What Am I Worth

What Am I Worth?



Men are like steel – when they lose their temper, they lose their worth.”  -- Chuck Norris



I spent all afternoon Saturday moving furniture and steam cleaning the carpet in the bedroom. Then, while I was vacuuming one last time to fluff up the nap of the carpet, the puppy came in behind me and wet in the floor.



            I don’t loose my temper very often, but I was angry. I yelled at the dog and chased her out of the room and kept yelling at her, “You couldn’t even wait two hours!” Then, when I almost tripped over her, I told her in a quiet, dark, thick voice, “You might be safer outside right now.” My daughter scooped her up real quick and shoved her out the back door. 



            By the time the dog came back in a couple of hours latter, she was went right back in the room where she got in so much trouble (she’s a little ‘dense’ that way) and was just as friendly as always. My daughter, on the other hand, sat quietly huddled in a blanket until I finished cleaning that spot in the floor again and started replacing the furniture. By then I had finally calmed down enough to see that she was almost in tears. I gave her a hug and apologized for losing my temper and then the tears broke loose. She said, “You don’t like her!” I assured her that I do like the dog, at least I want to, we just have some issues to work through.



And what did I accomplish by loosing my temper? Two things: 1) I scared the dog for few minutes (not very long), and 2) I crushed my daughter. Will the dog remember? Experience with her tells me she will not. Will my daughter remember?  Always. From this point on, for a long time, whenever the dog does something wrong, she will be afrad I will want to get rid of her puppy. It will take some time to fully reassure her that I want to keep the dog as much as she does. It must have made me feel better to get that out of my system though, right? Oh, sure. I was shaking and tense, and giving up control. “Giving up” because I allowed myself to react rather than responding appropriately. And what did I give control to? A little black dog that I haven’t managed to train properly. Afterwards, I was angry and disappointed with myself for allowing myself to give up control and hurting my daughter. Yeah, I really felt great.



Getting angry accomplished nothing good. Giving up control of myself to a little dog was foolish.  Giving up control to anything that makes me fell like I felt then is foolish. Giving up control to anything that makes me do what I would not do if I took time think things through is foolish. I am responsible for what I do and how I treat people – and dogs. Will I yell and scream at them and look foolish when someone does something I don’t like, or will I respond calmly and do what is in my power and ability to do to fix the situation? I can’t control the actions of others. I can’t control very many things; but I can control me. And that level of control is a measure of who I am, a measure of my true character. Will I allow the actions of other people to control me? Will I allow circumstances or a chemical substance to control me? Or will I, with God’s help and direction, grow up and control myself?



 Larry Meissner



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