Victor Hugo, in his book Les misérables: Volume 1, wrote: “To climb a wall, to break a branch, to purloin apples, is a mischievous trick in a child; for a man it is a misdemeanour; for a convict it is a crime.”
I thought this a fascinating insight into how we look at certain deeds and actions don’t you?
For little children, we not only often excuse their wrong behaviour, but sometimes even encourage it by finding it amusing.
While for others, and especially those we like, whilst not totally happy about their wrong behaviour, we still seem to condone, even if not out rightly encouraging it, by not responding as fully as we should, don’t we?
And then, for yet others, and especially for those with a bad reputation, or even simply someone we don’t like, we are more than happy to throw the book at them and hard too, it seems. Which brings us back to the question implied in our title for today. When does wrong behaviour become a crime in our minds or thinking, and how should we respond on all occasions?
Well, whilst the background and circumstances of each and every situation must always be taken into consideration, proper condemnation and correction should also be applied on every occasion too. So that even if that particular incident is not fully enforced that time, the perpetrator, for that is what they are, even if only a child! Yes, the perpetrator should be left in no doubt that any further repetition, even if of a lesser degree, will not be accepted in future. And even when a child is involved, some sort of restitution should be attempted if possible.
Again, our condemnation and judgements, while fully informed by the specific situation in hand, should also be both fair and consistent to all in involved in wrong doing, whether young or old, loved or despised.
Well they are my thoughts on the subject. What are yours?