I was just reading Dooce.com's archives and something the writer (Heather B. Armstrong) wrote made me think. She was writing about being stung by a bee. I thought it was kinda weird because bees usually die after they sting someone, don't they? Yeah. And the way it sounded, Heather B. Armstrong was not doing anything to provoke the bee because the friend she was with is incredibly allergic to bees and she had her baby strapped to her front with one of those baby holding things.
So the question is, "Why did that bee just sting her for no reason?"
But really, that's not the question at all. My question is, why do sometimes we get angry and do things for no good reason? I know many hotheaded folks, and I myself used to have a very bad temper, so now I find myself wondering, if we were like bees, we might die after we lose our temper. That might make a person think before losing her temper.
When I was doing my Chaplain thing, one of my calls was for a young man who had been hit a few times by another guy. The young man lost consciousness, quit breathing, and lay in the hospital for a couple of days on life support before the family acted on what they believed the young man's wishes were. So, he died. After being hit twice. With an average-Joe's fists.
And the thing that gets me is that if the "perpetrator" had simply stayed in his car and driven away, the young man might (And I stress, "MIGHT" here because the situation is complicated, but I'm not at liberty to discuss that) still be alive. If the bee hadn't decided to sting for something so stupid as a few cruel words, countless lives wouldn't have been so deeply wounded, families might still be intact, and another young man wouldn't be in deep, deep trouble for being hotheaded.
It troubles me when people I love act hotheadedly and threaten action. The police have a saying, "You choose your victim as he is." That means if you jump some stranger who already has a medical condition, and you therefore "cause" death, you're responsible. Some physical conditions are not easily spotted. People look healthy all the time, but we don't know what's going on inside them. Oftentimes THEY don't know. So, why risk it? Why not show a little grace to those who are less gracious, that they might see and learn what unmerited favor is like? Why be that bee who stings for no good reason and loses its life? Why risk so much to gain so little? What-a little ego boost for being able to avenge one's self? It's not worth it. Get a handle on that anger. The better work is among the flowers.