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In some of our communities, beating children is a cultural thing, as common and natural as sweet potato pie. We brag about it. We joke about it. We gather at family events telling war stories about past whuppings – one-upping each other with tales of more brutal and inventive episodes of corporal punishment.
Invariably an older adult in the neighboring room — clearly not minding their own business — will interject: “Well, you all turned out alright, didn’t you?”
This generally spurs the most awkward three seconds of any family gathering, as jocular young’uns ask themselves a simple question: Did I?
Having engaged in several versions of this conversation, I am fascinated by the idea that this question requires examination. Did we turn out okay because we were spanked? And will the generation of children we are raising?