Thursday, April 16, 2009

Avoid biting...

... when a simple growl will do.

Doesn't that just say it all? I received an email today from a delightful young man, Cameron, which included a lot of adorable photos of dogs, a story about a little boy whose dog had to be euthanized.

What happened next was so insightful:

The little boy seemed to accept Belker's transition without any difficulty or confusion. We sat together for a while after Belker's Death, wondering aloud about the sad fact that animal lives are shorter than human lives. Shane, who had been listening quietly, piped up, 'I know why.'

Startled, we all turned to him. What came out of his mouth next stunned me. I'd never heard a more comforting explanation.

He said, 'People are born so that they can learn how to live a good Life -- like loving everybody all the time and being nice, right?' The Six-year-old continued, 'Well, dogs already know how to do that, so they don't have to stay as long.'

Out of the mouths of babes! It reminded me of Susan Boyle on Britain's Got Talent, whose physical appearance was rather nondescript; not one that many would pay much attention to. Then both Susan and the little 6-yr old here open their mouths and stun everyone around them! Let that be a lesson to you - don't judge solely on appearances. You can't really tell what's inside that plain brown wrapper, can you? Why is it that people just dismiss those who don't fit into their perfect little picture of what is and what isn't acceptable? They tune out the children, completely shutting out the wisdom they can share with us, if only they would listen! (Luke 18:17 "...whoever doesn't receive the kingdom of God as a little child will never get into it at all.") And they roll their eyes if someone who doesn't have the perfect body, make-up, hair & fashions dares to share their dreams with them. But they sure listen when Brad or Angelina have something to say. Or any of the spoiled young women we see nowadays, whose lives are shattered with drug arrests, mental/emotional problems, physical abuse, etc. It seems the whole world stops to read what's going on with actors & actresses, sports figures, etc., & see what they may have to say. I do it too.

Why do we do that? I do tend to get a "buzz" from the bee in my bonnet when they get up on their pedestal and start spouting their political views. Does that bother anyone else? Why is their opinion anymore valid than that of my next door neighbor? Or my hairdresser? Or the English teacher at high school? Or anybody else? These people make a living playing games or pretending to be someone else! Where do they get off? Aarghhh!

Whew, enough of that bee in my bonnet!!! This wasn't even why I started this particular post ! So... on with it!

After the story of the dog and the boy at the vet's office, there was a list of things the veterinarian had learned from dogs. The one that struck me was "Avoid biting when a simple growl will do." I love it! People (me) are so quick to jump to conclusions (usually the wrong one), and then they (me) rush to strike out or lash back at the supposed one who "injured" them (me). What's wrong with speaking up if you (I) feel someone has done you (me) an injustice - get them to clarify what they said. And then, if you (I) must, peacefully respond. You don't have to lower yourself to their level. Honestly, I do try to do this. But every once in a while I slip. I'm not perfect. And it's not always easy to see when it starts, it takes some experience to catch on; to see when something's been said or done that irks, irritates, bothers, hurts, angers (or whatever) you. Then you have to remember how you should respond, instead of just blasting someone.

Then I remembered a Bible verse I learned a long time ago,

Prov 15: 1 A gentle answer turns away wrath, but a harsh word stirs up anger.

No wonder this vet's life lesson grabbed my attention. It was one I learned long ago, as I mentioned before. But it was at a time when I was battling depression which hadn't been diagnosed yet. The way I responded to the pressures of the depression was by taking it out in anger on those around me. Being diagnosed & put on medication was a step, but by learning this verse and making it mine, putting it in my heart and not letting it go, made me a better person. One I like better because of it.

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