Remember watching Disney movies as a kid? Ever wonder why, in real life, good and evil are not so clearly defined? Where are the Jafars, the Ursulas, or the Scars?
You could point to people like Osama Bin Laden, Bashar-Al Assad, or Muammar Gaddafi as candidates, but Assad and Gaddafi are terrors of far-off lands, who can’t bear the blame for the ills that befall us at home, and Osama’s death hardly brought us our “happily ever after.”
Unfortunately, in real life, it is subtle evils, perpetrated by often well-intentioned people, that result in the most suffering.
According to a Time.com article, a study published in the Canadian Medical Association Journal examined 20 years of published research and found that children who are physically punished get more aggressive over time, and that they are prone to lifelong depression, low self-esteem, lowered IQ, and anxiety.
Why did we need 20 years of study to figure this out? Which part of beating children that love you and don’t know any better, of doing something most people aren’t comfortable doing to dogs, sounds like a dignified choice?
In the article, Joan Durrant, head author of the study, explains that her 3-year-old son threw his dad’s toothbrush in the toilet:
“Another parent might have yelled, but Durrant’s academic background helped her realize that he was just experimenting… ‘I explained what goes into toilets and then said, Do you think Daddy is going to want to put that toothbrush in his mouth now?’ Message transmitted with no yelling.”
In other words, and brace yourself, because you might miss this one: Durrant explained what the child did wrong. With words.
Did her son go mad? Did he run naked in the streets, amok with undisciplined power as his pushover mother quaked in fear at the terror her carelessness had wrought?
Actually, her son never dropped anything sensitive into the toilet again.