Friday, March 25, 2005

Bunnies

Easter-tide brings happy baby chicks and colorful eggs to our doorsteps, around our houses, and hidden in our drawers. Disregarding the obvious disconnect between the supposed resurrection of Jesus and springtime animals, I've always been concerned by the Easter Bunny. And Santa Clause. And the Tooth Fairy.

Children are told little white lies all the time. People tell white lies to each other all the time, for that matter. But a child predicates their entire world on what adults tell them. I'm concerned for the mental health and eventual outlook of children whose worlds are shattered, as they eventually must be, when their system of morality, politics, and existence is predicated on lies such as the Easter Bunny.

Perhaps I'm over reacting to a non-issue. Children seem to be alright, in general, and society at large doesn't seem to be suffering any negative effects due to being raised on Bunnies and Clauses. The problem might, though, have more effect then we realize.

Ayn Rand always vilified those people living in society who don't want to play by its rules. She criticized endlessly the people who chose not to accept reality as it was. Perhaps it is being raised on a false reality that causes people to reject what is real in favor of whatever they want to believe. When children have their world collapsed around them they are forces, not necessarily immediately but eventually, to accept that the world is never as they perceive it (or told it), and thus choose instead to reject reality.

I think it might be safer, and maybe even more moral, to simply raise children understanding that supernatural Rabbits and creepy fat men don't actually bring them presents at all, but rather that these beings symbolize important aspects of both our culture as well as the holiday itself. Adults seem to deal just fine with knowing that these things don't really exist yet still respecting them for their significance, I don't see why children can't as well.

3 Comments:

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Fr. Ryan, S.J. taught us:

alright -> all wrong

all right...please, or death will come to thee via the collar

8:34 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I found this while doing research for a gift newsletter on the significance of bunnies and chicks, but I have to say that I agree with your assessment here. I tried to avoid doing "Santa" with my kids, and I met with tons of resentment from both family and friends. I was very relieved when my kids asked for the truth at a fairly young age, and I told them. Just wanted you to know that I appreciate your viewpoint.
Stitch 8)

7:12 AM  
Anonymous Kelinci said...

Thanks. I'm just read.

9:59 PM  

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