Charity should begin at home, but should not stay there. ~ Philip Brooks
You have not lived until you have done something for someone who can never repay you. ~ Anonymous
A good laugh is sunshine in the house. ~ William Makepeace Thackeray
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IN THE HEAT OF THE MOMENT
By Al Jones
It was hot last week. So hot, that I couldn’t walk on my back deck in bare feet. The sun burnt my lawn, which gave me mixed emotions. On one hand, it’s not as green as I am accustomed to but on the other hand, I didn’t have to mow it. I would have dreaded pushing a mower under that hot sun.
Now, I know we spend most of the winter, wishing for warmer weather, but like all things in life, too much of a good thing can sometimes leave you
feeling somewhat miserable. For me, weather has the same effect. Either too cold or too hot, often leaves me short tempered. It’s the discomfort that makes me cranky.
When I get cranky, Mrs. Jones usually handles most of the stressful stuff. Over the many years we’ve been together, she’s come to know that I don’t necessarily evaluate a situation before I bark. And, like a dog who barks when someone enters his home before realizing it’s someone that should be welcomed, I often regret the barking afterwards. The difference is that a dog can wag its tail and lick your hand to ask for forgiveness. But we humans have to swallow a little pride to mumble an apology that is considered sincere enough to have someone forgive us.
Unfortunately for me, Mrs. Jones isn’t always readily available when I’m having one of my heated moments. And I’ve been known to express my short temper from time to time. Some friends, clients, and staff are not afraid to challenge me when I go off on a rant. For them, I am thankful, as they help to rein me in when I lose my composure. But I’m sure there are many others over the years that simply think to themselves, “What a jerk!” The sad thing about not being challenged by these folks is that I never have the chance to show them that I’m really not a bad guy.
We’ve all encountered business owners, or managers, that yell at their staff. We think to ourselves “What a jerk…. I wouldn’t stand for that.” We’ve seen parents yell at their kids in public, and thought to ourselves, “Wow! That’s not how I would handle it.” We’ve all seen someone lose their temper in rush hour grid lock, or waiting for service in a restaurant, or bank, or another business of some sort and thought to ourselves, “What a hot head!” We judge them in that one heated moment and forget that we, too, have those moments.
So, what’s a guy like me to do, when the temperature is so high that you can’t sleep at night and your clothes stick to you from perspiration? You have to check your attitude. If something or someone is ticking you off, you have to go over in your mind as to how you will handle that situation or person before you actually speak with them. It also helps to have a cold bottle of water in your hand to sip on as you chat so that you can maintain your composure. But no matter how much you try and consciously hold your composure, you ARE going to lose it from time to time. What then?
I suggest doing what I find myself doing more often than I like to admit. Recognize when you are out of line and apologize. Not for what made you mad, but for how you handled it. Then pray for a nice cool night in the near future so as to get a full night’s sleep and wake up in a better mood.