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When the mother hen scolds and physically attacks her disobedient and disorderly chicks, there is an interesting movement in what is taking place.

When you see a mother chicken walking with her young brood in a line behind her, very often one or two chicks will get distracted by curiosity and get out of line and wander off.

Pretty soon the mother hen rounds them up. She scolds them, telling them in chicken talk, “I’m screaming at you because I love you. If you don’t stay in line and follow me, you’re going to get run over by a truck or eaten by a fox. So, don’t you ever get out of line again.”

But over time the mother hen’s attitude changes. The chicks grow, and her discipline becomes more physical. She tries to bash some sense into them.

And finally, when they become her competitors in the flock, she uses force still to teach them a lesson. This time the lesson is that she’s the boss, and if they challenge her, they had better be prepared for a fight.

This chicken progression is a very human progression. Human beings tend to believe that force and violence are the ways to keep people in line and teach them lessons.

And yet we are learning, very slowly learning, that violence posing as love in families is really abuse. We are learning that violence and the torture of prisoners simply does not teach the other person the lessons we intend.

Jesus broke away from this way of doing business. He understood that love and nonviolence were far better teachers.

Thanks to Dudley C. Rose for these thoughts.

The day the power of love overrules the love of power….the world will know peace.
Mahatma Gandhi

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