I think it’s time we examine the truth about April Fool’s Day – if we can find any. As you probably guessed from the title, I’m not a fan. However; this article is not a rant against the world; rather, it is intended to be thought-provoking. I feel quite certain that millions of people have participated in pranking and practical jokes without even a thought to the implications against themselves. Just because everybody else is doing it, doesn’t automatically make it right and here’s why:
Pranks and practical jokes are elaborate lies. There is no other way to define it. I searched diligently for a gentler word than lie; but none really fit the bill. After all, a rose by any other name is still a rose, right? The very nature of pranking someone requires the prankster to first set a trap to ensnare their victim. That trap is built entirely of lies! How can you spend days, or even weeks, scheming up an elaborate lie to victimize someone, yet still expect to be considered trustworthy? You’re not. A person can either be trusted, or they can’t. There is no gray area for the 24 hour period of April 1. Children learn what they see, not what they hear. Are you teaching your children to get some narcissistic satisfaction from hurting another; or are you teaching them to respect themselves, and each other? You can’t do both.
We teach our children diligently to respect other people in all their diversity. We teach them that lying is wrong and unacceptable. Yet, each year when this dubious “holiday” rolls around, we set a completely different example for them. Is it okay NOT to respect someone because it’s April 1? Does the changing of the calendar from March to April signify a 24 hour break in the rules of simple, common courtesy? I don’t think so, but societies around the world blindly embrace this practice with no thought to what they are doing, or why. When you ask a prankster why they do it, the standard answer is, “because it’s fun(ny)”. I have to wonder if they’ve ever given any thought the consequences of their fun, or considered why they find it funny in the first place. Wouldn’t you rather be respected for your achievements and accomplishments, rather than by a group of liars who like your pranks?
What’s the allure of April Fool’s Day? I mean, seriously, I see people literally salivating over it as the day draws near. These people put countless hours of time and energy into researching and planning their elaborate hoaxes, with the hope of what? Do they really get that much joy out of making another person miserable? Why? Does it make them feel somehow superior or powerful?
If you’ve ever found yourself at the butt of someone else’s joke, or the object of the mirth of those around you, you know what I mean when I say miserable. The “victim” ends up embarrassed, ashamed, or sometimes much worse. People have even committed suicide after being victimized by a prankster! How very satisfying for the prankster? Honestly, I hope that I can speak for everyone when I say that there would be NO delight in a person’s death. Unfortunately, even when something tragic does happen, the classic response is usually that said prankster shirks their responsibility of the situation saying that the other person shouldn’t have taken life so seriously. It’s disturbing, really, the total disregard we have toward one another (all the while “embracing tolerance and diversity”). How can you love humanity, yet completely disregard people at the same time? Maybe that person did take life too seriously, did they deserve to die? Did they deserve to feel like there was nothing left for them in this world? I think, no. We are all very different people, thankfully, and we would all do well to remember that not everyone is as happy-go-lucky as the next guy. Nobody wants to be seen as weak or foolish, so why would you wish to cause another person to feel that way? Is it some kind of ingrained narcissism in our society? Do pranksters believe that the only way to be powerful is to belittle and make fun of another person? There is nothing “fun” about victimizing another human being – EVER.
So, by definition, April Fool’s Day has been egregiously misnamed. It’s not a celebration of fools, nor is it a day of harmless revelry; but instead, it’s a day for all liars to unleash their dubious creativity on the world. Therefore; I think we need to rename this day to call it what it is! Happy Liar’s Day everyone!