False accusation for children especially if the accusation goes totally against their values can have profound negative consequences.
When I was in grade school(early 2000, India), I went out to take a photo-copy(xerox) of a study material in a shop nearby school. After I returned to the class, I was called to the headmistress office; The shopkeeper was there and I was falsely accused of stealing his mobile phone. HM defended me for my good character and that was the end of it.
All my life I have been taught to return things which I find to the rightful owner by my parents. When I was even younger I have returned expensive things to the school authorities like Timex data-link watch when I didn't have a watch.
Couple of days later I learnt from another student that someone notorious for stealing things in our school was the one who stole that phone. I didn't do anything about it.
I had nightmares of that incident when I was a child. Mental health/Counseling was not a thing in India(Still isn't for most). I had been ruminating on 'Why me, I'm not a thief' for a long time.
In my late 20s I found that thief on Facebook, He was a DJ in an European country. My friend request was accepted, My goal was to ask him about the incident, May be if he accepted his wrong-doing I could have some closure. I didn't ask him.
I'm 34 now, My philosophy towards life have changed and so is my understanding of science. I think the reason shop keeper accused me was just because of cognitive bias. I'm a dwarf with visible limb deformities. I think the shop keeper accused me, because he remembered just me in a shop where there could be two dozen people anytime.
Now I'm overtly conscious of my environment and cognitive biases of people who see me due to my disability.
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