Corporal Punishment

Corporal punishment: (n) physical punishment of a child

Decisions are made for different reasons.

Sometimes we decide to pursue a path because it seems wise. Other times, we choose to follow a direction because it’s popular. And then funny wisdom on words that begin with a C
there are those occasions when we tout our belief because we are convinced it makes us look good and righteous.

But all decisions—whatever they may be—need to be practical, because you will have to employ them and make them work.

For every stance you make will eventually come to the forefront, and your sincerity and purpose will be challenged to see if you are dedicated or just a big bag of wind.

Never is there any subject that typifies this situation more than child-rearing and the subject of corporal punishment. We live in an era when it’s cool to insist that spanking, physical contact or any type of punishment that involves inflicting pain on a child is forbidden and barbaric.

There is absolutely nothing wrong with that assertion as long as you can live with it, and also as long as you’re aware that your magical little offspring will test your faith in the premise as often as he or she possibly can.

There are times that children just don’t listen.

There are occasions when you swear that they just came back from a week of camp in hell, and Satan was their counselor.

And there are needful impasses where you must overcome their foolish will with your reasonable nature.

Don’t theorize your willingness to abstain from corporal punishment.

Otherwise, you’ll find yourself making statements to your children about how “you will never…” And suddenly, in a moment of weakness, your “jungle” will arise and create a bungle.

Yes, you just might get on your last nerve and smack one of them.

To avoid this (as well you should) you need an intricate system of clever traps and diversions. If you don’t have these, and you allow your children to run your emotions ragged, the beast in you will come out and you’ll be embarrassed and feel worse than the time at church camp when you struck out in the softball game and all they needed you to do was get on base to win the game.

Hitting is wrong.

Self-righteousness is worse.

If you don’t have a plan on how to avoid corporal punishment, you will hit. It’s as simple as that.

So never say never unless you come up with an answer for, “Whatever…”


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Cinder

Cinder: (n) a small piece of partly burned coal or wood that has stopped giving off flames

I really did not want to complain, even though I was quite capable of doing so.

After all, I was just a kid. If you tell a kid he’s complaining, he’ll explain that you never listen to him, and he’s “sharing his feelings” as you snuff them.

Here’s my story:

One day at church camp one of the more energetic counselors decided we should take a hike through the woods. He had sought out a trail and measured it at 1.2
miles. His contention was that “anybody should be able to do that.”

I apparently had not joined the “anybody family”–not even related. I had chubby legs that moved slower, reluctant to leave space between my sole and the ground.

On top of that, we could not have been more than twenty yards into the trip when my right foot started to hurt. I apparently was grimacing in some pain, because the zealous counselor came back and told me I needed to step up the pace–otherwise there was a danger the other kids would start making fun of me, and even though he would hate for me to be bullied, he did not know what would happen once the lights went out in the cabins.

Not knowing what that meant but sufficiently alarmed, I soldiered on. Every step hurt.

When we finally arrived at camp after the 1.2 miles, I had broken out in a sweat, was ready to pee my pants and fell to the ground like a sack of rotten potatoes.

I reached down, took off my sneaker (which is what we called them back then) and a tiny pebble-like substance fell out of my shoe. Apparently the night before, when we were sitting around the campfire and I removed my shoes to warm my feet by the flames, I had acquired a cinder in my footwear.

I had walked 1.2 miles on that cinder, leaving a sore spot which upon further inspection, was bleeding.

I did not try to make anyone feel bad, but the counselor did that all on his own.

All I remember is that I was required to put my foot up on a pillow during Vespers and the counselor, who was dwelling in a wilderness of guilt, toasted all my marshmallows and brought them to me. (He got a little grumpy when I complained they were not cooked all the way through, but got over it.)

Even today I have to remind myself that people who have a crooked walk, or have difficulty being what I would consider “righteous,” may be overcoming cinders of burnt-out experiences that I can’t even imagine.

 

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Cachet

j-r-practix-with-border-2

Cachet: (n) the state of being respected or admired; prestige.

Reading today’s word with its definition, I diagnosed a problem I’ve been experiencing in my personal life over the past five months.

After many years, numerous victories, and an amazing assortment of achievements, I want to continue my work, but I really would love to do so without having to promote myself or reaffirm with others around me that I am capable.

I don’t know what the magic number should be, but somewhere along the line we should have built up a cachet of evidence which doesn’t constantly have to be drug into the court of public opinion in order for us to receive a positive verdict.

I especially desire that my children, friends and dear acquaintances would provide space for my ability, my mission and for the little ego I feel is necessary to tote so that I don’t implode with self-pity.

When I don’t get that portion, I am in danger of sharing my work from a root of bitterness instead of a blossom of sweetness.

It is our responsibility to remember the authority and value of each other–even if we happen to temporarily be put out or miffed.

Sometimes I can’t promote myself and still remain righteous. I need people who have benefitted from knowing me to remind me and others of the gold that God has entrusted to my soul.

