New Civilization News: Disciplining the Cat and the Five Freedoms    
 Disciplining the Cat and the Five Freedoms
17 Jun 2005 @ 13:34, by Scotty

"Our young daughter had adopted a stray cat. To my distress, he began to use the back of our new sofa as a scratching post. "Don't worry," my husband reassured me. "All he needs is a little discipline. I'll have him trained in no time." I watched for several days as my husband patiently "trained" our new pet. Whenever the cat scratched, my husband deposited him outdoors to teach him a lesson. The cat learned quickly. For the next 16 years, whenever he wanted to go outside, he scratched the back of the sofa." (Reprinted from The Written Wisdom)

So ! Who learned what and who disiplined who ! The husband probably thought that the cat was stupid but patiently continued for sixteen years trying to educate it into acceptable behaviour .. Acceptable behaviour - now there's a thing ! Acceptable behaviour usually means don't rock the boat ! It's quite easy to go through life not rocking the boat - but there's a price ! Freedoms are lost .. The FREEDOM to see and hear what is here, instead of what should be, was, or will be. The FREEDOM to say what you feel and think, instead of what you should. The FREEDOM to feel what you feel, instead of what you ought. The FREEDOM to ask for what you want, instead of always waiting for permission. The FREEDOM to take risks in your own behalf, instead of choosing to be only "secure" and not rocking the boat. I've learned that it's hard to determine where to draw the line between being nice and not hurting people's feelings and standing up for what one believes.... and it's even harder to resist peer pressure .. Peer pressure is when "friends" persuade us to doing something that we do not want to do. Friends have a tendency to think that they know what is best for us .. they often offer their opinion whether it is wanted or not. From childhood we're taught socially dictated roles and values - the 'shoulds' and 'should not's' of how and what to be do act and say ... it's damn-hard to get away from there - and finding the ability to say 'No' is even more difficult ! When someone is no longer willing to keep their deeper feelings stuffed down in their entrails and say "no" when that is what is true for them - then they're regaining their self-respect which in turn helps them feel better about themselves - and who the hell are we to turn around and tell them to shut up because they're rocking the boat ! We all have rights - and when stading up for our rights rocks the boat ... well - we've the right to do that too !

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