ethel’s words

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Torture is all around you. One cannot walk through the supermarket, or picnic in a park, (that is, in the USA) without seeing torture going on.

Torture has a long scale, beginning with--what? vocal abuse? or maybe neglect of needs in living creatures? on up to inflicting pain in ways so gruesome and vile that I could not bring myself to record them.

There is inadvertent “torture” as the word is used because nobody invents a word to mean that. But torture, as we speak of it, is a human invention--a way to inflict pain, emotional or physical, to achieve some result, usually not related to torture, but also just to torture for the vicious craving for power. (Yes, we can imagine torture to secure information to save a life, or in the military to make a “victory” of some sort (as if war ever has a victory). To save lives in a war situation, just say no to war.)

Torture should be condemned, including the mildest punishment inflicted on children. It is not necessary--children can learn appropriate fear by the expression on your face; can be taught proper behavior by example and by praise.

When a child misbehaves it is likely due to pain, fear, or confusion. Children crave approval--but they need time to learn the rules and the fine points.

Ethel C. Hale