Monday, December 13, 2010

How a Wise Judge Surprised the Accused and Others

A columnist in the Catholic Times reports on what she witnessed recently in a family court.  A young girl was  accused of stealing a motor bike, among other things. The judge  dismissed the case. He spoke to the girl with tenderness: "Stand up where you are." Expecting a heavy protective custody penalty, she stood up with her shoulders pulled back, shuddering. The judge said, "Okay, now repeat after me in a loud voice what I say: 'I am the world's classiest looking person.'"  Expecting something quite different, after some hesitation, she repeated in a low voice what the judge wanted. The Judge then said, "Say in a loud voice, 'I can do anything, there is nothing that I am afraid of, I am not alone in the world.'" When she repeated what was said and  came to the words "I am not alone," the tears she  tried to hold back came streaming down her face.

In school she had been a lively student and was at the top of her class academically; her dream was to be a nurse. One day she was attacked by a gang of boys and raped. From that time she was bothered with a sense of guilt, not able to mix with others in school, started hanging out with  delinquents, and ended up stealing.

This girl came to the court of law as a perpetrator of a crime but those who knew what happened to her would not consider her a criminal. If there was something wrong with her, it  was her lack of self esteem. And the penalty should serve to help her in regaining it. The Judge called the girl to his chair and taking her hands in his said, "Remember who is the most important person in this world. Remember it is you. Never forget this, and you will always be able to overcome the difficulties that you will meet."

The article goes on to show the importance of having love and respect for oneself. Here in Korea we have had too many young children who have killed themselves. This is a problem that the country is facing. When  children receive treatment that is demeaning and hateful and they lack a strong sense of who they are, they will develop a feeling of inferiority, and often hate themselves for what others have said or done to them, making it difficult for them to see themselves as they are.

The columnist mentions that it's important to help a child realize that when they have done something wrong, they have a responsibility to correct it. When they see how embarrassing their behavior can be, the child often has difficulty separating this feeling of embarrassment from who they are, and can begin hating themselves and feeling no one loves them. Parents need to point out wrong behavior and show how to correct it, but doing so with love. The columnist  believes that only when children feel the love of their parents, can love for themselves grow naturally.  

There is now a strong movement in Korea to make us more aware of the culture of life: To see life as a gift and to work to correct the many ways we are cheapening the value of life because of the competitiveness of society and the search for prosperity. The Peace Weekly considers this the hot potato Korea has to deal with. Seeing life as no more than a commodity used to achieve some selfish end is not good for the society we should be creating.

1 comment:

  1. Foolish sentences make the news; I'm glad you brought this wise one to attention.