There is a time in every child's life that you have to teach this important truth: Most people are out to get their money. Right now you're asking me, "Jaded much?" Yes I am jaded, and very realistic, and I want my kids to hang on to their money. The place we begin teaching this is right in our own home as we sit in front of the TV.
"Mom, we should buy that!"
"Because it makes pancakes in a flash, with fillings!"
"Do you really think it takes less time to cook pancakes in that pan than in the pan we have now?"
"Um.... that's what the commercial says."
"But do you think it is really true, or do they just want your money?"
After several of these type discussions the kids know the answer- "They want our money."
It makes me smile from ear to ear when my kids go through this routine with each other.
"Hey sis, we could put our allowance money together to buy that!"
"No, they just want our money."
Not that I love that I have to teach this lesson to my kids. I can barely imagine a world where "money back guarantee" really meant money back guarantee. While we live in this real world full of people after our money I believe it is my duty to teach this concept just as sure as it is my duty to teach them to work hard to earn that money. It's related to the concept 'you can't get something for nothing', 'if it's too good to be true it probably is', along those lines. In short, we're surrounded by deception.
DH and I had a conversation today about the global warming debate, about the increasing evidence that numbers were manipulated to produce a desired result despite peer review. In short, the world has been deceived by a community that is supposed to rely on impersonal facts. Guess what? The facts were produced by a person, therefore they are in some way 'personal' facts. There's no taking the person out of the equation and so there is no taking the imperfect out of the equation. This life is not the time or place to expect perfection.
Why would someone manipulate data? They want your money. (That was a question to test your comprehension of the first part of the post.) So you say that the researchers weren't out for money, they didn't get a cent. Which leads to my next point - If they don't want your money, then they want your attention and regard - they want power.
"As you pursue your discipleship and observe the human scene, do not be surprised or unnerved by the natural man’s relentless push for preeminence and power. It really reflects the premortal psychodrama. Nor should you be surprised over the efforts of so many to cover their sins or to gratify their vain ambition (see D&C 121:37). Be grateful, therefore, for the gospel’s emphasis on meekness. Be careful of the natural man’s milder expressions—craving for credit and rustling for recognition. Alas, so often the hearts and even the moral agency of others can be crushed in the search for self-glorification."*
Wow, crushed hearts and moral agency. In the end that is what my teaching conversations in front of the TV are all about- teaching my children to preserve their hearts and moral agency from those that would crush them for their own gain. This isn't just about TV, it's about every facet of life: work, play, and the internet.
*Side note: This quote is a great way to watch yourself - when you embark on a new endeavor, ask yourself why. If it involves credit, recognition, or power then check your ambitions at the door and re-think your endeavor.