Member Rara Avis
As if punishing a small child for going into the cookie jar, now none of the children are allowed cookies. I've never really understood that line of thinking.
Let's change your analogy just a little, Jenn, to eliminate the implication that children have a God-given right to cookies and to perhaps make it more appropriate to the situation.
Let's say you put a cookie jar on the street corner and invite the neighborhood kids to partake. You don't have time to stand there and watch all day, but you nonetheless ask that they not eat cookies until after dinner (Teen Poetry), please don't tip over the jar because the ants will get into it, and for heaven's sake, don't throw them at each other (those are really heavy cookies, don't ya know).
When you return the next day, you find that several of the kids have broken your rules. You admonish the offenders, upright the cookie jar, clean away the ants, and apologize to the kids with nasty bruises from cruise cookies. And then you refill the cookie jar. This goes on for nearly a year, and every day you find more ants, more bruises, and more and more kids breaking the rules. Your warnings go largely unheeded because, after all, the kids know you can't easily take back a cookie they've already eaten.
You know you can't continue doing it alone, so you ask a few of the kids to help. Watch the cookie jar, you tell them, and when they see someone tip it over, please pick it up before the ants can get into it. If they see someone throwing cookies, remind them to stop. You ask for help, several agree to help, and then you stand there and watch a few of your helpers walk over and very deliberately tip over the cookie jar. Right in front of you. Is that a smirk you see on their faces?
That slap in the face hurts, but more importantly, it makes you stop and take inventory.
When you look around a little more closely, you realize that most of the kids who have been eating cookies are skinny as a rail, gaunt and sallow, and it's clear they haven't been eating their dinner. They've been subsisting on a sugar-high, with no real sustenance, and the only exercise they get any more is to throw cookies at each other. What started out as an adjunct to a healthy lifestyle has turned into something really bad for the very kids you wanted to reward. And it's not even entirely their fault. A lot of the kids would really like to eat dinner, but just don't have room after all the cookies you supplied. A lot of the kids would like to follow the rules, but they've been breaking them so long they've forgotten which rules even matter. It seems they've actually developed a taste for cookies covered with crawling ants?
How long would you continue putting cookies into that same cookie jar?
We need a new cookie jar, guys. One, maybe, that can be nailed to the ground. And, sadly, we need to get rid of those kids who came into our neighborhood JUST for a quick sugar-high. We need to get rid of the ones who like the taste of ants. They won't be missed. Only then can we make room for those who want a little steak and potatoes with their cookies.