I believe that, by most people, you're considered to be successful. You're often described as principled, thoughtful and fair, and a decisive yet diplomatic leader. Yet, as I'm sure you'll remember, this was not always the case; in fact, quite the opposite. As an eleven-year-old boy in Catholic School, you were a rascally mischief-maker, a big personality with crafty little ways and an angelic, baby face. But of course, looks are deceiving. You were a wisenheimer talking out of turn; coming late to class, rolling your eyes at the lay teachers, and making snide remarks. You used profanity in the hallways and turned in your homework late (those times you turned it in at all). If not for the concern of a very strict nun with a paddle that spanked your behind; your reputation would be different from the one you enjoy today.
As it happened, you were invited for an afternoon of detention with Mother Superior; towering, no-nonsense School Principle, and strict, big-handed Disciplinarian. She had observed your wisenheimer antics for some time decided to intervene.
Upon entering her office, without greeting or fanfare, your pants come down and underwear off. Then over her desk you're thrown - positioned just so - as a brass ruler smacks your skin, blistering your bottom while rivulets of tears stain your cheeks. You're then pulled up by the ear, turned to the blackboard and ordered to read the School Rules aloud. Each rule is followed by a sound of her enormous bare hand slapping a small bare bottom.
I will be polite at all times or I will be spanked.
I will do homework on time or I will be spanked.
I will pay attention in class or I will be spanked.
I will not roll my eyes or I will be spanked.
I will not use profanity or I will be spanked.
I will never be late or be spanked....
Now hold your ankles and be roundly lashed with a long leather strap; five times for each infraction.
And still, in your shirt, jacket, tie, and vest, you're once more marched bottomless by the ear, into the corner. She places a Dunce Cap on your head and you are to stand motionless. She pays no mind that you're flushed with shame. Instead, she sits at her desk, does paperwork and takes calls. But whenever you move an inch, she slams you again, this time with her leather paddle and blocking your bottom earns five more withering blows
After an hour or so of corner time and occasional paddling you are permitted to dress.
You're subdued and humbled; not quite the smart aleck of three hours ago; and although your bottom is raw and stings at the touch, the lessons you have learned about manners, responsibility, and self-control serve you well in life.
So keep a good thought for Mother Superior, the Disciplinarian behind things you enjoy today; your success, your stature, and fondness for a nicely burning bottom.