I graduated high school over 25 years ago and man does that hurt to say. When I was growing up in my parents household the rule was that if I ever got a whipping at school, I would get one at home (this was back in the day when parents were actually in charge and were more concerned about parenting rather than being liked all the time by their child). This policy was in place as I grew up because it was the policy in the household my father grew up in.
My dad used to tell the story of how, when he was a child, he once got in trouble pretty severely at school. In fact it was so bad that my father, indeed, received a spanking at school. He was very upset because according to him, he was innocent. Yes, he had been blamed for something he didn’t do. He not only was upset, he was livid. The very idea of him being punished when he had done nothing wrong was over the top upsetting and his dignity had been impugned. Just wait until he got home and told his father, dad thought, and then that idiot teacher was going to know just what happened to someone who crossed the line with him. When he got home that night he explained to granddad exactly what had happened and how he had been shamed beyond belief. He said granddad looked at him and said, “well, it sounds like you really didn’t do anything wrong, so I guess I won’t spank you this time even though you did receive a spanking at school.” Dad was beside himself. Not get spanked at home? He had not even considered that he was going to be spanked at home. He was innocent! He pleaded his case to granddad explaining how granddad had to go down to the one room school house and let this teacher have it. He said granddad looked at him over the paper he was reading and said, “yeah, it’s probably not been a good day for you today, but I suspect you’ve done plenty of things you should have gotten a spanking for in the past and just weren’t caught. Today you were punished for something you didn’t do. Sounds to me like it all comes out in the wash”, and he went back to reading his newspaper. Conversation over. Granddad was right, there had been plenty of things dad had done and gotten away with them. No argument there. Dad dropped the subject and went out to do his chores.
Every time I think about that story I think of two words, “common sense”, or in the words of my grand dad, “having a little horse sense”. I suspect that you might agree with me when I tell you that it seems to me that there is less and less common sense exhibited in the world today. I wonder, do you think it coincides with the seemingly never ending growth of the victimization people seem to live in? You see, in my story dad was sure he had been victimized. He was wrongly blamed AND punished for something he didn’t do and because of that he couldn’t possibly see things from any other perspective….until his father gave him some common sense food for thought.
I wonder, how many times do we think we’re the victim….when perhaps there’s another way to look at things?