Monday, July 27, 2015


I must have been 13 or 14 years old; just entering my rebellious teen years.

One particular day I was giving my Auntie Ana (above) an especially hard time just being a contrary, noisy chatterbox, bouncing off the walls, really.

Not once in my whole life did Auntie Ana ever lay a hand on me, though I did see her spank others. But, that day, her patience was wearing thin with me and, what she didn't do with her hand, she did with her icy stare and sharp scolding.

Uncle Ben (above), on the other hand, was the incarnation of gentleness.

I suppose he had had enough, too, but he had a different approach.

In a very calm tone, he said to me, "Come with me. I want to show you something."

Every boy wants to be shown something. I followed him into his little study, where he kept all his books and filing cabinets.

He took down his huge Webster's Dictionary and looked up a certain word. When he had found it, he pointed to it and  asked me to read out loud the term and its definition. This was it :

As soon as I read it, I felt a tinge of guilt.

Uncle Ben's method of "correction" spared me an abundance of guilt and humiliation. His method gave me just enough guilt to quiet me down. Not only did I quiet down, Auntie Ana and Uncle Ben continued with their day as if nothing had happened. I don't think I was ever rambunctious again with Auntie Ana.

Not only did he correct my behavior, he made me increase my English vocabulary!

Sometimes, this is all we need in order to correct ourselves :

Uncle Ben was a wise man.

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