Red Winged Black Bird on a fence post in a field.

A Good Bop on the Nose


Category: philosophies

In a recent communications class, we discussed Millennials, that's the generation currently in its late teens and early twenties. I was told that they don't discuss things the same way that we Gen X'ers do. Generation X people are prone to deep (sometimes), philosophical arguments. It said that, statistically, Millennials are less likely to do this because they want to avoid unnecessary conflict. (Yes, we all know exceptions to this, but the word "statistically" takes that into consideration.)

I also hear that the hippy education system is trying to prevent bullying in schools too. There was all that "zero tolerance" stuff a few years ago to get rid of anything conflict oriented. I'm not sure that's the best way to handle things.

When I was in school, it was common for all of us to carry pocketknives. It was also common for the student vehicles in the parking lot to have shotguns and rifles during hunting season. We made our own recreational explosive devices. You know how many school shootings we had? The answer is none.

There were fights. Occasionally someone got pushed through a window. Actual fatalities were a rarity nationwide. Even injuries weren't too bad. Trust me, I was a smaller fellow and saw my share of physical confrontations. We, however, knew how to handle these little confrontations and we took care of things and moved on.

The point I'm getting to is a small supposition on my part. We were allowed to have conflict on a small but constant stage. The Millennials have had all their conflict removed and no longer have the skills necessary to handle things. Since conflict is normal and natural, most of the Millennials get it figured out. For those who don't, they're just a ticking time bomb with no release.

Imagine a kid who has been told that conflict is bad. He or she has been told that it is inherently wrong to engage in conflict. The kid is also told that persons of authority will stop all conflicts because the conflicts are wrong. Now imagine what happens to that kid as he or she is bombarded with the typical conflict situations that one must face everyday. Since the persons of authority never intervene and the kid is not able to cope, all of his or her natural conflict-handling instincts get driven inward. We all know what happens when a person fills up on hostility and tries to suppress it. One day, that person explodes.

I'm not saying that we should let small children beat each other with baseball bats. We should, however, allow them to have their confrontations. They need those fights to learn how to cope with conflict. You could respond with, "But we should teach them to handle conflicts rationally." Though I strongly support the teaching of formalized logic for the purpose of dealing with life in a rational manner, children also need to know how to handle conflict with an irrational person or group.

There are just times when you cannot reason with someone (al Qaeda, for example). You must be able to recognize those circumstances and then give the other party a sound bop in the nose. If children don't learn these things on the playground, where a bop on the nose may be all that's needed) they will learn the hard way later when one of their over-stressed classmates comes in shooting.

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