Wednesday, April 09, 2008

Carrot and stick -- use them properly

So there was news about this nine year old boy who was grounded but managed to escape and disappear with his father's thousands of dollar bills. Later, he changed some of those dollars into rupiah at a money changer and bought a hand phone and an MP3 player. He also paid a mall security officer to 'escort' him.

Then he was found and brought back home. He was shown on television smiling. The parents were there too, all smiling and affectionate. A friend of mine couldn't take it. "How come the parents look so loving to that little rascal? He stole their money for god's sakes!"

I said, "Of course they look so happy. They should. Their boy is a genius". The friend disagreed, "But he's still a thief". So I responded, "True, he stole that money. So if I were the parents, I would have punished him hard for stealing... but on account of being smart, I would have given him ... gift -- maybe more money".

My friend still did not like it, apparently. Neither did those in the mailing lists.