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More to the Picture than Meets the Eye

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The recipe for a good story – 4 ingredients: Background, Conflict, Climax, Resolution.

Background…et al…
No one is more fierce than someone who has nothing to live for…
Help me sort me holy cards…
Are you one of those people who measures other people by their ability to handle conflict?

The acoustics of this that’s coming are all swirls and ricochet…
Swirls…
And ricochet…

Florida has a lot of sun – and therefore, it also has outdoor recreation. Like, tennis.
Florida also has a “stand-your-ground” statute. It is controversial because it protects some forms of violence – but, essentially we’re talking about the violence needed to protect one’s self or others from harm, in self-defense.

A tennis instructor, 30-years-old, is attempting to use this statute for immunity protection against claims of child abuse, for hitting a five-year-old, bruising the boy’s arm and leaving a bump over his eye.

At a tennis lesson, the child came out swinging – a tennis racket. At the other children.
Imagine you’re a parent. Your child comes home with a gash in the head.
Or – your child comes home with a bump and a bruise.
Either way there is…alarm.

The defendant claims the blow to the child was inadvertent. The child had lifted the racket to strike other children.
Research has shown that nearly 70% of the defendants who invoked the stand-your-ground defense went free.

Going free…
That rush – like sweetness and bubbles…

But wait – there’s more of this…
Darkness always gathers around the light.

Q: What is the opposite of fear?
A: Joy.
Effectively, joy then is an act of defiance.
Hmmm, well – certainly joy is one of the hardest emotions to contrive. And it’s certainly more than an idea…
Let us not forget, that all great ideas, at times, need to be re-invigorated. Given time, they have a tendency to atri-phy.
Also, you preach what you want to hear.
Ain’t that right.
Let’s see what happens when there’s a bit of – resistance.

It has been suggested that physical blows delivered with unmistakable messages of love, these blows drive out evil – meaning, a fair interpretation of this is that if you elect to spank your kids, and if, in point of fact, you demonstrate that you are spanking them in love, then they will learn right from wrong –

Let me hear it for, “This hurts me more than it will hurt you.” {Love ya, Pa}

But, if you elect not to spank your kids, then beware that –

It has also been suggested that without the actual, physical blows against the child’s sturdy and padded backside, then the lessons of right and wrong become muddled, and the child’s understanding of those lessons becomes convoluted, where the long-term effects then could also include the adoption of values that come from some other place – not you, not the home, probably not the school, and maybe even some other culture.

What else is involved? Well, at some point – marginalization.

Has the hunter now become the prey?
Would you rather that that tennis instructor just stand by – and let that five-year-old racket-wielding kid crack your child right in the chops?

Yet – Love is bigger than anything in its way…

Ask someone who has been marginalized – without love and hope, there’s nothing but – Pain.
So…
Spare the rod, and spoil the child.
Whoa!
Wait, wait, wait!!! School was NOT made for boys!
And, the rod can also mean non-violent discipline – right? Like, Time out?
No, no. Nope. – This is not true. Physical blows drive out evil. Preacher says that’s part of the reason why our backsides have the padding.
Sorry, folks.

Hitting children, though, is a generally frowned-upon activity.
Rightio!
Voltaire said those who make you believe absurdities can also make you commit atrocities.
Ouch!!!
That is what the little boy said, after being hit by his tennis instructor, on accident.
Einstein said – If you can’t explain it simply, then you don’t understand it well enough.
One family’s total commitment to non-violence = 4 spectacular kids all grown up now.

Sunday, Bloody Sunday – that song…is not a rebel song. It actually about peace.
Peace.

Did you know that, at the first Bloody Sunday (not the one the song is a reference to), but the first one, in 1920 – soldiers shot the guy they were aiming for while he was out on the field, playing the game…
Don’t think it was random.

Not really a solution for…
Corruption in sports.
Forgiveness.
Grace makes beauty out of ugly things.
Count the cost.
Doping and cheaters.
Pay the price.
Doping and cheaters.
We need effective solutions.

Like, corruption resistant values…
Ahhh. Yes.
Corruption proofing? Hey! Yes, if you would – pass that down – I’ll have somma that.

But without love and hope…
Sometimes hope as a solution is not enough.
I hope that child will obey.
I hope that torn ACL will heal quickly.
I hope that suicide bomber will not sit next to me on the bus.

Humans are basically good people, though, yeah? Especially Americans – right?
No, no, also wrong, folks.

Humans are flawed. Humans are broken. Humans are weak. Humans are afraid. And…

I laugh. I love. I hope. I try.
I hurt. I need. I fear. I cry.
And I know you do the same things, too.
So we’re really not that different, me and you.

Sometimes, to hope is not enough – we must also DO and BE better…

Working theory – teach children right, they will grow up to live right, according to how they’ve been taught…

Translation, teach children to be non-violent, and they will grow up to select means other than war and violence as means to achieving goals and solutions…

And perhaps also – spare the rod, and spoil the child.
Now there’s a paradox for ya.

Sometimes, the end is not coming. The end is here.
Ahhh. Yes. Feels like being marginalized.
Isn’t there something better?
Resolution?
Never stops.
All I need to know is – there is no end to love.
Love: I will win and call it losing, if the prize is not for you.

Sources:

Spatz, R. (2017, December 7). Miami man claims stand-your-ground against child abuse charges. Spatz Law Firm, PL, Available: http://www.spatzlawfirm.com/blog/2017/12/miami-man-claims-stand-you-ground-against-child-abuse-charges.shtml

Hewson, P., Evans, D. Mullen, L. and Clayton, A. (2014). U2: Songs of innocence. Santa Monica, CA: Interscope – Island.

Hewson, P., Evans, D. Mullen, L. and Clayton, A. (2017). U2: Songs of experience. Santa Monica, CA: Interscope – Island.

Scott, J. and Taylor-Good, K. (1995). Not that different. Collin Raye: Think about you. Los Angeles: Epic Records.

U2 interview (2017). 60 Minutes Australia, November 26, 2017. Youtube. Available: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=H0yYvtOgUq4

By Dr. Rodney J. Blackman

Dr. Rodney J. Blackman is the Chair of Recreation Management at the United States Sports Academy, and can be reached at rblackman@ussa.edu.

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