I like to flip through the Essays book and find a random word to ponder upon and force myself to write something. I chanced upon the word ‘punishment’ a few weeks back and I never really knew what I could write about. I think the reason why I chose to sweep it aside, or rather not think about this word is because it is a heavy word. It meant pain, and suffering. I never liked thinking that way.
The first thought that crosses my mind is the video I watched a few years ago. I was about 13 if I am not wrong, or even younger or older, when my aunt showed the family a video. It was a painful punishment in progress. It was difficult to watch because it was real and it had scarred me. There was a man, who had his buttocks pressed to a special seat that only exposes the butt cheeks. And the prison warden used a long and thick cane to violently hit the buttocks. The as more swings were made, from cane to skin, the flesh split, cries of the man became shrieks, pleading for mercy. Even as I moved away from the video, I could still hear the shrieks.
Compare that to the usual cane that we have at home, where our parents would use the cane to whip us, children whenever we misbehaved. First of all, the cane from the prison is nothing compared to the one we see at home, that is just a stick. It hurts a hundred times more than the whack from our parents. Secondly, what is left behind is unbearable pain and wounds. What is left behind on us are strokes of bruises.
No doubt, both leaves scars. However the pain from our parents is out of love. They did not want us to misbehave, they only wanted us to stay away from trouble and learn the more painful way. But most of the time we are just too young to even realize why they hit us and as you grow older, you realize that they never really meant to hurt us in the first place.
– severe handling or treatment;
– a penalty inflicted for an offense, fault, etc.
Then again, it depends on what you are being punished for. We have the case of a severe offense and at the other end of the spectrum, just misbehaviour, and both have different consequences and different magnitudes of what serves as a proper punishment.
Punishments are usually not meted out undeserved.