"When I was about twenty years old,
I met an old pastor's wife who told me that
when she was young and had her first child,
she didn't believe in striking children,
although spanking kids with a switch
pulled from a tree was standard punishment
at the time.
"But one day when her son was four or five,
he did something that she felt warranted a
spanking--the first in his life.
And she told him he would have to go
outside and find a switch for her to hit him with.
The boy was gone a long time.
And when he came back in, he was crying.
"He said to her, 'Mama,
I couldn't find a switch, but here's a
rock you can throw at me.'
All of the sudden a mother understood
how the situation felt from the
child's point of view: that if my mother
wants to hurt me, it makes no difference
what she does it with; she might as
well do it with a stone.
"The mother took the boy onto her lap
and they both cried.
Then she laid the rock on a shelf
in the kitchen to remind herself forever:
Because violence begins in the nursery--
one can raise children into violence."
~From a peace prize acceptance speech given by Astrid Lindgren, author of Pippi Longstocking