Sunday, April 05, 2009

Urinating Dog Triggers Multiple Murders

Three Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, police officers were shot to death while responding to a 911 call of a domestic argument triggered by a urinating dog.

This story causes me to ponder a couple of thoughts.

First, it is always best to find ways of not getting in direct strife with people. Direct confrontation leads to hurt feelings, anger, and creates enemies... so it should be used sparingly and for true enemies where you have to defeat and destroy them. We are all guilty of provoking others to strife. We get upset and we go after the other person, or we goad them and goad them until they blow up, or we ignore what is going on with them and don't really bother to find out how they are doing inside. As the old proverb says, "The beginning of strife is as when one letteth out water: therefore leave off contention, before it be meddled with." Tact, patience, planning, forgiveness, timing, thoughtfulness, consideration of others... love... all take maturity and self control. People are mostly self centered, thinking of themselves and what they want. They don't consider the other person. I'm convinced that the one thing you'll never really get in any sincere quantity or quality from others is gratitude for what you've done or first consideration of what you need over what the other person wants. And you'll always be thinking of yourself before you think of others. The more self absorbed you are, and the more self absorbed the people around you, the more likely for strife and hurt feelings. Yes, you might be mad that the dog urinated in the home. But, maybe the dog needs training. Maybe the dog's owner needs help. Maybe instead of complaining, you get in there and give the other person a helping hand when they are down.

Second, many people have never been taught to exercise self control. You can influence, and even greatly control, how good or bad you feel and what you are going to focus on. Is the glass half empty or half full? Are you a quitter or a winner? Do you get up again after being knocked down, or are you a loser? I have learned a lot about emotional control from a variety of sources. You learn it if you have to be a salesperson. Your attitude will definitely control whether you make money or not. You learn it if you have to be in business for yourself. There are a lot of people out there who will try to knock you down. You'll learn it if you get married. The hardest things to do when married are to keep putting your best foot forward every day, sharing sacrifice, showing your spouse esteem and preference, supporting them, and not getting in strife. I think the traditional marriage vows are a terrific example of the choices we have to make in order to have a successful marriage: "Do you ___ take ____ to be your husband /wife – to live together after God’s ordinance – in the holy estate of matrimony? Will you love him / her, comfort him / her, honor and keep him / her, in sickness and in health, for richer, for poorer, for better, for worse, in sadness and in joy, to cherish and continually bestow upon him / her your heart’s deepest devotion, forsaking all others, keep yourself only unto her as long as you both shall live?" Those are all choices about what you are going to do and how you are going to manage how you feel. Spiritual books, self help books, business motivational seminars, and so forth all deal with managing how we feel. When you get down, get distressed... you don't get a gun and start shooting people. Instead, you need to draw upon the character lessons of life, talk to friends, do the right thing regardless of how you feel, and get professional help if necessary.

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