Daily Archives: January 20th, 2014
I ask if you will agree with this humble hypothesis:
Actions without consequence tend to repeat.
–Tom B. Taker
Do you agree or disagree with this statement?
If you stick a fork in an electrical socket and it shocks you, are you likely to do it again? If you touch a hot stove and get burned are you in a hurry to touch it some more?
Tell a dog to stay off the sofa and shoo him away a single time. The rest of the time allow him to lounge all over the bloody thing to his heart’s content. What lesson do you think the dog has learned?
Do you know about the most powerful force in the universe? It’s a child when improperly parented. That particular organism has the potential, in the right circumstances, to learn faster than any form of life we’ve ever encountered. Tell a child, “No, you cannot have the cookie.” Now comes the tricky part: Let the child eat all the cookies it wants. Maybe you’re busy playing Farmville. Maybe you’re composing your next tweet. Maybe, just maybe, you’re sick enough in the head to be doing it on purpose. Whatever. You can bet your life that the message has been received loud and clear. It’s the most instantaneous form of training we’ve ever discovered.
Try to teach them something important and it’s like pounding your head against a wall. But being assholes? That they absorb like sponges.
As I often try to do in my writings, I’m cleverly building to a point. It seems pretty obvious that a lack of consequences does not generally lead to good things. That child? She’s a future Chloe who has a shit fit on national television because her parents bought her a new car for her 16th birthday but it wasn’t an Escalade. She hates them, she does. Poor baby.
Have you accepted the hypothesis yet?
I was thinking about all of this when I violently had one of those aha moments. What if the precocious child in this story was the internet? And what if the role of mommy and daddy was played by the police? What might that look like?
Per usual I’ll begin with a charming anecdote and then slowly build up to the hate. Join me, won’t you? It’ll be fun!
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