Thursday, December 8, 2011

Just kidding No Excuse For Rude & Derogatory Behavior

We hear, and read, it all the time: someone makes mean-spirited, derogatory or rude comments, then when called on it, they say, "Oh, I was just joking/kidding." WRONG! Anytime someone uses disparaging comments on a regular basis, there's something more going on than just joking; deep inside they are either jealous, envious or truly hateful toward those people they direct those jokes to. Even the Bible forewarned us about someone who says, "just kidding" after making those type statements in Proverbs 26:18-19: "Like a madman who throws firebrands, arrows and death is the man who deceives his neighbor and says, 'I was only joking!'"

I know in my own life, I've had relatives who consistently made negative, derogatory remarks to or about me, then when I called them on it, they tried to back peddle by claiming they were only joking. Joking or not, those kinds of repeated comments sting and hurt. And I've seen others who have done the same to others, and when I've mentioned it to them, they claim their target knows they're only joking, and they don't mean all the mean, negative and hurtful things they say. I call that hogwash! When you love someone, whether a family member, spouse or friend, you do not say those types of things on a regular basis. Every now and again, it's just good fun to slightly disparage someone in humor, but to do so on a regular, almost daily basis is not good clean fun, it's an indication of a much deeper seated resentment or jealousy on the part of the one making those statements.

As a brother to a large number of brothers and sisters, I can tell you I have jokingly said things about/to them that if someone didn't know we were siblings, they would think I hated them. But I've only made those statements on rare occasions, and always in the midst of a humor filled visit. And I always let them know on those rare occasions that it was intended as a joke, and that I don't feel that way about them. Of course, because I'm constantly offering positive comments about them, they know when I do make the rare joke that it is just that.

From the tongue comes the truth of the heart. If someone is consistently saying things that are disparaging, defeatist, ugly, rude or derogatory about someone else, it's best to look deeper into their heart to find out why it is they feel the need to make such statements, because those constant barbs of negativity do not come from a spirit of love.

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Getting Rid of My Babies

In the past few weeks, several well meaning friends and relatives have voiced their opinion that I need to get rid of at least one of my dogs, if not all of them; I know this "advice" is coming from a place of love and concern for me, but I want to set the record straight: I am not going to get rid of my dogs now, or anytime in the near future.

Let me explain something, here. My babies are the reason I get out of bed on those days when the pain is so bad I would like to do nothing more than just lay in bed and cry! Because the dogs have to go out and potty and have to be fed, I have to get out of bed. And, if I were to lay in bed one day, it would be easy to lay in the bed a second day, and a third and a tenth, and so forth. My doctors told me a long time ago I would be in a wheelchair before I reached 40 years old. At just past my 48th birthday, I'm still on my feet, in part because I have to get up and take care of my dogs. I have a reason to get out of bed, especially on days when I don't want to because the pain is so bad.

I've recently fallen twice in the space of about 10 days, and some have blamed my falling on my dogs, when the truth is, my dogs had nothing to do with either fall. Yes, I was outside with the dogs on both occasions, but with the first fall, the dogs were more than 70 feet away; I had turned to look where the dogs were, and tripped over my own feet because my right leg decided to stop working at that exact moment. Nothing to do with the dogs. In the 2nd, I was outside with Rufus, and though he was on the leash, he was not pulling or causing any problem. Again, my leg decided to just "disappear" and I fell. It would have happened had I been inside or if I had no pets, whatsoever. It's part and parcel of the nerve damage in my spine.

My dogs offer me more than they could ever require from me: love, companionship, caring and they give me a reason to get out of bed each and every day. Yes, there are times when I wish I didn't have to take them outside to do their bizness; when I wish I didn't have to get up and prepare their food or refill their water bowls; when I loathe having to put them in the bathtub to bathe them. And yet, I wouldn't trade having to do those things for the loneliness and lack of a need to get out of bed for any amount of money.

I am greatly appreciative of the fact that my friends and family love me enough to be concerned about me, and I know the statements about getting rid of a dog or all the dogs comes from that place of concern and caring, but the truth is, if my friends and family truly care for me and are concerned for my welfare, they will understand that I NEED my babies, very deeply. No one would think of telling a parent who has the same physical problems I have that they should get rid of one of their children, even if that child had done something that caused the parent to fall; well, Trudie, Whitley, Rascal and Rufus are my children.