Corporal punishment will be relegated to the past

Corporal punishment, Harry Potter, R. K. Rowling

One day, long after I’ve departed, those who inhabit this world will look back and shake their heads in utter disbelief and dismay at the pervasive ignorance that existed during this period of time. Hands will shoot up in classrooms from bewildered little owners seeking clarification.

Not only will corporal punishment to children have been abolished in all settings, but many people – children especially – will find it incredibly hard to believe it ever existed or if it were just a myth manufactured in a mind like that of Harry Potter author J. K. Rowling.

Flesh and blood impregnated sticks, leather straps, and paddles will be valuable historic artefacts kept in museums; glass cased, insunlight, heat, and humidity-controlled environmentsand under lock and key. Touching them will be strictly prohibited in fear that human perspiration might damage the priceless heirlooms from ancient cruel times, the Age of Ignorance.

Decorative gilt-edged cards resting alongside each display will narrate the item to the Age of Ignorance, where we are at present. Children will press their cold noses against the glass and stare in shock, bewilderment, and disbelief that corporal punishment abuse could ever have happened. How could anyone be so cruel, so unkind, so lacking compassion or even think of such an horrific practice.

That’s in the distant future, but we are now living in the present where the world can’t even distinguish between discipline, cruelty, and abuse. Religion tells us there is only one God. Similarly, there is only one discipline.Nobel Laureate Rabindranath Tagore succinctly describes that as, “discipline means to teach, not to punish” and that mirrors what the good books tell us.

The good books also tell us ‘spare the rod and spoil the child,’ but satanic influence kicks-in and programs us differently. An error in translation of the word ‘rod’ has caused untold pain and suffering throughout the centuries of hapless innocent children. Rod doesn’t mean stick, as we know it today. It means guidance/advice/teach as Tagore tells us.

Many people are fond of quoting Holy Scriptures to justify their corporal punishment brutality, particularly the verse in Proverbs 13:24 that reads, ‘He who spares the rod hates his son, but he who loves him is careful to discipline him’. So they beat their children until they are black and blue… out of love, of course!

In Hebrew, however, the word “rod” is the same word used in Psalms 23:4, ‘thy rod and thy staff, they comfort me.’ The shepherd’s rod/staff was/is used to encourage, guide, and discipline the sheep towards taking a desired direction, not to beat, hurt or damage them. The correct interpretation of the proverb, therefore, should read ‘spare good guidance and spoil the child’.

Slowly, but surely, corporal punishment will be relegated to the past.

Sweden the country that gave us the iconic ABBA, Volvo, and Ikea, was the first to awaken to the horrific damage corporal punishment was having upon its children and society.

In 1979, it became the first nation to explicitly prohibit all forms of corporal punishment of children by all caretakers in an effort to: (1) alter public attitudes toward this practice; (2) increase early identification of children at risk for abuse; and (3) promote earlier and more supportive intervention to families.

‘That’s a good idea’, thought Finland in 1983 and followed suit. Four later Norway saw the folly of its ways and corporal punishment began a domino effect of sorts.

One would have thought that children are the same worldwide, apart from different languages, accents, and skin pigmentation and that ALL governments on the planet would have acted as Sweden did. After all corporal punishment is unequivocally unadulterated child abuse. How could any government or society encourage or condone it?

The Roll of Honor maintained by an organization named End Corporal Punishment lists the following countries as those who endear, respect, and protect its children from the evils of corporal punishment.

2022 – Zambia, Mauritius; 2021 – Republic of Korea, Colombia; 2020– Japan, Seychelles, Guinea; 2019– Georgia, South Africa, France, Republic of Kosovo; 2018 – Nepal; 2017 – Lithuania; 2016– Mongolia, Montenegro, Paraguay, Slovenia; 2015 – Benin, Ireland, Peru; 2014, Andorra, Estonia, Nicaragua, San Marino, Argentina, Bolivia, Brazil, Malta; 2013 – Cabo Verde, Honduras, North Macedonia; 2011 – South Sudan; 2010 – Albania, Congo (Republic of), Kenya, Tunisia, Poland; 2008 – Liechtenstein, Luxembourg, Republic of Moldova, Costa Rica; 2007 – Togo, Spain, Venezuela, Uruguay, Portugal, New Zealand, Netherland; 2006– Greece; 2005– Hungary; 2004 – Romania, Ukraine; 2003 – Iceland; 2002 – Turkmenistan; 2000 – Germany, Israel, Bulgaria; 1999 – Croatia; 1998 – Latvia; 1997 – Denmark; 1994 – Cyprus; 1989 – Austria 1987 – Norway; 1983 – Finland; 1979 – Sweden.

There are 195 countries in the world. The 65 named above have already banned corporal punishment in all its ugliness and 27 more have committed to reforming their laws to achieve a complete legal ban.

These are: Armenia, Bahrain, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Cambodia, Chile, China, Cuba, Dominican Republic, Ecuador, Ghana, Indonesia, Jamaica, Kyrgyzstan, Mexico, Mozambique, Myanmar, Namibia, Niger, Panama, Philippines, Serbia, Sierra Leone, Somalia, Sri Lanka, Timor-Leste, United Arab Emirates and Uzbekistan.

Bangladesh is among the 102 countries not on the list.

It’s an irrefutable fact good health reigns supreme in all our lives. So the mental and physical health of the children is imperative. Corporal punishment imparts mental health issues, poor self-esteem, and questionable morals. Some broken children grow up to become broken adults and that would detract rather than contribute to any golden society. Corporal punishment must end.


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