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These are the harmless lies we tell children to lighten up their lives. My mother tells me that, as a little child, she would get me to stop crying about losing a balloon by telling me that I shouldn't be sad because the balloon was happily flying to "the land of balloons". And I believed it. Sort of like the stories we tell ourselves about an afterlife to soothe the pain of bereavement.

The problem is, how do we (and do we) deal with the poisonous lies we tell children to scare them and control them? The boogie man, the "man with the bag", or "gypsies will come and take you away"... Do we ever bother dispelling the fear, the mistrust, or the prejudices we sow?

There are political lessons to learn from these light topics.

A society committed to the notion that government is always bad will have bad government. And it doesn't have to be that way. — Paul Krugman

by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Sun Dec 25th, 2005 at 07:50:11 AM EST
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