... But I tell you not to resist an evil person. But whoever slaps you on your right cheek, turn the other to him also." - Matthew 5:38-39
This has to be one of the hardest things to teach my kids at Limes. Whether they are two, ten, or sixteen, their natural reaction to EVERYTHING is retaliation.
Someone hits you, you hit them back.
Someone says something mean to you, you bite them.
Someone takes something of yours, you choke them.
Someone looks at you funny, you throw a stone at them.
I can't tell you how many times a day one of the other volunteers or myself have to break up a fight between kids. Half the time, it's a 15 year old kid pounding on another child half their size. Many times, moments after we have gone over class rules, someone is already breaking them. I think to myself, why is this not getting through to them!
Then I witness things like today and it all becomes clear.
Soon after dismissing the kids from class today, Jessie and I could tell that there was some commotion going on between a handful of kids and someones mother (Mom was most likely younger than me). Apparently, the mom's little girl had had a stone thrown at her by another boy. That boy had been defending his younger brother who the first little girl had hit, but perhaps said younger brother had prevoked her by doing something (that wouldn't be surprising). Either way, lots of retaliation had been going on between the kids.
What was the mom's way of dealing with this you might ask?
She wanted the boy who threw the stone at her daughter to find the stone he threw, give it to her daughter, and let her throw it at him. Even the scoreboard. An eye for an eye and a tooth for a tooth. That's the fair thing to do right?
I guess I'm not surprised by this, but I am saddened. How can we expect these kids to follow our class rules when the rules outside of class are the polar opposite? It's so hard for me to imagine a mother who not only WANTS her child to hit back, but she encourages it!
I know I can't change this culture. This is how these people live. This is how these children are raised. But hopefully one or maybe a few of these kids will get the message we teach in class. Turn the other cheek.