I was 16 years old and living with my parents at the institute my grandfather had founded 18 miles outside of the city of Durban, South Africa, in the middle of the sugar plantations. We were well within the country and had no neighbors, so my two sisters and I always look forward being able to go to town to visit friends or go to the movies. One day my father asked me to take him to the city to attend a conference that lasted the whole day and I jumped at the chance.
As he went to town, my mother gave me a grocery list of things I needed and my father asked me to take care of some outstanding things like taking the car serviced. When I left my father, he told me: See you here at 5 pm and we will go home together.
After quickly completing all the assignments, I went to the nearest cinema.I focused so much with the film, a John Wayne movie, I forgot the time. It was 5:30 pm when I remembered. I ran to the garage and got the car and hurried to where my father was waiting. It was nearly 6 pm.
He anxiously asked: Why are you late? I felt bad about it and I could not say I was watching a John Wayne movie in Durban. Then I told him the car was not ready and had to wait. I said this without knowing that my father had already called the garage.
When he realized that I had lied, he said: Something is wrong with the way you’ve raised that has not given you the confidence to tell me the truth. I will reflect what you did wrong. I will walk the 18 miles home and think about this.
So dressed in his suit and dress shoes, he began to walk home on roads that were not cemented and lighted. I could not leave alone … so I drove five hours and a half behind him … watching my father suffer the agony of a stupid lie that I had said. I decided from there that I was never going to lie. Many times I remember this episode and think, what if I had punished the way we punish our children, had learned the lesson? I think not. Would have suffered the punishment and had continued doing the same. but this act of violence was not so strong that I have printed in the memory like it was yesterday.
This is the power of life without violence.
This reflection is a lesson for all but the very special consider applicable to young people, especially for those parents who lack the virtue of patience with the children in whom vent their anger product many times of frustration, which children results in unsafe and marked by violence lived at home and eventually becomes a repetitive pattern in the generations.