It was JUST make-believe

When I was little, there was a “friend” who pretended to shoot my puppy with a toy gun.

When I got upset, I was told it was “just make-believe.” But it turns out that “friend” and the other children like him grew up to be adults who thought killing puppies was alright in reality.

The things we excuse in “make-believe,” we will excuse in real-life.

Maybe not immediately, but given enough time, it will happen. A kettle on low heat still boils if nothing changes. It’s not just with children playing, either.

This rule applies to books, movies, songs, TV, and other forms of entertainment, too. What we can justify happening in a story, we can justify in the real world.

Life reflects art and art reflects life.

When we find ourselves sympathizing with or wanting to emulate a story’s villains, when the line between protagonist and antagonist is blurred…we know there’s a problem.

We can’t ever let ourselves forget the difference between right and wrong. Not even in make-believe.


  1. It’s no mystery why so many wise people through the ages have warned us to guard our hearts and minds, and watch what we allow ourselves to spend time thinking about.
    Parents need to be aware of their children’s play habits. Play is their first way to relate to the world. If something is off there, it needs to be addressed. Too many children with difficulties are swept under the rug because it’s not “entertaining” to play with a kid and double check they’re alright. And yes, in a way, the kid is swept under the rug. It’s amazing how anxiety, depression, bi-polar and other mental issues (which can often be a sign of abuse or neglect) can cripple a little life, and the life that could have been.

    1. Very true. Parents shouldn’t dismiss unacceptable behaviors just because they’re “cute.” Everything has consequences.

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