Saturday, September 8, 2012

Bathroom Monologue: Kick a Child, Save a Life

I'd like to ask you a question about violence.

Consider the platform at any train station. The sky is grease-grey today. Many adults are lined up waiting for the train to come in, and it blares its horn to signal its closeness. One of the adults is a mother, who looks exhausted, smudged with grime, leaning for a moment's respite against an advertisement board.

Her son springs from her side and runs down the row of waiting adults, arms out at his sides, pretending he is flying. He whirls around a bench and flings himself toward the train tracks. Just as he crosses the warning line at the edge, one of the adults whirls around and kicks him squarely in the chest, such that the boy falls on his butt on the concrete rather than fall onto the tracks. The boy opens his mouth to cry as the train rushes into the station ahead of them.

How do you feel about what the adult did?


  1. I think it's nice when you can do something morally upstanding and also get personal satisfaction from it.

  2. I remember a Theodore Sturgeon short story which raises much the same conundrum. A man leapt at a woman, threw her to the ground, and rolled her around and around. (She was of course on fire).

  3. As a father of four children I would take any opportunity to kick a child when I knew I could get away with it.

  4. One kick one life saved, it's not violence its an act of kindness.

  5. Which one? I'm pretty upset that mum didn't teach her child about playing safe next to the train tracks and doesn't even bother to go after them when they're running blindly towards death.


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