Because I Said So

Because I said so.

Didn’t you hate hearing that when you were a kid? Someone bigger than you, older than you, in a position to command obedience from you, tells you either to do something, or not do it, because I said so.

As a kid, if someone wanted me to do something, especially something against my will, I wanted to know, ”Why?”

I hate hearing those words come out of my mouth as a parent. I feel compelled to offer reasons to my children for the things I expect them to do. Sometimes, after making such an offering, I get the retort, ”You’re being unreasonable.”

This means I’ve offered reasons that don’t suit the child’s preference. I tell them I may have flawed premises, but if I offer a reason, then, by definition, I am being reasonable.

I am not unwilling to have disagreements with either children, or adults, over our views of the facts, but I don’t like being called unreasonable. Disagreements over facts is to be not only expected, but embraced, in my view. I may not be in possession of information that is either accurate or sufficient to make an informed decision. Someone else, even my child, may bring facts to bear that can factor in to the correct answer. But once the facts are agreed upon, then reasons for beliefs, opinions, and actions can be formulated and articulated.

Which begs the question; where do we get our facts? Because someone said so? 

Having spent too much of my life in the company of pathological liars, I come by my skepticism naturally. 

I’ve learned the hard way, some things just aren’t true, no matter who says so.

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