I call BS


March 5, 2017 by readlisaread

How often in a day do you think that, gentle reader? Do you yell it at the radio on your way to work? Do you scream it at the TV when Faux News is on? Do you question the motivation of someone who always seems to have an excuse at the ready to get out of (or into) something?

Kids experience this almost constantly. We adults tend to be dismissive of their intuition, and often make the mistake of thinking kids can be outsmarted.  Sure, sometimes we can– and do– “trick” them into believing in the tooth fairy or Easter Bunny, but outsmarting a kid is rather more than only having to know how to count to 12, as long as they can only count to 10…

Kids have built-in BS detectors. And I think the reason why they are so good sussing out the truth (while still believing in the Tooth Fairy) is because it’s not about Truth or Lies, it’s about authenticity. We “trick” them into putting their tooth under the pillow because we want to create a nice opportunity– it’s a lie of surfeit, not deficiency. Conversely, then, a lie of deficit would be not confessing the family pet was run over, but rather creating an elaborate tale of a Pet Farm Vacation. They might want to believe the lie, but they still know it’s a lie.

We could learn a lot from the honesty of children’s communication style. We shush them in public when they say something embarrassing (for us), we make them hug creepy Uncle Kevin, even though we can’t stand him either, and tell girls stupid things like “Oh that boy is mean to you because he really likes you.”  Maybe sometimes that’s true, but mostly I think that boys who are mean to girls grow up to be men who are mean to women. Instead we should be telling our sons to conduct themselves with honour and our daughters to expect the treatment they deserve and teach them both that the good looks and fancy clothes and nice cars are there to make us think it’s what’s on the outside that counts.

And actually, it is.  We are judged, by the natural BS detectors around us, all the time. They judge the outside actions and behaviours and intuit whether that matches an authentic internal intent. Channel your inner 7 year old the next time you doubt someone or something. Chances are you already know the truth, even if you don’t want to face it.


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