|Image by Angie Muldowney|
During a cult meeting, a young mother expressed concern that her two year old son was behaving violently towards his big brother, and asked for advice. A more experienced mother spoke up to share the story of her youngest. He was always getting into fights, wrestling other children to the ground and hitting them. By the tender age of four he had earned the nick-name “The Grappler” and was known as such by the entire neighbourhood. His mother spent many hours worrying about his behaviour. Then he started school. Many Japanese elementary schools keep some sort of small animals like rabbits or chickens. A school in my area has a very sad looking dog. In previous years monkeys were popular but they (thankfully) seem to have fallen out of favour these days. The school The Grappler attended was a rural school, and instead of fluffy bunnies they had a belligerent billy goat all the first graders were terrified of. On the first day of school The Grappler walked right up to the goat, grabbed his horns and wrestled him to the ground, winning fame and popularity for the entirety of his elementary school years. And so, his mother concluded, even violent traits can be positive in the right context.