The Prophecy of the Broken Egg (Part 1: Nursery Crhymes)
Posted on 20, January 2011
Nursery Rhymes can be great teachers, and not just for kids. Many are not aware that the origins of many nursery rhymes were based in the monarchies when people did not have free speech and would create parodies of political situations hidden in the subtext. The great fact about many stories and parables is that they can be timeless, and so many of them are still apropos. So what can Humpty Dumpty teach us today?
How often do kids get in trouble for fibbing, manipulation of the truth or outright lies, and how serious are the consequences that we impose on them – grounding or time-outs, mouth washed out with soap, spanking or even physical beatings that cross the lines of abuse? How often to we ask ourselves why they are doing it or where they learned it? I think that for many of us, we have to look no farther than ourselves and then to society to find the answers to our questions.
The most basic motivation for a lie is to create an alternative truth or “shell” around ourselves that misdirects from our actual truth. We tell lies for some of the following reasons: to avoid pain, appear as greater than we are, create or feed fear, avoid our own fears and inadequacies, undermine or usurp others, create doubt, avoid responsibility… As you can see, many of these reasons overlap and are based in a lack of integrity.
Humpty Dumpty Had a Great Fall
I often tell people who come to see me that you can’t grow up in France and not learn to speak some French. More times than not, kids are a mirror to the adults around them, within their family and their culture. They are like passive sponges and their actions are often just reflecting back what they see. I think we also have to consider that the act of lying is an aspect of the human condition, and while this may be the case, it does not mean that we cannot aspire to a higher standard and level of behavior, especially as adults. What this translates into is the idea that we create an ideal self that we want to believe in and want others to believe in. The lie hides our real and our feel and the more disparity between the real, feel, and ideal, the farther there is to fall.
Issues of lying, manipulation and lack of integrity in our culture are reflecting on us from all angles. In our families, our political culture, religious culture, sports culture, corporate culture, the media… The problem is that many people believe that this is just the way it is. We believe that this is acceptable behavior, and many people strive to see how well they can play the game, whether it is lying about doing homework, responsibility for manipulating political facts, abuse of steroids, cooking financial books… We all may have our justifications for why we lie and manipulate the truth, but what we all need to see is that the reasons are self-motivated first.
All The King’s Horses and All The King’s Men
We often don’t like to look at the darker side of ourselves, and our denial can lead to our undoing and pain and even death to others around us. The consequence of this undoing often leads to more lies and manipulation to further cover our tracks. The question is, when will it stop? When do we say enough, not just in society, but within ourselves?
We can look to the rest of the world around us and blame them for our actions and manipulations, or we can look to ourselves and take accountability.
Couldn’t Put Humpty Together Again
Other people cannot put our lives in order and resolve our inability to look at our truth, however we are also ultimately responsible for the manipulations and falsehoods that we present to others. The stories, lies and manipulations that we put out there do not solve problems, they create more, and as we have seen so many times around us, the results can be tragic. Don’t the children of our generation and future generations deserve the truth? Do you have the courage to live in your truth?