea was pretend tea. I didn’t pour water into the china, tell my mom it was tea knowing full well it wasn’t, and then insist it was tea every time she asked me. That would have been lying. Instead, I gave her an empty teacup and she pretended to drink tea from it while I pretended to be Little Miss June Cleaver at home in her little wooden playhouse. To me, this vignette-now that’s a fabulously funny word that doesn’t fit everywhere-illustrates the difference between pretending and lying. But in the end, does it really matter?
I’ve been around long enough to know that adults aren’t always on the up and up. For example, when people in positions of authority say that every person’s opinion matters and that their opinions will be taken into consideration, that should mean that every person’s opinion matters and will be taken into consideration. More often than not, that is not the case. This is where I get stuck between pretending and lying. Is the person of authority pretending, lying, or both?
I’ve already demonstrated through the earlier vignette that you can pretend without lying. But can you lie without pretending? Isn’t the reason for lying that you are pretending to do one thing when in reality you are doing something else?
I decided to look up the definitions of pretending and lying as a way to sort this out. I wanted to clearly label what people in authority were doing when they asked for everyone’s opinion knowing they already made the decision. Here is what I learned. Pretending is making it appear that something is the case when in fact it really isn’t. Lying is not telling the truth. So, is the person in the position of authority lying? Pretending? Lying while pretending? Pretending while lying? I’m still confused.
Yeah I know, it’s Friday and about now you’re saying, “Who the hell cares?” Well, I do. If someone is going to ask for my opinion and tell me that my opinion matters and they truly mean it, then I will certainly oblige and give them what they want. If they don’t truly mean it, then I won’t waste my time. When you get right down to it, it doesn’t matter if it’s pretending, lying, or both. The end result is the same. The person in the position authority doesn’t give a damn and is gonna do whatever ‘they’ want.
Have a great weekend and remember to share the laughter!