When you see your five year old playing with his imaginary friend “Jonathan” you play along with him. Sure, you can’t see his friend, but it’s kind of cute, and look at how imaginative your kid is! Of course, kids get older (as they often do), and soon your little five year old is now eight.
Of course, even at eight, he’s still pretty young. He still talks to Jonathan, but there’s not a lot of harm in that.. You gently hint to him that maybe, just maybe, Jonathan isn’t real. Of course, your kid knows that isn’t true, after all, he can see Jonathan! You talk to other parents and they all same the same thing; it’s just a phase he’ll grow out of it.
As your kid gets older you worry more and more. He’s a teenager now, and he still talks to his friend Jonathan. You try to reason with the child, show him that Jonathan isn’t real and doesn’t exist, but nothing works. Your child is talking to Jonathan daily now and you’re beginning to worry so you take him to a doctor. The doctor provides medication and therapy, but nothing seems to work, your child still talks to Jonathan every day. Worse yet, he is now saying how Jonathan tells him to do things.
Your child has grown into an adult. He still talks to Jonathan daily, but no one aside from your son can see him. No one believes Jonathan is real. Your son has been deemed to have very strong mental issues and is currently locked away in a home because they believe he might be a danger to himself or perhaps even others. Sure, he says Jonathan is only telling him to do good things, but he’s already talking to someone that no one else can see, who could risk what he might really do.
Now your child is 35 years old. He’s spent the majority of his adult life in various hospitals and homes refusing to acknowledge the fact that his friend Jonathan isn’t real, and still talking to him every day. His life has been tragic. Oh, not because he’s been in a hospital for all of his adult life, but because he missed one very important detail.
According to half of this country, had the friend he spent his whole life talking to been named “God” rather than “Jonathan”, he’d be fully qualified to become President of the United States.
Those kids, they really need to think about the names of the imaginary friends they have before they start telling everyone about them.