I am a product of the public school system. From kindergarten in Long Island, New York, to Elementary School in Ohio and Michigan, to the University of Michigan, I have always attended Public School. My teachers were fine to really great. My classmates got progressively more enthusiastic about education, learning and “progressive” ideals.
I am also the product of Christian parents, and I spent many of my formative years in a conservative little town. I believe Jesus Christ came to save the world, and that all scripture is God-breathed and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction and for training in righteousness.
A lot of the time, these identities vie for primacy because oftentimes they are not compatible. My education values knowledge for the sake of knowledge. My God says that knowledge puffs up, but love builds up. My education calls the Bible archaic and mythical. My God says that the Word is living and active, sharper than a double-edged sword.
My education says that my degree proves I am smart, and people should hire me and listen to me because I am well read and capable of learning. My God says that I am made in the image of Him, and so is everyone else around me, even those people who have not graduated high school. My education says that unspeakable things have been done to humanity in the name of religion. My God says we killed his son in the name of religion.
My education and my God agree on some things, I suppose.
At the moment, my education says that there are some things that are wrong and should be punished. The things that are wrong change, along with the punishment. The way our society punishes criminals has some relationship to the way parents punish our children. Public flogging, stocks, stoning, beheading and hanging are no longer part of the fabric of society. Corporal punishment has, as a rule, been axed. The rod is not the answer, we have decided.
(Please know that I do not think that public flogging, stocks, stoning, beheading and hanging should be a part of the fabric of our society. I also do not think that we are now necessarily a better society than the one that did have those graphic realities of punishment before their eyes. It’s not even true that we are no longer exposed to the graphic violence those punishments entailed. The graphic violence, however, has been separated from the crime (and, indeed, reality) and packaged as entertainment in movies, television and video games.)
I’ve been wrestling with the “right way” to punish children since Adam and I started discussing whether or not we were compatible to be married, around 2010. No. That’s not true. I have been considering the merits and consequences of punishment almost since I was first punished. I have always assumed that it would be several years before “the rubber hit the road” concerning punishing children, but it is a matter of such gravity that I have been considering it almost all my life.
I have two little people committed to my care who need to be taught what is right and wrong. The rubber meets the road. My neat theories hit the fan of everyday living.
And I am lost.
I know, in theory, what our plan is. We need to have rules and boundaries. We need to be consistent in enforcing them. We need to not punish our children based on the mood we are in: we cannot, must not be angry when we administer punishment.
Oh wait. Laws (rules and boundaries) change. Here it is legal to consume marijuana. But you cannot sell it without permission. There you cannot consume marijuana, unless… Neither is the system of justice consistent in enforcing the fluid rules and boundaries. People of color and people who use a public defender are incarcerated at rates far outpacing their counterparts. And the mood and prejudices of our law enforcement system does affect not only the incarceration rates, but the monitoring and thus arrest rates of each peoples.
We are lost.
This is not the beginning of a blog post. It is the beginning of a book. A book I will never finish because it is my thoughts, and my thoughts will not be finished… And my thoughts refuse to be organized: evident even in this “short” post. But I wanted to share with you my thoughts: that’s what a blog is.
But this is a food blog. Here is some food.
Meat, From Previous Meals (in the lead picture, it was Dorv’s Delight)
Reheat the cooked meat.
Meanwhile, combine greens and other vegetables.
Serve the heated meat over the mixed vegetables.