From “Tears (of a Slave)” I’m having fun posting teasers!
Continuing their discussion of punishments after Mercer spanked Parin at the dinner table:
“I don’t want to be punished!”
He smiled at her much like a tolerant parent with a naughty child. “No slave is ever perfect. Punishment reinforces what you did wrong, and gives you the incentive to correct your behavior.”
“But – but – where I come from, when I make a mistake, i apologize, and try to do better next time. You don’t have to punish me!”
“But I’m going to make you do things you don’t want to do. And when you rebel, having to apologize isn’t enough to give you the incentive to change your mind. Punishment – usually painful, and always unpleasant – restores the balance that gets upset when you decide that your will is more important than mine.”
I think that’s my new favorite explanation of why slaves must be punished.