dagNotes: On Innocence
There’s the innocence parents focus on when choosing to proceed with care divulging the truth about Santa Claus, the Easter bunny, and the tooth fairy. This innocence is an attempt to permit the suffering truth that living endures to occur in a steady, controlled and controllable, gradual manner that society believes people can more properly endure as they grow older. Each year, we learn more about reality, about poverty, about hate, about violence, about death, even about labor, property, and commerce.
However, there’s a slick, intellectual reactionaryism to coping with the loss of innocence that informs us to be honest is more valuable because it’s more risky and dreadful. Moreover, the notion that instructs you’ll protect a child from the pain that results from losing the reality of Santa Claus to his fiction by telling the truth seems to result from a wish to recover innocence rather than a wish to protect the naive or ignorant from pain.
- Protecting is an urge to recover innocence.
- Honesty is risky.
- To attempt to be honest is to attempt to protect.
- The dread that results from this risk is the expression of the desire to recover innocence.
- The truth hurts because we insist it does.
- Innocence is not not-knowing but not-having-been-told-yet. (It’s a distinction I’d like to flesh out. Knowing v Being Told, that is.)
When we say we want to protect the innocent, in a very significant manner, we intend to do the innocent harm.
See, to inoculate; tough love; negative reinforcement; good medicine tastes bad; etc.