Saturday, May 14, 2016

2316 : Of crime and punishment

I read with interest and alternating horror the story about the 3 Milwaukee teenagers. Read it here.

Why horror you say?

We are definitely turning out to be a strange least in my eyes. We have little or no tolerance for reform in our personal lives. So let me explain....3 random teenagers post their sex I agree that is deplorable in a context...but.... that enough of a crime for them to be admonished in mainstream media? that enough of a crime for them to rusticated from their schools? that enough of a crime to get the police involved? that enough of a crime for us to implicitly judge their parents and teachers as failures? Or even to judge the kids themselves as failures?

Reminds of me a true story in my life. When I was in the last year of my graduate engineering school. Our college topper and arguably one of our brightest minds back then was forced to leave the school - in a publicly disgraceful motion - where his parents were called to the school and he was almost maligned......his crime? He was petting his then girlfriend within the school premises.

Was that a crime? Yes in school terms? Did it show discipline issues in him or her? Absolutely.

Did he deserve what he got? You bloody tell me. I can tell you how I feel....I think we are the most inane and fked up social structure in the world. How can a 20 year old boy petting his 20 year old girlfriend be a crime in any real sense? Its the natural wirings of our dna. Agreed its inappropriate within school, but how inappropriate is inappropriate?

Slap him and her in private. Admonish them. Coach them. But, instead what did we do? We pushed our best brains and one of the finest human beings I had known then outside the school.

Finally at work. Most work places would fire you if they find you watching porn at work. So does mine. I don't necessarily disagree with the "no porn at work" policy. folks? Really?

Is "watching porn" a crime that hurts the firm or "is stealing intellectual or commercial property"? For the latter its a no-brainer. Fire, create a police case. For the former, isn't there a scope for understand the person and help him or her become better at dealing with their own inadequacies.

You know what bothers me the most? When folks like you and me judge in a similar way. When we look down at sex and porn as sleazy. When we decide to punish instead of reform. When we decide to rap on the knuckles of the fingers that typed

You and I will sit in our living rooms and lament that "Tihar does not reform". The "government does not invest in reform". Countries in war dont invest in reform.

And yet, when it comes to our crunch points....we are just like the world. We start the day or night by watching porn, fking our spouses, having EMAs and then we happily go out and chastise the 3 14 year olds who decided to stream their sexual fun. We dont just chastise them, which is probably the right thing to do....but we kill their future...which is what is worrisome.....we shame them publicly, involve the police and get them off the school roster.

So much for a sense of indignation against 3 horny teenagers. So much for our sense of code and moral compass.

I truly believe the world needs to take a step back and understand the deep inherent power of forgiveness. Dalai Lama has his job cut out.

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