Tuesday, June 5, 2012

Respect - Anger – Forgiveness!

This blog started out as two and I felt like they were really one. I hope it helps you like it helped me. I am a consolidation of the thoughts, advice and lessons gained from thousands of people headed in the direction I purposed to go. I do have original thoughts such as preparing my coffee every day.

Spring brings out the maintenance in me and I decided to prune the bushes and trees around our house. I was excited about my tasks and discussed the plan with Connye. Connye seemed to agree with the plans and off I went to please her with an improved landscape.

What I did not understand was we did not communicate, we just exchanged words. Connye came outside to evaluate my progress and went into shock then anger. Her prized tall, full hedge bush was now a short, thin, skeleton of itself. Explaining how it would all grow back healthier, prettier and fuller was to no avail. Our neighbors would soon see the debasement of her house. (It is our house but it is her house.)

 I disrespected my wife and her house and although not my intention, this required my immediate sincere attention. I re-evaluated our earlier conversation and my neglect to ensure communication.

This caused me to consider why I get upset when another driver cuts me off, or someone interrupts a conversation without apology, etc. Their action, to me, demonstrates lack of respect.

1. esteem for or a sense of the worth or excellence of a person, a personal quality or ability, or something considered as a manifestation of a personal quality or ability: I have great respect for her judgment.  

2. deference to a right, privilege, privileged position, or someone or something considered to have certain rights or privileges; proper acceptance or courtesy; acknowledgment: respect for a suspect's right to counsel; to show respect for the flag; respect for the elderly.

Teaching and demonstrating respect and courtesy are fundamental to a diverse society. This social etiquette encourages interaction among people in a peaceful and secure manner. Norms, laws, rules and ordinances are put in place so a population may come and go in an orderly manner with minimal harm. 

We are discouraged from committing crimes such as;

· Cutting in line at the cashier station. 

· Taking a parking space when another is waiting for it. 

· Driving through a Stop Light or running a Stop Sign.

· Using Profanity, Vulgar or Obscene words or gestures.  

When the norms are disobeyed, we call the action rude, disrespectful or a crime and the offender a criminal.  

1. an action or an instance of negligence that is deemed injurious to the public welfare or morals or to the interests of the state and that is legally prohibited.  

2. criminal activity and those engaged in it: to fight crime.  

3. the habitual or frequent commission of crimes: a life of crime. 

As an instructor, occasionally a student would question the class rules.  

· Who decides what is normal and which rules are to be obeyed?  

· Why can’t I take what I want?  

Usually, the challenge was the first phase of their actions and if I did not respond with immediate appropriate action, the challenge would escalate. Rarely, I would have the student removed and notify their management. Some students would display respect after discipline, others were not allowed in any future class.

NOTE: My teaching career covered 40 years as an employed internal insructor and contracted external instructor and Christian classes. Environments included normal classes in a healthy economy,  recessions, classes as part of an employee's termination package, etc. Each event had to be examined and managed in the context of the environment.

Paul, an elder friend, attended several classes I taught and often commented that the more I spoke about loving one another, the angrier I looked. Paul and I experienced similar emotionally traumatic childhoods. We maintained our composure in public and private but the rage was only a trigger away. Emotionally injured people can sympathize but not always help one another with improvement.

When I turned to God and began a Christian lifestyle, I thought and expected everyone in church was perfect. People were and are still human and always in process of reformation, until they stall. Some like the societal establishment but not the required emotional and spiritual changes. If you ever felt like you were attacked by a wolf in Christian clothing, you probably were.

1. a strong feeling of displeasure and belligerence aroused by a wrong; wrath; ire  


1. angry fury; violent anger.  

2. a fit of violent anger.  

3. fury or violence of wind, waves, fire, disease, etc.  

4. violence of feeling, desire, or appetite. 

Twelve years would pass before I began therapy with a restorative process lasting 20 more years. I equated pain and humiliation with love. Emotional diagnosis and healing can be difficult in our dysfunctional society.

A relative or friend harassing or beating me would often comment, “I wouldn’t do this if I didn’t love you.” As I grew and considered the same type of treatment from strangers, the rationale seemed erroneous.

If this treatment displays love, then am I to do the same to those I love? If this is correct behavior, why do abusive people get arrested, sent to therapy and shunned by gracious members of society? I learned that dysfunctional males and females will use these types of explanations to excuse their ill-mannered behavior.  

