After Astrid Lindgren's speech - corporal punishment was banned in Sweden

After this speech by Astrid Lindgren, Sweden became the first country to ban corporal punishment.

"As long as humanity lives on this planet, so much it fights and fights. Our fragile world is constantly under threat. Isn't it time for us to ask ourselves if we ourselves are doing something every day that constantly leads us to conflicts? do we get better and forget about constant aggression?

I think we should start from the very beginning - with children! They will soon rule this planet, and they will decide whether to continue the violence or live in peace and joy.

I remember how shocked I was when I realized: we are controlled by the most ordinary people, they do not have the gift of divine foresight or unreal wisdom. They are just like us, with their weaknesses and passions, but they have power. Why are these people making such bad decisions? Is it because they are evil by nature?

I do not think so. A child is born neither bad nor good. What decides whether he is open and kind or a callous and bitter lone wolf? It is we, his parents - people who must show the child what love is. Or, unwillingly, to teach him the opposite.

One day I met the pastor's wife, who told me that when she was young and gave birth to her first child, she did not believe in beatings, although the punishment of children with rods was then very common.

But once, when the son was 4 or 5 years old, he did such a prank that the pastor's wife decided, in spite of her principles, to pour rods on her son - for the first time in her life. She told her son to go into the yard and find a rod for himself.

The boy was gone for a long time, and when he returned, his face was wet with tears. He said: "Mom, I did not find a rod, but I found a stone with which you can throw at me."

At that moment, the mother suddenly realized what the situation looked like from the child's point of view: if my mother wants to hurt me, then it makes no difference how she does it, she can just as well do it with a stone.

Mom sat her son on her lap, and they cried together. She placed the stone on the kitchen shelf as a reminder that violence is not an option.

You ask: so what if we stop punishing children, we will grow a new species of Homo Sapiens, everyone will instantly become kind and the wars will stop? Of course not. Only children's writers can believe in such a utopia. This poor world needs a lot of reform and change.

But our children watch TV, they see how much aggression there is on earth, and, perhaps, believe that this is the only way to solve all problems. And right now, in our home, we can show them that there is another way. And this is what we can do for the world.

All of us can use a stone on the kitchen shelf to remember: "No violence!" "

A. Lindgren

Astrid Lindgren's speech sparked heated debates in Sweden and Germany about physical punishment. In 1979, Sweden became the first country in the world to completely ban corporal punishment of children, both at school and at home.