I witnessed some very interesting things about people over the past few days since last Friday’s fiasco regarding the troubles of my neighbor girl (see those posts). The biggest issues I ended up encountering had to do with people’s attitudes toward children in general, and toward hitting (spanking?) children in particular.
I very quickly learned that whether or not children should be protected by law from being physically assaulted by grownups is NOT a topic open to nearly anyone’s rational thinking abilities. Talk about a HOT TOPIC! Because I believe nothing much positive can be accomplished through animosity, aggressive disagreement, arguing, heated passions in strong opposition and defense — I now know there are very few (too few for me to find) adults who I can even begin to talk with about the subject of protecting children from assault by all adults.
And, yes, I define any physical act of violence and aggression by big people against little people to be wrong. And, yes, I believe children need to be protected against actions of violence and aggression by adults BY LAW.
I quickly discovered that the kinds of changes I would like to see in America to enact fundamental protections for our little people will not happen in my lifetime. We are NOT much of a civilized society when it comes to thinking about what the CHILDREN need. We appear to be far more concerned with what ADULTS WANT based on their beliefs about ADULT rights.
Any conversation I tried to have with adults in order to explore this topic instantly turned HOSTILE!
Even worse than this I found that adults cannot hear themselves on the topic. I think it would be easier and more accepted in this nation to remove adults’ rights to vote than to protect children from adult ‘rights’ to HIT them whenever an adult (so-called parents, teachers and caregivers) WANT to hit a child — for some fantastical believe in the legitimacy of violence by BIG people against little ones.
The underlying emotional ocean from which the right-to-hit children comes from appeared to me to be FEAR OF CHILDREN! In this fear-based attitude toward children these adults I tried to converse with intelligently about the needs and rights of children, often openly stated that children lie, manipulate, and cannot be believed or trusted.
I had to rein in my own thoughts and feelings in response as I saw that these undercurrents run very, very close in truth and honesty to hatred of children.
Children – not to be believed?
ARE CHILDREN THE ENEMIES OF ADULTS?
If I stretch to find a more innocuous perceptual position from which to view what the adults I talked to were saying, the most naive stand I can take is that adults in America’s trained-monkey consumerist materialist culture KNOW that their children belong to them as POSSESSIONS.
Children are not, to these (in my personal opinion) ignorant and misguided adults, really people at all! They are — in truth — as judged by the rage-filled attitudes of these adults, inherently CRIMINALS in need of PUNISHMENT.
Are adults afraid of the innocence of children? Are they afraid of the free-wheeling creative thought of children? Are they afraid of the PEOPLE that children actually ARE?
Do these adults wish to unconditionally reserve the right to BULLY children by wielding POWER over these children as threat, terrorism and trauma? What adult among us desires to be WHACKED with physical force — that is supposedly ONLY a SPANKING deserved — for — WHAT? Deserved for being ALIVE?
Great. We as a nation are giving birth to our own enemies?
We have a long, long ways to go. I try to be positive. I try to look at “how far we’ve come” in attitudes toward the needs and rights of children. I try to say “we are buds who will blossom sooner or later.”
Yet if people cannot converse rationally about an issue so important to children as the right and need not to be hurt, betrayed and physically HIT (assaulted) by big people without any power of their own to HIT the adults back in self defense — how is anyone who NEEDS to learn something new about who children are and what they need to grow peacefully into a peaceful, safe, secure and happy world — going to happen? HOW exactly are we ever as a nation, as a species, going to grow, change and improve?
If you don’t think passing a law nationally to criminalize ‘spanking’ in America is a HOT topic, try speaking with ten people in support of such a law. You will be shocked, sickened, ashamed, dismayed. But don’t defend your ideas. There will be a fight – it will not be a pretty situation — or a productive one. But it will be enlightening.
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