The karma of violence to children

April 19, 2015

There is a chinese saying, ‘govern a family in the way you fry a small fish.’ I guess what this sage is trying to say is – be gentle, careful and always have the end in mind when dealing with fragile hearts and minds.

This is truest when it comes to children. Even if the world is seldom fair and never ever filled with enough good intentioned people – one should always be just, reasonable and patient with kids to keep their impression of the world intact. As this is how a child cultivates values – by being the beneficiary of justice, reasonableness and tolerance. He Lear s hoe to be just, reasonable and tolerant.

This way, cynicism, mistrust and askance will never have an opportunity to take root in their tiny hearts and delicate minds.

As once a child cultivates a cynical bent, it’s almost impossible to prevent him from seeing the world as a crooked, rigged and bent place – filled to the brim with evil and malevolent souls who are hell bent on taking a bite out of him at every turn and opportunity. He will seek these things out even if they do not exist! This is the ultimate tragedy.

Once a child is a victim of injustice, violence and high handedness – this can only open the door to fear. Fear is the evil tree that bears the bitter fruit of anger and resentment. This in turn snuffs out all goodness and reasonableness in the child. As all this child can ever see in this world is a hurtful and fearful place.

This can all only lead to lifelong suffering himself and others.


‘When I deploy the word – karma. I don’t refer to it in the metaphysical or religious context. Rather to me, it’s just the law of cause and effect. It’s like that populist American parlance – what goes around, comes around.

Most of us will struggle with the robustness of this idea only because we all like to assume – we have perfect pitch and control over our acts, deeds and thoughts and be do this by invoking ‘free will’ that governs every individual.

While that may be true at one level of intelligence. But experience informs me, there could well be a karmic alternative explanation – why some men turn out the way they do.

For example, I have noticed, men who have a violent streak all have one thing in common – they have all without a single exception been victims of violence in their childhood.

The same holds true of men who only know how to take, take and take without ever once bothering with the idea of giving back. Yes I don’t disagree it may well be seen merely as a deficit in values or a failure on the part of the serial taker to educate himself on how to manage himself and others sustainably.

But I also happen to believe very strongly based on my observations in business – such a selfish trait is often seeded somewhere in their averagely miserable childhood when someone abused their trust, disappointed them time and again and took so much from them till it left them feeling empty like a husk. They too are victims.

Even many successful men who are seemingly well adjusted, respectable and functional are afflicted with victimhood, when they say of the less fortunate with an air of savoir faire – no one owes them a living! Ask yourself where did this man develop his bent?

The answer lies somewhere in the childhood of this man. He probably had to struggle so very hard for his sliver of heaven. They tried to saw off his legs when all he wanted to do was to gainfully turn the wheel of life. They never gave him the benefit of the level playing and instead rigged the roulette wheel of life. That is why despite his apparent wealth and sheen of sobriety. He’s just damaged goods. A psychopath who is completely incapable of empathising with the plight of his fellow men. The only difference between this victim and the others – is that he’s adept at hiding his scars.

Do you see the karmic law in action and how it can ravage the human mind and spirit.

No one gave him a break. So this man cuts no one any slack either.

That’s why for me. If one is truly serious and committed about building a caring society – where everyone is a genuine stakeholder in La Dolce Vita and not just a select few who managed to cut the grade. Then it doesn’t start with any paper mâché kindness campaigns or you jump and I jump charity gala that just seems to embody the form without the content.

It all begins and ends with how we regard kids, especially when they take a wrong turn in life. Because that is when they are likely to test us most!

I don’t believe it pays to take a zero tolerance attitude towards kids. Not even if they deserve it. Not without the risk of incurring the terrible karmic cost. Not even if it’s sanctioned by black letter law – as I can argue the long term mental and spiritual well being of a minor should and must always take precedence over affairs of statecraft. No matter how urgent and pressing the latter may be.

Neither do I support the wanton use of fear by so many irresponsible netizens against minors as an expedient instrument to solicit social compliance without ever once considering how this would affect other young minds who watching all.

Everyone knows without too much difficulty – an effective way to stop a curious cat from jumping on a stove is to switch it on. But what’s seldom ever discussed is what would be the cumulative cost to the intellectual capital of a tribe when this sort of psychological warfare is deployed wantonly under the slightest provocation on young and impressionable minds – while certainly true and good, cats no longer jump on a hot stove, but how good is it, if they also develop a morbid and irrational fear of jumping on cold stoves as well?

That is a question that I will leave to you the perceptive to answer.

To put it another way, fear is a poison to the risk taking culture. What happens to a tribe when all the risk takers are neutered into scaddy cats? I wonder is this the way one goes about to intelligently carve competitive advantage?

Or maybe it’s best and even safer for all to remain cool and reasonable when dealing with kids, even should they prove unbelievably unreasonable…only don’t be surprised if a reasonable man emerges somewhere out of the mess of that troubled teen.’

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