Once it happened that one afternoon there was no one at home except me and my older sister.
I was around 6 or 7 years old, and she was a teenager. I was playing with some worms in our garden, and she was studying in her room.
I remember I had created or discovered something super fascinating. With excitement I ran to show it to my sister. I thought she would be amazed and encourage me. I opened the door to her room and she screammmmmmmed at me. She screamed so loudly and with so much hate. It shook me. She must have called me some bad name and told me to go away.
So, I went away. As far as I could. I went and stood by the gate of our house. This was the farthest I could be from her without leaving the house. I waited by the gate to see if she would come and get me. She didn’t. Then I started walking in the scorching heat. I think it was one of those days where we hit 50 centigrade. I remember feeling my scalp burn. She didn’t look. I took off my shoes and started walking barefoot on the melting road from our gate to garage. It must have been at least 225 meters long. My feet burned. I remember ouching and suppressing my ouches patiently while waiting for her to notice me. She didn’t.
There must have been many instances before this day, that taught me, what it meant to do something wrong. It meant that I must be punished.
When is it that punishment comes not from the other but from within us? When is it that we begin to punish ourselves?
Can you point out when this shift occurs? Can you identify who is able to improve themselves via punishment and who falls victim to it? Or are you the one to justify the use of punishment?
I don’t have to point this out. It is obvious. Punishment is all fear. Born in fear, shown in fear and executed in fear. As children, many of us learn fear from our parents as a behavioral technique also known as controlling our behavior. And then we wonder, why there are so many of us using fear tactics to move ahead in life.