Have you ever said that? I bet not. It doesn't matter what a baby looks like, you'll call it cute to its parents face. What about in metaphor? Ever sugar coat stuff or pull your punches instead of laying things out on the line? I bet you have. We all do. It is exhausting.
I can't quite figure out why we do it either. If someone asks our opinion, why don't we give it? Why do we give a false opinion to make them smile? If they knew we were full of shit, they probably wouldn't smile. It's a tough call. Some people claim they want to hear the truth but flip out when they do. Others lose their minds when they're lied to. I'm guilty of the same duality. I HATE being lied to, but the truth hurts. Even though both hurt, there's a difference. I can respect the person that tells the truth. Not the coward that lies and can't speak up.
I got to thinking about this because I know someone who has a baby that is NOT cute. I mean not at all. I avoid photos of this child like the plague. The parents, of course, think the baby is the most adorable thing. I'm a big fan of babies and generally love them and think they are adorable. This child, however... yikes. So what do I do? Do I open up like I say you should or do it fall victim to my own hypocrisy? I find a middle ground. I say nothing at all. I don't comment one way or the other. I want to, so badly, say what I think but why break a parent's heart. I'm nobody to them and would generally have to go out of my way to do it and that's just malicious. However, I will NOT lie. I understand that lying by omission is supposedly just as bad but I disagree. Withholding a hurtful truth is not as bad as telling a boldface lie. So that's my position.
I'm assuming the parents think the baby is cute as all parents do. It's subjective and blinded by love. I don't have a kid so I don't understand that unconditional love. I think if it was my baby I'd understand why tigers eat their young.
This child aside, do you ever call the baby ugly in life? I think we all should. Maybe we shouldn't call real babies ugly because of the detriment to the parents, but the metaphorical babies should. If a situation/action/behavior is fucked up we should say it. If one person does it, it'll leave that person alone and unpopular. If everyone does it, it'll become the norm and be ok.
Imagine that... friends, family, colleagues, acquaintances, neighbors, etc all being... ready for it? HONEST with each other. When someone acts like a jackass, people tell them. Then that person will stop acting like a jackass. Revolutionary concept.
A good friend tells me when I'm being a maniac. Bad friends support me blindly. I have both in my life. Some will always tell me I'm right and foster more lunacy. Dr. Jim, for example, is the first to tell me I'm out of my mind and shut me down. Sometimes that's what we need.
Before we can work on the words we say - honest or lies - we have to work on opening our mouths and saying ANYTHING to begin with. We usually avoid topics that are right in front of our faces.
More about elephants in the room another time though.