I am learning to remember there once lived a person named Gezela Lorinz nee Noilander. She was born in Oradea Mare, Romania, 1885 and died in Auschwitz, 1944, aged 59. May her memory be for a blessing.
Essay 3 #70days70years
by Sara Yoheved Rigler
To read the essay, click on the title above. Here are my thoughts.
If you believe in original sin or even if you don't but think you are essentially a bad person for some other reason or no reason at all, then it is impossible to repent. You can't change who you are so the most you could hope for would be faking good behaviour.
Sara Rigler writes that people who refuse to own their mistakes, their crimes, their sins, and instead give excuses why it wasn't their fault, are people who believe deep down that they are bad and worthless. Taking responsibility for their misdemeanors would be facing up to the [erroneous] fact that they are somehow rotten inside.
In order to repent you need to believe that you are essentially a good person who has made mistakes, made bad decisions, and taken the wrong path. Why would God make bad people? You need to believe that you can atone for your crime and that you will come through the process in a position to try again and do better. Certainly you will not commit the same offense again if you have seriously repented. However, you also need to believe that you are able to go forward and do good in the world, be good in the world, otherwise what is the point of repentance?
How important it is, therefore, that children should grow up believing they are good. That when they are naughty, as all children are sometimes, it isn't because they are essentially bad but rather it was a bad choice of action. What incentive is there to behave well if you are actually a bad person? Not much.
It's not helpful to label a child as a naughty boy/girl. Even if you only mean it to be a reflection on one recent event and not an absolute truth, that may not be how the child takes it. How much more so a child with attention problems such as ADD, who desperately wants to be good but keeps being told that he/she is a naughty boy/girl. Eventually they will believe it and give up trying.