We call it child abuse
When an adult strikes a child.
“Spare the rod and spoil them,” says the abuser
As he/she justifies violence with a quote and a smile.
But the rod in the quote was used as a guide
Never did the shephard use it to whack or beat the sheep
Spare the guidance and you’ll spoil the child was the true message
Beating powerless children into submission is for cowards and creeps
And contradictingly we teach them to turn the other cheek
While our own actions teach that the powerful can use violence
And instead of educating them to work out their differences
We habitually use force to make the weak to comply in silence
And what happens when they get too big to be beat?
What have we taught them about handling disagreements in life?
How do you think they will relate to their children?
And their friends or enemies or husband or wife?
Violence continues because society secretly sanctions it
Saying, “We were all spanked and we turned out just fine.”
“Anyway, spanking is essential to their development,” they say.
“How else can you get kids to behave and mind?”
When your child abuses another child, it’s minimized
Because you simply refuse to see your own child as a bully.
He’ll grow out of it and you brush it off with, “Boys will be boys!”
Naïve or do you really not understand the implications fully?
“No child should be labeled as violent,” some say.
Many were abused and that’s why they are so tough.
And others simply say that they are not trying to raise a sissy.
“There’s nothing wrong with him; he just plays a little rough.”
“He’s a good kid, he is just misunderstood.
It’s natural for boys to fight.
It’s part of the masculine development.
Just ignore it, and he’ll be all right.”
If the violence is directed against a stranger or neighbor
It’s called assault or perhaps battery.
If it’s done on a highway in our cars, we shrug it off as road rage.
Accepting violence as normal is just insanity.
If it’s directed toward another religion or race
It gets another label; now it’s called a hate crime.
Every fifteen seconds a woman is abused
And we’re becoming more apathetic and violent with time.
If it’s on the playstation, or field, or in the ring
We call it entertainment, a sport, or a game.
Society even pays money to see more of this violence.
And the strongest of these “entertainers” rises to fame.
If it’s directed against a leader who’s powerful and not an ally
And there’s a plan to kill him, it’s not murder but an assassination.
And we call violence against another country patriotism or war.
And somehow this is okay, is this a humane response or ignorant indoctrination?
Violence is just violence.
Power over another is its primary goal.
The perpetrator gets his/her adrenaline rush
By hurting others and keeping them under their control.
Violence is violence.
It’s all the same don’t you see.
And if society doesn’t begin to take it seriously
The next victim could be you or me.
©2008-9, Barbara S. Talley, www.ThePoetSpeaks.com