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Spare the Rod and Spoil the Child - BOTH Audio and Text

This was my grandmother's favorite saying - bless her heart, and all she meant was - by not paying really close attention to what our kids are experiencing on television and on the net, we run the risk of losing control of their lives completely. Of course, it's seldom too late to lead them down the right roads. 

                       “Spare the Rod and Spoil the Child”



One September morning, when I ran out to my car to grab a couple things that I’d forgot,
I could very faintly hear the sound of teenage music, and so I quickly scanned the parking lot.

Class had started long ago…it seemed a little odd…and so I thought it best that I should try
To find the source; I figured someone’s radio was on, and that, perhaps…their battery would die.

In the farthest corner of the lot I’d spot the source from whence the music came, and was surprised 
To find a couple teenage kids, sitting in a car, and neither was a boy I recognized.

The car - a new convertible - was sitting in the shade, and as I walked up slowly…from the rear… 
Suddenly the driver spun around in total shock. He’d seen me coming toward them in the mirror.

Each of us was now aware that words would be exchanged, and as the pair of boys prepared to lie, 
I prepared to lecture them for skipping out on class, then listen to their feeble reasons why.

When the inquisition started, I politely asked….“How is it you’re not in class today?” 
Everything about the way that both of them appeared left me unprepared for what they’d say.

Unprepared because they looked like pretty decent boys, with normal hair styles, no tattoos, or rings
Curled into their tongues or lips, their eyebrows, nose, or ears…the far too common standard “cultural” things.

“You don’t need to know, old man!” erupted from the one that looked to be the older of the two.
“Take a hike…before we kick your butt!” the other warned. “You’ll beat it…if you know what’s good for you!”

I would stand there quietly and slowly shake my head. Their tough reaction was a big surprise. 
Glancing back and forth at them while taking time to think, I answered…staring straight into their eyes,

“Boys, it’s time the two of you were getting back to class. I’ll give you thirty seconds to comply.” 
Then added, as I grabbed a door and swung it open wide, “And, here I am…if you would care to try.”

I was pushing sixty-three…short an’ overweight…I’d never been a fighter, or a “jock”,
But when I heard the disrespect those boys were dishing out…despite that I was sure they’d clean my clock…

I resolved to hide whatever fear I should have had…I held my shoulders back…
my jaw was tight… 
And though my age was obvious - and all of us could see that I was nowhere near the type to fight -

Very slowly - staring all the while - they slid on out!  I gently closed the door and held my ground. 
Then - pointing at the building where I wanted them to go…the two delinquent boys would turn around

And start off walking back to where they knew they should have been. I took a breath and sighed in great relief. 
Feeling mixed emotions, I proceeded with my day, so proud that I’d stood up for my belief.

Because I’d really ticked them off, I naturally assumed the two of them and I could not be friends… 
But after I convey to you what happened to those boys…and you’re aware of how this story ends…

You will be convinced - like me - that it was worth the chance I took to make them do what I thought best. 
At first, of course, they hated me, but I think you’ll agree the best part of this story is - the rest.

One - is now our governor!   The other - is a priest!  Their very lives improved from that day on.
The fact that someone showed concern, and cared about their lives…just the way our incident had gone…

Verifies that discipline…when exercised with love…can tame the most misunderstood and wild….
And proves to me the saying’s true that…if you spare the rod…the only thing you’ll do is...spoil the child!



PS: I've now got 4 new Audio-CDs - @ 4 1/2 hours each = (62 diversely varied poems), listed on EBAY - under - “Mark Stellinga Poetry” - or by simply contacting me - should those of you who enjoy listening to, as well as reading poems, and particularly those who travel care to be so entertained. (We use safe and simple - PayPal)

Cheers, 
Mark



Copyright © Mark Stellinga

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