TaN: For each and every wrong done, there should be and is corresponding and commensurate punishment or penalty, otherwise it would be an injustice. Even in cases where the wrong is committed by a minor or one without the mental ability or faculty to discern right from wrong or good from bad, there should be someone who must be held accountable — either by the perpetrator or the guardian or someone who is responsible for the perpetrator.
No wrong should go unaccounted for. To have a law that only dictate that minors (or people below the age of discernment, which is determined by (another) law) and certain people with disabilities are or cannot be held accountable for wrongful acts and therefore exempt from punishment is a terrible injustice to the victim (and his family) and to society. Someone must always answer to the injustice suffered by the victim/s.
Moreover, our current penal system is and has (always) been terribly outdated and archaic. There is very little justice — true justice is the only justice — being done, especially in criminal cases where the perpetrator “pays” for his/her crime by serving a prison sentence and not doing anything to truly “compensate” the victim (and the family). The justice system in some countries, mostly industrialized or First World but there are some other countries and societies, even considered primitive but today’s standards, practice a more meaningful and responsive system, like doing community work (if the victim is the community) and doing arts and crafts while serving prison sentence to be sold and, even by a token amount, the proceeds given to the victim/s’ (or their families).
I remember a story a good friend, Fr Michael Yamagashira told me regarding a primitive tribe in Africa in his bucket list to visit. He said that the tribe has a very unique and effective penal system. When a wrongful act is committed by a tribe member, the chief and the council of elders will summon the entire tribe to a gathering. Every person was expected to stop whatever they are doing and attend.
In the gathering, the alleged wrongdoer is placed at the center of the village and the entire tribe forms a circle around him. During the event, one by one, a tribe member steps forward and tells a good quality about the perpetrator. In the end, the accused feels embarrassed at how his/her wrongful act has tarnished his/her good image in the community that s/he reforms and atones for the wrong. It is a different justice system that focuses and emphasizes positive reinforcement rather then negative and punitive (and vindictive) methods — which seldom succeed in reforming the wrongdoer.
Comes to think of it, it is so crazy and unbelievable that it just might work — and the tribe proves it does. But it will all depend on the maturity of people, the community, the population, regardless of age — because children, when brought up responsibly and properly, will likewise behave maturely.
TaN: The person who thought of and able to persuade the (health) authorities of spraying to combat mosquitoes is most brilliant but the implementers of the idea are the dumbest. Common sense would dictate that, since (adult) mosquitoes can fly, spraying is commercially profitable but provide no useful effects or benefits to the residents of the area being sprayed as the mosquitoes simply leave the place and return when everything has calmed down (and the fumes have dissipated).
Unfortunately for the residents, the residue from the toxic spraying cling or stick to the surface in contact and these are lethal to anyone who happens to touch or brush against the contaminated surfaces. These bring medical and toxicological issues to the residents and visitors unfortunate enough to ingest viable enough amounts so as to cause (bodily) harm.
The better method is to employ nature’s own mosquito population controllers, like bats, spiders, house lizards or geckos, insectivorous plants (such as pitcher plants and bladderworts), and insect-repelling plants (such as marigolds and lemongrass). Electrical insect killers are not good because they are indiscriminate and do not differentiate between mosquitoes (and other flying insect pests) and beneficial ones (such as lizards, spiders, and dragonflies).
Moreover, there are ways of keeping the mosquito population down. A common mistake is to tell people to turn over containers that may otherwise hold rainwater. On the contrary, I maintain a few containers with water just so mosquitoes can lay their eggs and hatch into their larvae wrigglers. However, I differ in that when I see wrigglers nearing maturity (where they turn into adults), I pour the water into my plants and refill them. This way, I prevent mosquitoes from reaching maturity while my plants get an occasional protein in their water.
Finally, I set other forms of traps for mosquitoes. For instance, I know that mosquitoes like to perch on leaves and anything that may resemble or look like leaves in dark, quiet places. I have a few artificial flowers where I have swatted many a resting mosquito — I take revenge for those who were bitten because many of the mosquitoes I killed were fat with freshly-drawn or already digested blood.
There are many better ways to combat the mosquito scourge that are less dangerous to us and our family that do not involve chemicals. Remember, one of nature’s most common weapons (and defenses) are chemicals and the more we use them against our pests, the more they will develop immunity and the more difficult it will be for us to fight them the next time — but nature has never develop a defense against physical violence (such as swatting).
TaN: As I recalled the story of the rich man’s quarrel with his poor neighbor over inhaling the aroma of his food, I am reminded both of the moral of the story, as well as what was mentioned in the Holy Scriptures regarding one’s attitude and the power of the mind. The story goes: Because the rich man wants to flaunt his wealth to his poor neighbor living in a shanty beside the former’s house, he would let the aroma of his delicious food waft out his dining room and into the neighbor’s house. At every meal, the poor neighbor would sit by the window with his family and smell the aroma of the rich neighbor’s food as they take a mouthful of rice.
As the days went by, the rich man’s family became thinner and sicker while the poor man’s family were robust and healthy. This angered the rich man and sued the poor man — for “stealing” his food’s aroma and thus depriving his family of nutrition.
The rich man won the case and the court ordered the poor man to compensate the rich man (for “stealing” the food’s aroma). As compensation, the poor man brought out some money (coins in a bag) and jangled them near the ears of the rich man, saying I stole the aroma of your food so I am paying for it with the sound of my money. The moral should be obvious.
As to how it reminded me of the Holy Scriptures, despite the (supposedly) nutritious food of the rich man, his family still became sickly, whereas the poor man’s family enjoyed good health. This can be interpreted as the recent discovery (mainly by Prof Masaru Emoto) that our attitude — i.e., our minds — can affect our surroundings, with water being especially susceptible to our minds “influence”. It has been demonstrated (repeatedly) that when we think (and speak) good and kind words, the water responds by re-arranging its molecular structure — that will form beautiful, intricate, and stunning hexagonal and hexagram figures, whereas when we utter words that mean or connote bad “vibrations” and curse words or even names of people who are known or identified to be evildoers the molecular structure (under a microscope) exhibit irregular shapes and figures.
In one experiment, three sets of seeds (from the same batch) display different development rates. The group that receive regular praises and kind words sprouted and grew healthily while the neutral group (because it was “ignored” or left pretty much to its own) and the maltreated and verbally-abused group became rotten and decayed. Moreover, the three groups were in close proximity to each other, barely a meter apart on the same table in the same room under the same environmental conditions.
This could lend credence to the “warning” that one should not prepare food or eat when one is not in a good mood. It affects the food eaten or being prepared.