As I was growing up, and learned the values of right and wrong, I often wondered what type of person I would be today, if I hadn’t been taught what was the difference between right and wrong. I know that for many parents today, the idea of restricting your child’s movements and reprimanding them for doing wrong make the modern day parent feel guilty of abusing and hurting their children. I know that first hand, that a child, no matter the age, cannot know the difference between right and wrong unless you tell them.

Its like the video games that keep a child quiet for hours, often coming out for fresh air and blackened eyes from lack of sleep on occasion. Heck, the toys these days have only one purpose, then when a child wearies of that singular purpose, whether it’s a doll that bleats the same phrase over and over again, or the oft frustrating ending of a chapter in a video game, they are all designed not to make your child happy, but to make the toymakers shareholders happy.

In my day, we had a toy that had a thousand and one uses and lasted for years. Yep, it was called a ball. Another toy that didn’t cost a pretty penny which took the form of anything you wished it to be was called plasticine, or later on, silly putty. Another toy which came from everyone is back yard, which could be transformed into a deadly (yet imaginary) weapon, was called a stick. These ageless toys kept us company for years and years, at least until we discovered the opposite sex.

Many a parent has struggled with their bank books to appease modern day children, (who sometime grow into the second decade of their lives), with the constant gimmee, gimmee, gimmee, which we tend to understand now, that the child is still mentally active. These children sometimes have their own children at an early stage of their physical development, and are totally unaware of the life they have in their care. Some children grow up to be bullies, never satisfied until they wreak their havoc with the elderly (whom they consider to be an elder thirty five years old). Some children never ever experience the joy of the reprimand or the spanking (God forbid, isn’t that child abuse?), because it is not a modern concept. Children should experience the pains of growing up, so that they don’t have to learn it when they are old enough to fend for themselves. It is like a butterfly emerging from the cocoon. If the butterfly, while existing its tightly restricting womb, does not force itself enough, the capillaries that carry the important bodily fluids cannot reach the extremities of its exoskeleton, therefore cannot grow into a beautiful living organism. It will die a pitiful death. It is the same for a child, you must allow it to experience the pains of life, in order to grow and understand them and to know the difference.

I may sound like a preacher, but in many ways, I am. I believe in the joys of life and the laughter that comes from those joys, but I also know that true joy can only be real if true pain is there to balance those feelings. It is the same for a parent, a family, a community and a growing nation. No pain, no gain.

I am saying these things because I witness many times the results of a community that ignores the need to have a structured life, which includes the values that we hold dear, such as love, caring, sharing etc… but those things are meaningless without knowing the other side of the coin. Sometimes it takes a bad kid to make you see the good ones, sometimes it takes a great mistake to make you appreciate the right side of life.