`There is a rumor, says Boccaccio that the lungs of the ancient legislator ‘Solon’, were robust and resembled a grand Doric temple that guarded whole the divine wisdom. His holy laws, which were the epexegetic torch for justice in the ancients, remain an indelible instructive guide for us also today. Each state he says, stands and walks on two legs like the human beings. The right foot looks carefully that no felony should ever pass unpunished and the left remunerates each noble action to honor with discreet magnificence.
When the first foot forgets to punish bad actions, from negligence or corruptness, the state begins to limp. And if the second foot does not honor the social benefactors from careless or laziness, the state will not stand erect. With these two simple rules the ancient Greek and later their imitators Romans, were glorified worldwide and their fame touched the stars.
They brilliantly honour their benefactors, certain with Deification, others with marble statues, and all with majestic funerals where poems and anthems rendering for their eternal glory. For their socially undisciplined individuals, they wrote their names on a peace of ostraco, (part of broken pottery) each January, and at the spring they voted for their punishment. If they gathered six thousands votes (6.000) against, they were ostracized at Delphic temple or other sacrament places for social training and intellectual tuition.
We cannot help but admire their enviable correction system, which so well they studied and irreproachably applied. The felony for them was a psycho-somatic illness which was deeply rooted with the byway of time in a criminal dangerous habit.
They believe that criminals can be rehabilitating with the right correctional treatment. Exemplary noble association and teaching them creative work will change their criminal habit into enviable virtue in the end. Like the wild beasts, where with intensive long training, we change their ferocious nature into useful human tools. Seeing criminality lately to springing up worldwide as the mushrooms do at first autumn rain, and we worry for the dangerous extension that it takes.
Where we side-stepped socially and took such risky slippery path? Did we perhaps demolish the human ideal with our erroneous education and social direction that we provide to our youth? If our objective is knowledge, research, creativeness, virtue and love, sure felony has no place in our psycho-somatic constitution? The intellectual journey never accompanied with resentment, crime and religious bigotry. Virtual behavior is lined first from the ideal parents, enriched by the right education and honored from a democratic state and cultural society.
When human thinking wonders away from knowledge, truth and creativeness, intellect seldom reaches spiritual maturity. Like the river who braches into many smaller creeks and dries up before reaches the open sea?
Hermanus- October 2006 Southerner Africa
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