Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Love and law

For the voyeur amongst us, the story titillates. For the family of the woman, it was a tragedy, non more so than the 2 children who will not see their mother for 10 months. For the youth, it may have brought on psychological scars. Hopefully, these scars will heal so that another tragedy might not happen.

I am referring to the case of a 32 year-old woman, formerly a school teacher, who was jailed for 10 months for having sex with an under-aged boy, now 15. No, there was no rape involved. It was reportedly a consensual affair. But the newly minted law on these matters made this consensual affair a crime - whether the 'perpetrator' (read: the older person) is a man or a woman. Newspapers have given this story enough coverage that it does not need recounting here. On its own, this story isn't all that remarkable. Woman teachers have been reported elsewhere to have engaged in the same sort of activity before. See for example, Buffalo, Lamar CISD, Mary Kay Letourneau, etc.

While the woman has been 'put away', and the teenager probably receiving psychiatric counseling, the woman's 2 children will be the real victims in the long run. They require counseling too, though I am not aware how old they are now. And if the family were to break up because of this, then it will be a double tragedy. This is really a mess, and on hindsight, could all have been avoided if the woman's family had been more sensitive to her needs.

It is too late to say 'I told you so', but if there is a lesson to be learnt her, it is that everyone, including teachers, need attention, that nothing should be taken from granted. Are we engaged in something that takes up all of our time to the exclusion of everyone and everything? This is an obsession, and obsessions are no good. If you want to get married and have children, then you are obliged to stay married and bring up the kids. Why should somebody else's interests rank higher than your own family's? The simple straightforward answer is, it shouldn't.

Love others as you would yourself. If you cannot love your own family, what right have you to go around doing charity for others?

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