父母若是罵，或只打我們幾下子，就承受下來，反正痛一下也就過去了，犯不著小題大作，以為就是虐待。其實，父母都是「打在兒身，痛在娘心」的。但是父母若失去理智，沒命地毒打時，就一定要躲、要逃了！現代的人很注重虐待兒童 (child abuse) 的問題，但是卻有點反應過度，甚而濫用。不少偶而受罰的孩子，被當作 child abuse 處理，而與父母隔離，造成雙方心理上的不平衡；更有孩子利用這個來要脅父母，弄得父母不敢嚴厲管教孩子，造成一堆問題青少年。今日社會問題之所以層出不窮，難道不是濫用保護政策，與誤解自由平等的結果嗎？凡事總是以合乎中道為佳，真正的 child abuse，我們絕不應漠視，但也不宜反應過度，造成父母師長管教上的困擾。
有一個女學生，她的母親在離婚後，變得更好喝酒，醉了就亂發脾氣；那時若孩子不小心惹了她，不是挨打就是挨罵。有一天，這當時才十二歲的女孩子，見母親打小妹妹，就逃到鄰家，打電話向專管 child abuse的部門求救。經法院判決，孩子不宜再與母親同住；於是姐妹倆就被兩個不同的家庭認養了。有時這女學生去看望她生母，她母親卻看也不看她一眼；她就自己內疚著，以為母親一定恨透了她。而在她那位專靠收養這類孩子為生的養母那兒，又未得到真正的愛和照顧。為應付大人的挑剔，她學會了討好巴結；把一腔不平衡的情緒都發洩到外面，而對同年齡的孩子有著暴力的傾向。到了上高中後，她比較懂事了，試圖去了解她的生母，才發覺她的生母其實是活在悔恨裏，再加上思念孩子和孤獨無助，變得更加自暴自棄，振作不起來。這女學生也很希望一家團圓，但是法律上已不許可了！
萬佛聖城長期徵求大、中、小學各科系義務教師。歡迎有能力、肯發心、不計較，能遵守聖城六大宗旨：不爭、不貪、不求、不自私、不自利、不妄語，願放棄城市生活，投入淡泊而充實的精神生活者。我們也需要體育、童軍、園藝、工藝（雕塑）及住宿輔導等人才。不拘年齡、性別與國籍，有志從事義務教學工作者，請與姜吉甫教授洽談。聯絡辦法：萬佛聖城 Talmage, CA 95481-0217 U.S.A., Tel: (707) 462-0939 信封請註明「應徵義務教師」。（聖城歡迎義工參與服務，不限學歷）
The previous passage told us that when exhorting our parents to change their faults, we should be persistent. However, if our parents become upset, we should immediately stop and wait for a day when our parents are in a better mood to continue. Our persistence should be like the stickiness of taffy. Not only is it soft and sweet, but it is extremely sticky; we must not give up until our parents change for the better. If the need arises, we may even break down in tears, until our parents cannot bear to be willful anymore. What if, instead of listening to us, our parents scold us and say we are wrong, or even hit us? The ancient sages of China gave a good piece of advice: "If they beat us with a small stick, we should endure it. If they come with a big stick, we should run away."
Zeng Zi (Confucius' disciple) was renowned for his filiality. Once when he was digging the earth, he accidentally hacked through the root of a melon plant. His father was so furious that he grabbed a stick and gave his son a fierce beating. Zeng Zi was lame for several days. But knowing that his father would feel bad if he knew, Zeng Zi acted happy and didn't dare let his father find out that he had been seriously hurt. When Confucius heard about this, he not only didn't praise Zeng Zi for being filial, but rather scolded him for being foolish and unfilial. Why? Because he had allowed his parents to incur a reputation of unkindness. If Zeng Zi had ended up permanently crippled or dead, his father would undoubtedly have been imprisoned and punished, and would have had to suffer disgrace and regret for the rest of his life. One who truly understands the meaning of filiality would not act so foolishly.
