There is a big world of pretense going on all around you. It’s everywhere out there. Have you noticed? Have you noticed how many people want to impress others with their importance or their knowledge of how life works?
People who pretend they have all the answers and insist they’re not nervous about tomorrow are crying on the inside. Shakespeare spoke of these people as folks who wore social masks to look good in order to cover up their feelings of inadequacy. Much of his literature demonstrates this sad condition. That’s how important he thought it to be.
The worst part of it all is that pretense is most harmful to the one pretending. Pretense contains no value; it offers illusions instead of reality. Reality is the only view of value.
Whenever you see someone pretending, quietly tell yourself that you plan not to feed into it for his or her sake. Whenever you feel an urge to pretend, in order to look good, appear smart or get approval – stop it before it takes you over. Truth will do the rest; it will strengthen you.
“It is one of the blessings of old friends that you can afford to be stupid with them.” – Emerson. Ralph wouldn’t have said this if he didn’t know the harm that pretending you’re smart can do to you.