I Ran the 8 Tuff Miles Course early today on a misty and overcast morning with a cool breeze and a heavy load of thoughts. The race is coming up in less than 3 weeks and I have set some lofty goals for myself, both on and off the course, to say the least. I am compelled to run now. For what ever the reason, it is deemed in me to run. Compulsions of a positive nature need not be analyzed and dissected. The wind to my back says it all. The wind in my face notes even more. I have shunned most overly analytical approaches to lifestyles and social anthropology. Better we flow along and be who we are, as long as we do not disturb the solace of others. As we enter this new age of social and political awareness with our new leader Barack, one may call into question just what it is that we are to do to better our existence. Your guessed it, RUN, well for me anyway. The basic primal movement of running serves as my gateway to personal and social change. Lots has been written and discussed about what occurs in the brain on a longer run. I will leave that for another entry. One thing is certain, the clarity I obtain on a host of subjects while on a run simply could not be achieved for me otherwise. On a 60-90 minute run I have sorted out the days quandaries, answered nagging questions, and made decisions that normally would occupy way more of my time. So I run. And as I run I am compelled to act.
Since my last entry I have been struggling with a very disturbing social issue that was recently brought to my attention. It involves our most precious resource and shapes the future of all things to come. As all things must pass, I proclaim they pass with dignity and honor. It is clear to me that damaging this resource has a direct effect on our own lives whether you be young or old, black or white, able or disabled. I am now compelled to protect this resource and let it flourish to find a place in the sun.
Imagine a 8 year old boy shaking uncontrollably in his Mothers arms, tears streaming down his face, having to once again relive the trauma of yet another day in our Public school system, both here in the US VI, and in the 21 states where Corporal Punishment in schools is still legal. Envision his fear and distrust of his educators, and conceptualize his horror that was bestowed upon him by the very teachers we have entrusted his well being to. Just picture him as he reveals to an astounded Mother the abuse he has been receiving at his school, the Guy Benjamin School in Coral Bay on the island of St. John, since his enrollment in the fall. Paddling, spankings, rulers on the hands and knuckles, and duct tape on his mouth! Now imagine it being your own child. What would you do? How far does one go to protect their children? Simple answer, all the way!
Thus my compulsion to do something. I was physically abused in both Catholic and Public school up to the age of 13 or 14 in the 60's. I could write volumes on that but I will not. What I will write is that I will not rest until this territory of the US VI takes a stand on this issue. I will devote my time to seeing that every child has an equal and fair playing field at school and is not stifled by the fear of being hit. My compulsion is fueled as I run and gather both physical and mental strength to summon up the resolve to see this through to the end. And no other end will suffice other than a complete ban on ALL forms of corporal punishment in our school systems.
Please know that children are our most precious resource and their well being is an inherent right. Why are they one of the last groups to be given true equality. We do not own them, we nurture them, and we DO NOT have the right under ANY circumstance to strike them, or other wise engage them in activities that are detrimental to their overall well being. I am a parent so therefor I am compelled. Be Well