Our friend once declared: 
e-Sword ASV
Mat 18:3-6 and said, Verily I say unto you, Except ye turn, and become as little children, ye shall in no wise enter into the kingdom of heaven. Whosoever therefore shall humble himself as this little child, the same is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven. And whoso shall receive one such little child in my name receiveth me: But whoso shall cause one of these little ones that believe on me to stumble, it is profitable for him that a great millstone should be hanged about his neck, and that he should be sunk in the depth of the sea.

Children are born innocent of social faux paws and are taught them by older children and adults. The fear of most adults desiring community respect is their children proclaiming their conversations in public regarding:  

· the Pastor: Do you really blow my parent’s money? 

· a large person: Are fat people really stupid? 

· a police officer: My Mother/Father says you are a jerk.

Let us correct the phrase, “I broke the law”. An engineer friend noted a law cannot be broken because it is immutable. One can obey or disobey a law but cannot destroy it. The declaration, “I broke the law”, implies I control the law and am not subject to it. Confessing obedience or disobedience admits I do not control but am controlled by the governing authority. Our nature resists subjection to anything or anyone.

When a bully or other criminal disobeys a law they declare their indifference to the rights of others and disdain for the law and its discipline. Offensive people depend on their victims honoring and consenting restraint by the very rules and laws they scorn.  

A criminal does not expect a store manager or home owner to aggressively defend their establishment. In some states, the intended victim can be jailed for harming the assailant. This insult engenders fear, anger, and demands for justice. Society appears to respect the offender more than the victim.  

During my life, I have met many hurt, injured, offended people (children to elder adults). Some were able to recover and enjoy wonderful careers, joy filled marriages, restored relationships with family, children and friends. These reconstitutions were the result of forgiveness by the victim.


1. act of forgiving; state of being forgiven. 

2. disposition or willingness to forgive.


1. to grant pardon for or remission of (an offense, debt, etc.); absolve.  

2. to give up all claim on account of; remit (a debt, obligation, etc.).  

3. to grant pardon to (a person).  

4. to cease to feel resentment against: to forgive one's enemies.

e-Sword ASV
Mat 6:15: But if ye forgive not men their trespasses, neither will your Father forgive your trespasses.  

Mat 18:34: And his lord was wroth, and delivered him to the tormentors, till he should pay all that was due.  

Mat 18:35: So shall also my heavenly Father do unto you, if ye forgive not everyone his brother from your hearts.  

Luk 11:4: And forgive us our sins; for we ourselves also forgive every one that is indebted to us. And bring us not into temptation.

Notice the victim has a choice to:  

· give up 

· grant 

· willingly 

· cease 

The victim, injured, demeaned, harassed, abused person has the choice. They choose to let go the offense.  

When confronted with the thought of forgiving a person for a grievous injury I have considered having:  

· Bamboo pushed under my nails and set on fire. 

· My eyes extracted using paper clips dipped in acid. 

· Each toe crushed by pliers, then cut off with a hack saw. 

· You get the idea.

Forgiving my abuser is not my first choice BUT considering a better life for myself, wife, children and siblings, it becomes the ONLY VIABLE choice. Forgiving is NOT easy.

I will add that asking forgiveness is equally difficult. This is equivilent to repenting. you are accepting the wrong doing, acknowledging the wrong to your victim and anyone affected, asking for forgiveness with your word of honor to never repeat the offense. Earlier in my life, I would prefer being set on fire in a desert.  

e-Sword ASV
Luk 23:34 And Jesus said, Father, forgive them; for they know not what they do. And parting his garments among them, they cast lots.  

Luk 23:46 And Jesus, crying with a loud voice, said, Father, into thy hands I commend my spirit: and having said this, he gave up the ghost.  

I envy the men and women equipped with a forgiving heart. These people are a joy to know and be with. They seem to naturally repel offenses and insults. I struggle to forgive a transgressor especially when they do not ask for forgiveness.  

Several thousand years ago, a person considered all the above and wrote his conclusion. 

e-Sword ASV
Ecc 12:13-14: This is the end of the matter; all hath been heard: fear (reverence) God, and keep his commandments; for this is the whole duty of man. For God will bring every work into judgment, with every hidden thing, whether it be good, or whether it be evil.

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