There is an expression in the Wasteland: "Old World Blues". It refers to those so obsessed with the past they can't see the present, even less the future, for what it is.
"When I was about 20 years old, I met an old pastor’s wife who told me that when she was young and had her first child, she didn’t believe in striking children, although spanking kids with a switch pulled from a tree was standard punishment at the time. But one day, when her son was four or five, he did something that she felt warranted a spanking–the first in his life. She told him that he would have to go outside himself and find a switch for her to hit him with.
The boy was gone a long time. And when he came back in, he was crying. He said to her, “Mama, I couldn’t find a switch, but here’s a rock that you can throw at me.”
All of a sudden the mother understood how the situation felt from the child’s point of view: that if my mother wants to hurt me, then it makes no difference what she does it with; she might as well do it with a stone.
And the mother took the boy into her lap and they both cried. Then she laid the rock on a shelf in the kitchen to remind herself forever: never violence. And that is something I think everyone should keep in mind. Because if violence begins in the nursery one can raise children into violence.”
Astrid Lindgren, author of Pippi Longstocking, 1978 Peace Prize Acceptance Speech (via withoutawarning)
An aunt of mine tried to do the whole “pick your own switch” thing with me a few times, I’d just wander off and not come back until she left my mom’s house. She didn’t try to “step in for my mom” much after that.