I like many others when I was growing up watched a certain amount of cartoons. While there were many that I liked watching (and still do), I had a fondness for ones like Tom & Jerry and the Roadrunner & Coyote. I find it amazing that cartoons like these are degraded as being violent and inappropriate for children. To my knowledge after years of watching them, I did not turn into a homicidal maniac. And for those who say that the cartoons teach kids unrealistic results like someone blowing up or getting crushed and not dying… Really?? I’m sorry, but a child lacking common sense is not a cartoons fault, it is their parents’.
Before I get sidetracked chasing that rabbit however, I had involved parents who ensured that I knew right from wrong and didn’t rely on cartoons to raise me. Looking back now though, I see these cartoons as having actually reinforced in me a Biblical principle. It is the reverse side of the Golden rule “Do unto others as you would have them do unto you.” It is “What goes around, comes around.”
“Whoso diggeth a pit shall fall therein: and he that rolleth a stone, it will return upon him.” – Proverbs 26:27
I read this early this morning while Savannah was nursing and I was struck by it. In these cartoons, we see Tom try to blow up Jerry only to discover the bomb he set for Jerry is now back beside him. We see the anvil Coyote set to land on the Roadrunner lands on himself instead. When you go out of your way to do evil to others, it will come back on you at some point. It may not be as sudden as in the cartoons, but that doesn’t change the fact that it will.
All some people get from these cartoons is that children might see violence. Don’t be naïve; kids see more and hear more than we could ever imagine or want them to. The important thing isn’t keeping them from seeing every little evil out there. It is instilling in them what to do with it. It is allowing them to see that evil is rewarded with evil, misconduct rewarded with punishment. Showing them that every action has a reaction. A child understands seeing action better than just talking about it.
Please don’t misunderstand what I am saying; I won’t be taking Savannah to see a slasher flick at age 5 or even the newest Bruce Willis action movie (as much as I like them). While I do think children shouldn’t be around foul language and immoral acts, I don’t think these old cartoons fall into this category. In fact given some of the “kids” shows I have seen, especially those I have heard about on the Disney channel, I think I would rather Savannah go straight from these cartoons to reruns of Murder She Wrote. Not that I foresee much TV being watched at all in our household!