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Lets start out thinking about two islands. On one island lives a group who believes it is ok to hit their kids. On another island lives a group who doesn't.
Let's call them islands A and B
So if the kids on A found out about B, would you blame them for trying to get to B?
Now what if you are a parent of a kid or teen on A and you see your children or teens trying to get on a boat to take them to B?
What would you do?
Let's say you try to stop them and they push you away and get in the boat and leave?
Would you go tell all the other parents? And what would you tell them? How would you describe what happened and why you were pushed away?
Would you try to frighten other parents into believing that if they dont stop the children from leaving, there will be no children left on A? Will you tell them that there will be no one left to climb up the trees and get coconuts?
Let's think about a group of old people living on island A. All over 60 let's say. No kids around at all on the island. What would happen to them?
They are too old now to reproduce. So what would happen? They are too old to go rob kids from another island. They are too weak. They can't run fast enough. They can't hit hard enough. They have no weapons. In fact no one has any weapons on either of the islands.
So what would happen?
Obviously, they would all die. And that is what they are afraid of. Dying themselves, and with them all their beliefs, customs etc etc.
Now let's say that there are three islands. A, B and C.
On island C there are still a lot of young people, but word gets out that all the young people left on Island A and all the old people died.
So the the parents and grandparents on island C get really scared. What might they do?
Might they try to stop their kids and teens from leaving the island?
And how might they do it? With force? Fences? Rules? Laws? Punishments? Fear? Might they tell the children and teens how bad things are on Islands B and C? And how good things are on island A?
Now let's think about what would happen if the teenagers on Island B, and those who came over from Island A started talking to the teens on Island C.
What if they could not only talk to them via something like chatting on the Internet, but they could also show them pictures and put up videos on YouTube of how life is on island B? What if the teens on Island C learned that on Island B no children or teens are ever hit and things work fine there. In fact, life looks better there all the way around.
Would the teens on Island C be as likely to believe their parents when the parents say "We have to hit you because you have been bad"?
Might a few teens say "No you don't. The parents on B don't hit their kids"?
Now what if the teens said, "Come, take a look at these videos."
Do you think a lot of parents would be interested in the videos and change their minds about hitting kids?
Now let's say on Island C we also had two groups who started competing for control of the island. And they started killing each other. And they started training their teenagers to fight and telling them why it was necessary. But the teens on Island C knew that on Island B there were no fights and no one was killing anyone.
Let's say a few teens went from Island B to Island C to try to help their friends on Island C escape, but the parents on Island C found out and killed the teens from Island B.
What would you do next if you were a teen on Island B?
Dec 24, 2007
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Emotional Intelligence | Empathy
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