If our parents scold or hit us a few times, we might as well bear it, for the pain will go away soon. There's no need to make a big deal and think they are abusing us. Actually, when parents hit their children, they feel the pain in their own hearts. However, if our parents lose their minds and beat us viciously, then it's time to run and hide!
Nowadays people pay a lot of attention to the problem of child abuse, but the measures taken to prevent it are sometimes a bit excessive. Parents who occasionally punish their children may be charged with child abuse and have their children taken away from them; this results in unnecessary psychological harm to both sides. Sometimes children take advantage of this situation and use it to threaten their parents, so that parents don't dare to be stern with their children. The lack of discipline has resulted in large numbers of juvenile delinquents. Today's endless social problems are perhaps a consequence of the abuse of protective policies and the misunderstood notion of freedom.
In general, it would be best to find a happy medium. Genuine cases of child abuse should definitely not be overlooked. On the other hand, measures taken to prevent child abuse should not be so overreactionary that it becomes difficult for parents and teachers to discipline children.
There was a young girl whose mother got a divorce. After the divorce, the mother often drank and was very temperamental when she was drunk. If she got upset at her daughter, she would scold or beat her. One day the girl, who was twelve years old at the time, saw her mother beating her little sister, so she ran over to a neighbor's house and called the Child Abuse Hotline for help. The court ruled that the mother was not fit to live with her children. The two sisters were separated and were sent to different foster homes. When the girl went to visit her mother, her mother didn't even bother to look at her. She felt sure that her mother hated her. Yet she found no genuine love or caring in her new foster home either. In reaction to criticism from the adults around her, she learned how to please and flatter them. Sometimes she let out her pent-up emotions and behaved violently toward other children.
When she grew more mature in high school, she made an effort to understand her biological mother. It was only then that she realized how lonely and without support her mother had been, how much she had yearned for her children and been filled with regret. Her mother was even more helpless than before, unable to set her life straight. The daughter hoped to patch up her broken family now, but the law wouldn't allow it!
When children are growing up, there is a time when they are looking for models to follow and idols to worship. This time varies in length and intensity from person to person. Of course parents and elder family members are their earliest models, followed by teachers, famous people in society, and heroes in history. Since parents are the earliest models, they hold an indestructible place in a child's heart. How much wisdom does a child have to judge whether or not his parents are at fault? When children discover that their parents can also make mistakes, imagine their shock and disappointment. Since children rely on adults to give them a standard for right and wrong, how difficult it must be when they not only have to overcome the shock of seeing their parents'err, but they have to take on the responsibility of exhorting their parents to change. Nevertheless, we should not underestimate children's intelligence and capabilities. If the children of ancient China were able to do it, so can the Chinese children of today. If Chinese children can do it, so can those of other nationalities. It's just that today's adults are overly protective of children, causing children to lose their natural adaptive abilities and become selfish and neurotic instead. Therefore, from all perspectives, it seems that we should go back to the ancient principles; that seems to be the most perfect solution.
Volunteer Teachers Wanted
The City of Ten Thousand Buddhas (CTTB) needs long-term volunteer teachers to teach a variety of courses at the elementary, high school, and university levels. We welcome capable individuals who have a firm resolve, do not crave benefits, and will follow the Six Guidelines of CTTB: not contending, not being greedy, not seeking, not being selfish, not pursuing personal gain, and not lying. People who are ready to leave an urban life-style and want to lead a simple but fulfilling spiritual life are welcome to apply for a volunteer teaching position. We are also looking for people with backgrounds in physical education, gardening, handicrafts, and dormitory counseling. There are no restrictions of age, gender or nationality. Please contact Prof. Chiang Chi-fu at CTTB, Talmage, CA 95481-0217, U.S.A., Tel: (707) 462-0939. Please write: "Application for Volunteer Teaching" on the envelope. Other volunteers are also welcome to join in the work at the City of Ten Thousand Buddhas, regardless of their educational backgrounds.