I passed two kiddos on JOhn Street when I was riding home. They were chasing around, one with a huge plastic bat. One was significantly bigger than the other. Some contact ensued. I noted that it seemed like it was fun for both parties… then half a mile later I saw a similar kind of interaction, except it seemed that the bigger child was sending the message, which was being received, that “you have to know who’s bigger if you don’t want to get hurt.”
I reflected on the cultural differences between “you might not even know I *could* wrap that plastic bat around you” and “kid, this is the real world, yea, I’m your friend but know your place.” I wondered whether people who really did have to know their place because no, it wasn’t going to change were more likely to need to assert their dominance whenever they could, physically or otherwise. Or wehther the first pair had seen people just have fun together more often. It reminded me of _Saturnalia_, an amazingly delightful book by Paul Fleischman that … I’m just going to buy. On Saturnalia — the pagan holiday that those Christians decided needing replacing, and so imposed Christmas then for celebrating Jesus’ birth, despite there being no way in earth that was true — servant and master switch places and the master must do the servant’s bidding.
Gotta tell ya, I seriously doubt that the Jesus they wrote about in those Biblical texts would have approved of removing that holiday. Talk about an incentive for loving your neighbor!!! Hmmm.. there’s a topic for discussion. When would Jesus have wanted us to celebrate His birthday? Essay assignment for next Thursday 😛
If you’re the oppressor, and you ***never*** have to switch places… power corrupts… absolutimately. Build in, good people, those checks and balances. And if you’re the oppressed, then you’re going to treat the littler kiddo that way ’cause it Is How The Wolrd Works.