Thursday, May 13, 2010

Gotta to be cruel to be kind

The statement is true .
This is tough stuff , (and no way we can deal with all cruelty issues here) - but I hope you agree -good stuff to talk through . If you are a "dragon parent", maybe you can sit back and relax - for a moment only ! If your parents /teachers sometimes seem cruel - take heart ; They may be inflicting a bit of pain,  to prevent a lot later .
 To care is mostly to be kind , but occassionally we have to  be cruel to show we care.  If we care,  we sometimes deliberately invoke pain..Consider the best role model - the adult with the offspring .
 Man is indeed the only animal who has a choice to be cruel, so we should never justify outright carelessness  or distracted reasoning here .  When a parent bird kicks a chick out of the nest, no psychological suffering is involved, as far as we can tell  .
Not so with us, it seems .Our emotions and minds are busy and we feel the pain, often deeply..
(Not saying we should ever be cruel to any creature - unless we "have to inflict pain" because we care.)
I am  talking here only about one proper place for "cruelty" - the kind of hard action that anticipates the future and is honest in stopping someone  from doing what they are clearly determined ( in some way) to keep doing; Kindness and care linked .  Inflicting pain in order to prevent more pain later .
When we were children too we never quiet undertsood this - but that's Ok . You almost have to become a parent to see it , and then when you do have your own children ,  its no longer a matter of talk or faith - its a truth !
Short term pain,  long term gain . Short term gain , long term pain . Is it not a parents job to intervene sometimes to teach em these things ?
None of us like dealing with this - there is usually pain all around .My mother used to say with regard to punishment ( is it even allowed now?) , this is going to hurt me more than its going to hurt you!

At least on the positive side , our emotions usually warn us that there are "real and present dangers" in the choices we make here. (Many people are scarred emotionally here by not knowing/ reasoning  how love works here. If this applies to you,  please seek help because dealing with it well,  is a key to wellness) .
It is no coincidence that the image of cruelty that we OFTEN have before us is the parent - the mother or father  bird,( animal or nature )  OR  our own  mother or father , when cruelty is used correctly in our homes.( fully  human ) .    The boundaries of care involve bouncing around real passions that need to directed well and managed well . The Animals don't have a choice,  but we do.  That choice can be,  like our aggressive instincts , very positive-  If we determine to make it so.
 So while we should fear the danger,  we should also deal with the danger .
Cruelty,  because its natural, will always be used by some single minded and self centered sorts to justify the right of the strong over the weak.  Most of us know, or at least feel,  that life  is not meant to be that simple. Love is bigger than any bottle we could find to put it in and study it  .  There are contradictions . Uncaring cruelty is more of a problem for those who perpetuate it than it really often is for those who receive it.
 As humans we can invent ways to be better than our instincts might suggest . We can do better by role playing and game playing ; by resisting both the idea,  the emotion and the natural reaction. There are  times when "having a go at someone" can be tested with much less risk of harm to the people involved. When we show we care as well.  Kick the ball around- a bit of push and shove is OK if the rules are clear -?  - I'm not saying its easy,  but one of the worst things you can do with emotional energy is to bottle it up, or ignore it when it comes to the fore . .

The faith of our forefathers,  and their understanding of how to manage passion imperatives,  has been watered down to a lot of silly simplicities that don't work.

One of these simple, but flawed moral imperatives is : " Being nice" and not showing aggression.

If you think modern psychology has answered all the questions of construct here , think again. How well have we "moved on "?
  Freud, that famous student of the emotional life of man , could not , like many moderns,  face the challenge that aggression needed a moral compass to guide it.  So what did he do - he ignored it ( for as long as he could!After WW2 )
What is your community / society doing to help young people resolve their views on this difficult subject ?
Those who seem to believe in "not limiting any natural passion " seem to  growing , but does such simple stuff have any sustainability?
Your turn to talk

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