When we are young, falling down is second nature. We are taught to get up, brush ourselves off and try again. If someone pushed us down…we are taught to forgive, forget and that tomorrow is another day. As children, the whole world is a playground; some days we are suffocated with enemies, left clinging and isolated within our own walls of securities, whilst others are filled with familiar faces.
Our bodies may suffer hefty bruising; great falls from the heights of monkey bars, knocks to the head from a variegation of balls/rackets/Frisbees – paraphernalia of great perils which must be learned to be perceived within peripheral vision, and often blows at the hands/feet/legs or bodies’ of our mortal enemies of that day. As children, all other children, be it mortal enemies or just regular foes, are innocent. As children we are immune to the pitfalls and consequences of heinous sin, because as children, we cannot distinguish the nuances between right and wrong.
It is ironic really – I wish I had taken advantage further of my free ticket of emancipation from the law and morality when I was younger. I mean as a child, I remember with not such sweet nostalgia, being rolled down dirt hills in nothing more than an actual plastic barrel at about 100 miles per hour, hurtling full speed for the road ahead – basically todays equivalent of a fully-fledged adult being stuffed into a beer barrel and forced to commute via rolling along Queen Elizabeth Bridge – incredibly dangerous, albeit pretty amusing for observers.
As children there are no consequences, no censors to danger providing there is entertainment. Children are selfish, and the playground remains one of the greater places of evil I have ever encountered…it seems a precarious place for a little person to have to learn the ways of the world in, where temper tantrums and the wraths of other angry little people are endured to whatever extent under acceptance that these specimens of humankind are ‘children.’
So what is it that happens that forebodes ‘angry wraths’ and violence amongst the elders of our society? We are taught as we grow and mature that violence is categorically wrong and should not be expressed or reciprocated when we feel angry…especially violence against women or those weaker than ourselves. So what do we do instead? Lashing out, biting, hitting, pushing could actually be seen as a very natural reaction to take against someone who might aggravate, intimidate, humiliate, expose or hurt us emotionally, or physically themselves. It clearly is the reflex reaction when we are children.
I certainly recall a few sofas suffering the wrath of my toothless bite when they disrupted the path of my escapades. And when my little sister was born…on my birthday I might add, I was a typically very jealous child – bitter, resentful and…well…angry I must have been, I lost my temper on numerous occasions with her, managed to break her little finger once, bit her several times, I had a temper on me. Simultaneously though, I am told I was protective of my little sis, I looked out for her dutifully at school, I played harmoniously with her in the evenings, I let her borrow my toys and I guess she must have done something right because I do love her very much these days.
I know I was not the only child to experience such uncompromising outbursts within the playground or the home environment, I too suffered a few knock backs myself from anger ridden kids, violent attempts to knock me straight out my little boots on the climbing frame, I lost a few teeth of my own on the way. There were some of our ‘species’ I guess, who never took to this, it just didn’t seem to be a part of their temperament or nature – the timid, quieter ones, most notably the girls to be honest.
So what about the rest of us then? I honestly can’t say I recall if the ‘violently disposed’ ones of us were in the minority or not but I suppose we were excused from our sadistic behaviour upon explanation that we were children and therefore could do ‘no wrong,’ but it seems strange that society should condemn and punish something which is arguably quite natural, so highly.
Now, I don’t want to condone violence here…but it has to be questioned, – what is to become of those of us more prone to our…short tempers? Are we just to learn to get over it? Expected to pretend it’s not actually a deficiency of our character after the age of what…12? Are we to repress the pulsating desire to punch, bite our sofas and little sisters for the rest of our lives? Well yes, actually. And violence that has been inflicted unto us also, this is to leave no excuse for further acts of violence against others, despite whatever inner struggle of poor self-image, esteem, crippling psychological damage that may have been incurred – there is never an excuse for violence. And I agree…there is never an excuse for violence, but there is all too often a reason.
To discover what reason for violence Laura is talking about, check out Part 2 of her article published on 29 September 2012
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