Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Crime and punishment

Reading blogs this morning there seemed to be a bit of a theme... punishments of the physical kind. One had it, one wanted it and frankly the one who had it seemed much happier. All of this got one thinking... so one is going to bore you with some related ramblings. Are you feeling lucky? J

Modern teaching say spare the rod and spare the child... violence begets violence and all that. Frankly it seems to have produced a mixed bag depending on the administrator, judging by the little brats one encounters at work... but that is a rant for another time... one that involves questioning the wisdom of feeding your small offspring large bottles of caffeinated drinks and applying terms like ADHD to them... Anyway back to this and adults.

See one wonders about the cathartic effect of punishment and whether there is a link to childhood disciplinary measures. Do we as adults replicate what we know and understand? As a child discipline was a mixed and random bag. Auntie never used physical punishments... oh she threatened, but largely she relied on tone... a tone honed in crèches during post war England. That woman could probably have stopped an invasion with a single look.

Mother and for that matter the stepfather were unpredictable. They could rant you into a wall while you prayed to be hit just so it would end. That or they would just lash out... again often unwarranted and random. It left you with no clear boundaries or consequences, and subsequently one usually tried to keep as much distance between oneself and their presence. An arrangement that probably suited all of us.

Round here He rarely uses physical punishment. Oh He has done it once... and it was probably richly deserved 'cos one can be a complete pain... but one has no idea what one did. The memory of the punishment remains, as does a healthy respect for His capacity to do it. Largely though He relies on tone... probably not realising why it is so effective J That or He gets really creative and makes the punishment fit the crime... and that degree in creativity is not wasted.

Either way though one doesn't understand the need for cathartic physical punishment... there is no basis for it in one's life. For that matter one doesn't understand the idea of confession being good for the soul either... probably for the same reason. So while one understands it intellectually one can't begin to understand it as a need, nor can one understand how it makes you feel better L


Dina said...

How it may make one feel better is easily explained, if you take into a count that the person actually feels guilty in the first place. If they do, the feeling of relief after a punishment is the most natural and logical sensation. Because, you see, you are being "absolved" through the act of punishment and your guilt is lifted off you by it. You no longer have to wallow in self-reproach. You can move on. You are "clean" again. Now, if you never felt guilty over whatever it is that you are punished for--it's a completely different story.

As for the possible necessity of a physical punishment, well. Sometimes no amount of "tone" or "looks" is enough. And, frankly? Pain is the best teacher.

Master's piece said...

"Pain is the best teacher."

Yes one would agree with this. Why else would the body use it... and there we go replicating patterns :D

The rest... oh guilt, yes the other emotion. Always meant to grow some of that.... you know, just to fit in ;)