Highlights: When I was eight years old, I made a childhood mistake that caused my parents serious trouble. I ran away from fear of punishment and hid in the woods for three days. YES! THREE DAYS! Mom wanted me punished… punished severely! Dad did not. She insisted. After several minutes, my father reluctantly agreed. I had never been punished before and thought, “OH NO! This is not part of the deal!” … I started crying for real.
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By Don Design Jr. World Class Design Engineer>
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UpDated: 211007=yymmdd. Started: 1994.
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I was inspired to post this article, written back in 1994, by The February 14, 2018 Forward Day by Day Meditation (Luke 2:43 When the festival was ended and they started to return, the boy Jesus stayed behind in Jerusalem, but his parents did not know it. Can you imagine how Mary and Joseph must have fretted, looking everywhere for their son?)
When I was eight years old, I made a childhood mistake that caused my parents serious trouble. I ran away from fear of punishment and hid in the woods for three days. YES! THREE DAYS! I had spent many weekends in the woods with my father; he trained me to take care of myself, and he knew it and was not worried. I easily avoided the search parties looking for me and calling to me with loud speakers. I saw them; they never saw me. I knew those woods; no one could find me, if I didn’t want them to, not even my father!
After three days without provisions, I grew very hungry and wanted more than wild blueberries. I returned home for food. Dad was very happy to see me and hugged me in his strong, loving arms. My mother, however, was enraged with the anxiety of three sleepless days and nights! I was sent to my room and sat on my bed. I listened to my parents arguing for the first time. Mom wanted me punished… punished severely! Dad did not. She insisted. After several minutes, my father reluctantly agreed.
I had never been punished before and thought, “OH NO! This is not part of the deal!” He walked to my doorway, took off his thick belt, folded it in half, stepped in and closed the door, and walked to my bed. I had seen friends belt whipped, heard their screams, and seen the welts left by the belt. A shock wave of terror hit me. He reared back with full force and whipped the bed instead of me. I was confused. How could he miss? What is he doing? He bent over and whispered, “You better start crying.” He battered the bed again. I gave out a weak whimper. I never faked a cry before and didn’t know how. He wrinkled his face and motioned me to cry louder. Another wallop caused the loudest cry I could fake. He shook his head yes and motioned to keep it going. I cried in faked agony, while he punished the bed several more times. We were very convincing to my mother outside the room. After stopping, he hugged me and whispered, “Don, your mother and I love you very much. Please don’t cause us any more trouble.” It was a request not a threat. He left my room.
I started crying for real, because of the range of emotions felt in such a short time: fear, terror, confusion, relief, and kindness- unconditional kindness. I ended up crying not from pain, but because I realized I had hurt someone who loved me very much- much more than I knew.
From then on, I tried my best not to cause trouble. I tried, not out of fear, but out of love. I never feared my father. I was good, as good as any little boy could be. I was able to explore and do things without fear of punishment. That freedom allowed me to become a free thinking World Class Design Engineer.
It took me awhile to realize everyone didn’t have a father like mine. My father controlled with love and kindness. Other parents TRY to CONTROL with fear and power. My wish is for everyone to have had kind parents. The world would be a far better place. This is not possible, but everyone can BECOME kind parents.
The Triple-Win(TM): We have all heard of the win, win situation; this was a Win-Win-Win(TM) situation: my father won, my mother won, and I won! We ALL won, and I am not talking about that one incident, we ALL won our entire lives. This Triple-Win(TM) was a clever solution engineered by my father.
Decades later my father, one of my four sisters, and I talked about the incident. My sister said she had the same experience with “My Father’s Loving Belt!” My father said he had the same experience with “HIS Father’s Loving Belt!” THANK YOU GRANDPA! I CRIED AGAIN! Grandpa died many years before I knew his part in my Great Success!
Our GREAT FATHER is even kinder than my earthly father and grandfather and influences us more, if we only listen to HIS whispers.
Here is one of the best guides for Parents:
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