September 17, 2014 By S. Anthony Iannarino
I got the belt a few times when I was kid. A couple of the very old nuns at Catholic school used the wooden paddle to punish me for leaving the school grounds to get lunch in eighth grade. I am certain I deserved more than I ever received when it comes to corporeal punishment.
I got in a good number of fights when I was a kid, and I started a good many of those fights. I was never a good enough fighter to hurt anyone else, but I got hurt a number of times. I saw a lot of people get hurt, and it always made me feel awful, regardless of the circumstances.
I have never raised my hands to children.* I never spanked them when they were little. I never wanted them to believe that violence was the right response when someone does something wrong (or something you don’t like). Because violence isn’t the right answer. Might doesn’t make right (thankfully).
Violence is the choice taken by those without the will to control their own state, the resourcefulness to help others change, or the ability to persuade others.
Physical violence is only one type of violence.. Mental or psychological violence is equally–and sometimes more–damaging to individuals. Bullying is a form of violence, and so is threatening someone.
Personal leadership requires that you are able to control your own state. If you are going to be effective through and with other people, you are going to have to be resourceful in finding ways to bridge differences. You find success through influence, through people choosing to follow you.
Violence or force, in any form, is weakness not strength.
* When my kids really acted up and wanted my attention, I would literally go running from the room, causing them to give chase to whine and cry. I kept running until they started laughing. If the whining or crying started up again, off I ran again. The physical act of running changed their state, and soon the crying stopped.
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