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Bizarre

Bizarre: (adj) very strange or unusual

Dictionary B

The pursuit of normal has grown to abnormal proportions.

It is more than a mindset–it is a deep, ingrained fear that the slightest step from the prepared pathway will bring ridicule or destruction.

This has brought our society to an unnecessary impasse. We’ve divided into two unseemly camps–unseemly in the sense that neither gathering has acquired the high road.

There are those who believe that anything that cannot be lifted up in righteous glory from the King James Version needs to be extracted from our country, out of a fear of heavenly judgment.

Then there are those who are so uncertain where to place the lines that they’ve removed all the grid and assumed that everything is all right as long as it makes someone happy.

So we have no definition for right and wrong, just a judgment of what is wrong and a free pass on what is right.

What is bizarre?

I think anything that kills human beings is bizarre.

I would venture to say that stealing our life force and joy is also bizarre.

And certainly, it is bizarre when we set about to destroy ourselves or other people through gossip and vapid hatred.

If we could determine what is truly bizarre and agree upon the parameters, we could begin to progress and surprise ourselves at how happy we actually can be.

But until then, there will be two camps warmed by two very different fires.

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Ban

Ban: (v) to officially or legally prohibit.Dictionary B

You can’t take away from people what God gave them.

This is true even if you feel you are morally supported, spiritually justified, ethically infused or intellectually motivated.

We would have much happier lives if we would understand that our sphere of influence does not have authority outside the circle of our heart.

So you may ask, what has God given to people?

Free will.

I think the reason that many folks believe in destiny is because they can cast onto God their distaste for the world around them. In other words, if they don’t like people with blue hair or brown eyes, they can insist that God also has predestined, from the foundations of the world, severe punishment for these individuals.

But when you submit to free will, you understand that God considers it to be supreme above all commandments.

After all, even though God loves the world, He neither gets offended nor kills people off when they don’t love Him back.

So when we attempt to ban anything and forbid its continuation, we will generally fail because it removes free will from other human beings, which God insists they should have.

  • So how can we have a righteous world if we don’t preach righteousness?
  • How can we have morality if it’s not enforced?
  • And how can we keep our children safe from evil if it’s allowed to roam the Earth?

The answer is easy.

We can’t.

 

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Balance

Balance: (n) an even distribution of weight enabling someone or something to remain upright and steady.Dictionary B

It is the responsibility of every creature who has human skin to stop every once in a while, look back on the things they have said and believed…and giggle.

Sometimes it’s even necessary to openly repent in sackcloth and ashes, in front of our fellow skin-wearers.

I have said many stupid things in my life. Trying to explain why I shared these thoughts at the time would result in a series of cluttered excuses which would soon run into one another and topple the whole explanation.

So I shall not.

It is my purpose as a writer to be a truth-teller–not in the sense of pretending that I have the truth, but proving to you how I have pursued enough error that I can comfort you and warn you not to go in a particular direction.

For instance, one of the comical thoughts I once propagated was that life should be balanced. Matter of fact, I came up with a coy, little phrase: “Holy balance.”

It really did not take long for me to realize that an Earth that creates tornadoes has no intention of me ever standing on solid ground.

I now realize that life is in seasons and transitions, which we learn to enjoy. We also discover what to avoid.

I have lived long enough to view the many forms of hypocrisy which started out with the noble intention of being righteous. There are simply junctures when freedoms are acquired, upsetting those who felt they were in charge of doling out such consideration.

  • I am not in charge of your life.
  • I have no say in your freedom.
  • And I certainly cannot tell you that I have a balanced view on my fellow human beings.

For after all, there was just too much crap put in my toilet for me to have yet caught up … with all the flushing necessary.

 

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Babel

Babel: (n) Also called Tower of Babel, a tower presumptuously intended to reach from earth to heaven

Get busy doing the work, or you’ll find yourself busy chasing foolishness.Dictionary B

That’s some sound advice. It does beg some questions: What is the work? And of course, what is foolishness?

There is an Old Testament story about a tower which was presumably built in an attempt to rendezvous with the heavens and have communion with God. The premise itself is absolutely ludicrous, as most human ploys seem to be when viewed over the distance of time.

But in the moment, it seemed noble.

It seemed regal.

Worse, it seemed righteous.

Human beings are a horrible lot when they become discontented with being human and instead, try to either become animals…or God.

We’re not allowed to just be animals. Our brain is too big for that.

We’re not allowed to be God. Our brain is too small for that.

So what is the work? In the story, God confounds their plans by offering them different languages, so that they had to learn to communicate with each other.

There you have it.

My only work on earth is to learn to communicate with other people.

  • It’s the way I make money.
  • It’s the way I make friends.
  • Hell, it’s even the way I make love.

My only foolishness is to avoid humans, over-love animals or over-worship God.

Aside from believing in God and using the principles of love which He has imparted to me to interact with my fellow-travelers, that “Father Who Art in Heaven” who has the “Hallowed Name” only becomes my concern when one day I breathe my last breath … and He is my new reality.

 

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