Tuesday, December 11, 2007

Does Good = Not Bad?

My husband and I actually escaped for a while today - just the two of us. We had to go and get my military ID card renewed before it expired next week and since the weather was not conducive to work today, it was a good day to go. I had to take my husband with me because he is my "sponsor". That always sort of makes me feel like a foreign exchange student or something, but there you have it.
Anyway, mission accomplished and on the way home, we stopped for brunch. We are restaurant newspaper readers. This makes my daughter nuts. She thinks it is rude. She wasn't there and we know we're not being rude to each other. I was reading the funnies and got to my very favorite:

One of the reasons I love this cartoon is because it is twisted and it makes me think. Lil man has been having behavior problems at school. His grades are excellent. His conduct is not. I was talking to him about this last night and asked him what the consequences were when he was bad. He said, "swats". His school gives swats, although how he has escaped thus far this year is beyond me. I asked what the consequences were when he was good and he did not know. So - this week, if he gets no bad marks at all, not even a warning, he and I and his Grampits are going to the movies to see the Alvin movie. If you knew my husband, you would know how surprised I was when, after he heard me make the deal with lil man (for just lil man and me), said that he would go also.

Today - no bad marks, not even a warning. Keep the lil man in your prayers, please, for success this week.

His school does give marks also for good behavior and his mother rewards him for those. I don't think he had ever put actions and consequences together in his mind as being something good also.

His behavior recently, combined with the cartoon strip this morning, makes me wonder: Is not being bad the same as being good?

I don't think so. I think that good is an action. I think that if you want to raise a good person, you cannot settle for a child who is just "not bad". I think that in order to be good, there are things you must do - that you cannot settle for just being not bad.

The Church that I belong to recognizes sin and guilt, repentance and forgiveness. It also recognizes both corporal (bodily) and spiritual works of mercy. I am not sure that the lil man is learning this at school. So, thanks to Non Sequitur for reminding me of my actions and consequences.

12 comments:

Junebug said...

This made me think of the verse, "The goodness of God leads us to repentance," so even God's goodness requires an action on our part. That was a pretty cool cartoon. It does make you think. :D I am so thankful our electricity is back on!!!!

Monica said...

I agree! Being good is more than being not bad...I'll be thinking of your lil man this week, and hoping he makes it to the movies! And thanks for the works of mercy link...

Megnificent said...

Laken has somehow escaped corporal punishment thus far...and this is year 6. Like you, I'm shocked. :) I wish CJ all the luck in the WORLD!!! I know he'll be successful. :)

laurie said...

i agree. you have to actively be good, i think. just as you have to actively be bad.

passivity can have good results, or bad results, but then it is the results that are judged. not the person.

nikki said...

Dang, there you go making me think again. I agree with you. Just behaving well isn't enough in my eyes. I strive to teach Aaron about helping others, especially those who less than we do. Even if it's just holding the door open for someone with their arms full of packages, at least he's doing something to make someone else's life easier.

nikki

Robocop said...

Thank you for this wonderful story.

Karmyn R said...

True. but, I suppose the term "good" can have more than one meaning behind it.

(because, I really hope my children aren't too tasty). (ha ha - my little joke, dumb, I know)

Deaming What Ifs...

mama speak said...

It sounds a lot like LM is looking for attention and no one had really explained to him that he could get attention from doing positive things as well as negative.

Good for you to recognize that. And for our kids, the thing they really want the most (even if they tell you it's a gameboy) is your time. So bonus for everyone.

kimmy said...

I always tell my son that he is not a "bad boy" he just made a "bad choice."

Thanks for stopping by my blog the other day and have fun at the movies!

Kimmy
http://talesofablenderkimmy.blogspot.com/

AnGlOpHiLe FoOtBaLl FaNaTiC said...

I agree. Good is a choice. Bad is a choice. Indifference is a choice. I will keep him in my prayers. I hope the postive reinforcement will help!

Debs said...

A good thinking post. :D


I tagged you if you are up to it. :)

Swampwitch said...

I was going to say something profound about this post and the Magic Cookies Bars below caught my attention...I can't remember what it was and I'm drooling on my keyboard.

 
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