Remember when you were young? Maybe you don’t, but nearly everyone has a younger sibling, niece, nephew or younger relative; possibly even just the neighbor kids. Well, during those days, long before internet, Xbox, etc, we played outside. We played in the real physical world with real physical objects. You know, the things like sticks, rocks, wagons, sand, and the Tonka truck. Every object had a boundary, a definite three dimensions, that we were often reminded by moms that they would ‘poke our eye out’ or ‘break our neck’.
Yet, in all of this we were just ‘pretending’. We were only pretending to be a truck driver with our Tonka. We were only pretending to be a battle-hardened knight in the Middle Ages with our stick and metal trash can lid. We were only pretending that we were crossing the Great Plains in our ‘covered’ red Flyer. Of course, we would get so caught up in ‘our world’ that we lost track of the fact that it was only pretend. That was until an older sibling or friend would approach us.
“Whatcha doing?” They would ask.
“We are flying airplanes.” We replied.
“Nuh uh.” They informed us.
“Yes huh!” We insisted.
“No sir, you are sitting in a wagon with your swimming goggles on…” The outside perspective came cruelly.
“I know.” We would finally admit. “I am just pretending.”
“Oh.” The older sibling would suddenly soften their tone, cock their head to the side, and ask. “Can you scoot forward so I can help you fly?”
Yup! That was pretending. You could make a battlefield out of a pile of dirt, a desert out of a sandbox, or anything else that you wanted. It kept us busy and out of mom’s hair. It was wonderful…for a few years…say like from two years old to maybe ten…
Then we grew up and began to see the real world. Then we understood that, yes, we could be anything we wanted to be, at least nearly anything we wanted to be. We understood that we couldn’t be a Air Force fighter pilot if our eyesight was poor, a special forces soldier if we had asthma, a boxer if we had a previous head injury, a flight attendant if we got air sick, a hay farmer if we had allergies, etc. You get the point. We did have limitations that we were unaware of when we were young, yet we could always ‘pretend’.
But that was when we were five years old.
What kind of a world is it becoming where grown adults are still ‘pretending’?! One where we can ‘be anything we want to be’, but actually can’t! As a society we tell our children this, but we also build in safety factors such as; “if you work really hard”, or “you can’t be everything”. What are we doing? We are trying to help them make the transition into reality gently, yet effectively.
Nothing else in nature ‘pretends’ to be something else as an ‘identity’. Sure some fish lie on the bottom of the ocean and pretend to be a rock or a plant, but they KNOW they aren’t…its only to camouflage or hunt. A species cannot continue if it ‘pretends’ to be another species. Why? Because it is NOT. The laws of nature are against it, the ecosystem is against it, and the law of the jungle will devour them. Besides, they cannot replicate themselves as another species. They must ‘bear after their kind’. A trout that pretends to be a shark gets…eaten. A cat that pretends to be a junk yard dog loses…patches of fur. A baboon that pretends to be a lion better…learn how to roar. A lion that pretends to be a baboon…snaps vines and falls out of trees.
These realities have all come to us as we have grown, yet in this generation such delusions are fostered and encouraged, to the point that we have raised several generations of disconnected people. People that have their own world that others don’t see, don’t recognize, and don’t cooperate, making them very frustrated and bitter people. They thought it was their world and we were just passing through it. They have been told all their life that they are the queen or the king, yet the rest of the world remains uninformed. What a terrible oversight!
Now, imagination is GREAT!! Especially when it is channeled. I am an author and use my imagination quite a bit. It takes imagination to be a painter or an artist (My painting won 1st place at county fair as a teenager, as did some of my photographs). It all takes imagination, visualizing yourself in another world or another person’s perspective, but it is balanced with a healthy dose of reality.
We are becoming unbalanced as a society. Too much imagination and not enough reality.
Politicians ‘pretend’ to be ‘for the people’, but rapidly become millionaires funded by lobbyists.
We pretend to be the wealthiest nation on the face of the earth by printing more paper, spending more money, and swipe our national credit card at every retailer. (It cost $.02 to make a penny, $.10 to make a nickel)
GLBT’s ‘pretend’ to be tolerant until you don’t agree with them then they are extremely intolerant (Go ahead and do what you want, just don’t force me to like it!)
Hillary ‘pretends’ to be concerned about America’s future, but really thinks ‘At this point what difference does it make?’
We spend hundreds of millions of taxpayer dollars to a company that ‘pretends’ to build a Obamacare website, or another company that ‘pretends’ to build solar panels, or to another company that ‘pretends’ to loan money to poor people.
We all go to work and pay into Social Security which ‘pretends’ to save the money for you. (How do you ‘run out’ of money that was supposed to be in a ‘savings account’?)
We buy products which ‘pretend’ to work as advertised from companies that ‘pretend’ to care, that come with warranties that ‘pretend’ to exist.
We hire lawyers that ‘pretend’ to be concerned about our legal justice.
Somehow, somewhere, ‘pretending’ has become the staple of our society, economy, politics, legal system, and evidently…civil rights advocates all the way from Al Sharpton to Rachel Dolezal.
People used to care. Politicians used to work for us. Money used to be worth something.
Now we just pretend.
We used to know the difference. Now, most people don’t even know there is a difference. I am not sure what it is called now, but we all used to call it pretending…