Crime and Punishment


I just saw on TV news that a nine year old boy has self-immolated because he was upset by a teacher who threatened to punish him.
What punishment by any teacher or parent could have been worse than the punishment that this poor child inflicted on himself?
What was his crime that he anticipated punishment with such an extreme act of self-inflicted violence?
This news makes me wonder why communication across the generation gap breaks down in such extreme ways.
I am also afraid, because I, too, am a teacher. I, too, am a parent.
I think of the terrible tragedy of a young life cut short. What must the parents, the teacher in question and the child’s family be going through?
The worst punishment inflicted is that born of intolerance. It is the punishment of inflicting lifelong guilt on another human being.
How will the parents live with this?
How will the teacher deal with this?
I think our society needs to come out of this self-inflicted cycle of crime, punishment, fear, blame, guilt and violence. Our socio-psychological negatives are beginning to be reflected by our children.
We all make mistakes, sometimes with serious consequences.
We need patience, tolerance, forgiveness and encouragement to do better. That is the support that the individual needs from family and society. Not a stick, spared by none: teacher, child, parent or the media.
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