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sinkingfeeling Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Jul-07-05 03:14 PM
Original message
I want to tell you a story and have you help me sort my thoughts.
I've been thinking about an incident that occurred over 50 years ago. I started school at age 5, in the first grade (there was no kindergarten)at a small country school in Ohio. I think there were 14 or 15 of us in first grade. There was one boy, named Jimmy, who was larger than the rest of us and had very poor language skills. Now that I look back, he probably had Downs Syndrome.

One day, we were at recess and for some reason Jimmy pushed me to the ground. I had a little red cotton jacket that zipped up and had taken it off to play. Well, I picked up my jacket and hit Jimmy across the face with it. The zipper scratched his cheek and drew blood. He let out a horrible scream and began to cry. Some of the other kids went to him and escorted him back into the classroom. (We didn't have anything like monitors on the playground.)

I KNEW what I had done was wrong on several fronts. I KNEW that there was something different about Jimmy and that I had some how taken advantage of him. I sat on the swing set and started to cry, partially because I knew I was in trouble. The bell rang and I didn't go back inside. After a while the teacher came out looking for me. She took me back inside and I had to apologize to Jimmy in front of the class.

Now I want to know: why did I know it was wrong to hit Jimmy back in retaliation for him pushing me to the ground? Why was I conscious that it wasn't a 'fair' fight?

Why do I now look at the world and see nations and 'leaders' acting like 5 year olds? Why do so many people support retaliation after retaliation? Look at Israel and Palestine. Aren't we, the US, falling into the same pattern? Suicide bomber, military pounding of suspected groups or cities, more insurgency, more raids on homes, and on and on. I fear that the US and UK will take a retaliatory action against someone, some place, for the bombings in London.
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Quakerfriend Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Jul-07-05 03:18 PM
Response to Original message
1. I don't think they do it for retaliation, but to
further their war profiteering and sense of power.
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Geoff R. Casavant Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Jul-07-05 03:32 PM
Response to Reply #1
2. I partially disagree
In practically any endeavor or conflict, there are the "true believers," and there are those who are in it for ulterior motives. I expect that even among Democrats, there are those who will say and do anything just for a little more power.

The true believers are not in it for power, or money, but because they believe they and their cause are right. Sometimes this belief is in accord with reality, and sometimes a lot of it has to do with the human mind's awesome capacity to deceive itself.

Sinkingfeeling, I expect you had this basic knowledge of right and wrong, even at so young an age, because you had parents or other family members who, consciously or unconsciously, demonstrated and instilled actual compassion in you. For this, you should be eternally grateful. I expect there are many in this world, leaders and otherwise, who could have benefitted from such lessons when they were young.
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Catherine Vincent Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Jul-07-05 03:35 PM
Response to Original message
3. Yes, our leaders are acting like 5 year olds but the consequences
are deadly toward innocent civilians.
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silverlib Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Jul-07-05 03:39 PM
Response to Original message
4. You didn't know any better....
I think children are born with a sense of right and wrong, but of course there are just as many people that believe we are born "sinners." I don't know that you were "taught" this, but I think you had never been taught differently. It seems to me that those among us who don't show a sense of knowing right from wrong had their basic goodness "unlearned."

I also agree with a previous poster that stated this is not a war over what is right and what is wrong. It is a war of power and greed.

Peace - and I really enjoyed your reflection.
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undergroundpanther Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Jul-07-05 03:41 PM
Response to Original message
5. Well
Look at it this way

In kindergarten

There was a kid who harassed me for weeks and I endured it..I told the teacher about it nothing was done.This boy liked pushing the stall doors open in the girls bathroom when they went to the bathroom. Many girls peed themselves because of him getting up to slam the door shut..The teacher ignored this.

One day I was building a pyramid of purple blocks.And the teacher was taking down the bulletin board decorations.
The snotty kid who opened bathroom doors harassed me again, he knocked my pyramid down and hit me. So I punched him back.

The teacher reacted very strange

She grabbed me and whipped my ass in front of the whole class.
She didn't whip him.

Sent me to the corner.I was there for a long time..

Than she got me out off the corner
She had made a crown out of the purple cardboard border she took off the bulletin board and she crowned me in front of the class.


I don't know what the fuck was going on there.
Little did I know
I would be harassed bullied and scapegoated every year for the rest of my school days.

Now because a kid is disabled it does not mean he can get away with pushing people who are not hurting him. That kid HAD to be shown that you do not hurt others somehow. If his parents were unable or unwilling to teach him how to conduct himself than YOU had to. This was a parental.teacher failure to teach the disabled kid boundaries. That boundary violation going on unchallenged game people play is why to a bully a victim just ignoring or enduring their abuse looks like permission to continue to abuse and this is what gives the bully the idea they can abuse others because they know around certain kinds of enablers.sympathizers etc.they can get away with it.A bully cannot be a bully unless he has a "culture" of complicity..

To me you did the right thing. If the kid had downs syndrome too severe to control himself on some level,he would have not been in your class.
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earth mom Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Jul-07-05 03:41 PM
Response to Original message
6. Much of what's going on reminds me of children fighting over
possessions or asserting their will over others-with very deadly results. :puke:
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MichiganVote Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Jul-07-05 09:18 PM
Response to Original message
7. Well, our 5 year old's have nuclear bombs ..or want to have them
and that makes for a very different playground. But you're right in your assumption, even when the children want a teacher, a good one is not always to be found. And when that is the case, all people become uncivilized.
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