Thursday, August 4, 2016

Bad Behavior Magnified

Recently I was watching the news about a professional baseball player who went on a tirade and cut up other players "throwback" uniform shirts because he did not want to wear them. It sounds so bizarre and just plain crazy, but it took me back to a situation in my life that occurred when I was around 21.

Joel was assigned to Rantoul, Illinois for 9 months of training in the Air Force.  We were living on $200 a month (I am not kidding) and so I took a job doing day care at the house of a Sgt. and his family. The first few days went okay and then the Sgt. came home for lunch unexpectedly.  I had already fed the kids, but he was not there for them.  I was sitting in the living room and he came and sat by me, and let me know in a manipulative creepy manner that IF I did not do what he wanted me to do, if I did not have sex with him, he would make sure Joel got in trouble.  Joel was only an airman first class at the time and this guy was a Sgt. so he could have made things miserable for Joel.  I got up and left the room, saying I had to go check on the kids.  Soon after he stormed out into the kitchen and opened the cupboard, taking out a large can of cocoa.  He proceeded to dump the cocoa all over the kitchen floor and then took a half gallon of milk out of the fridge and poured it all over the cocoa!  Yeah, crazy. Then he told me to clean it up, slamming the door as he left the house.  It appeared to be normal behavior to his kids as they were not surprised and showed no reaction to this stunt.  After he was gone I proceeded to wipe up the mess on the floor.

I went home after work, told Joel what had happened and quit that day.  I never said anything to anyone in authority, nor did Joel.  We prayed the Sgt. would not attempt to get Joel into trouble, and he did not. You may think that the officer/enlisted stuff is not a big deal, but it was at the time. I remember one time when we were shopping in the grocery store and I had just picked up the last package of pork chops.  A woman came over and grabbed it right out of my hands.  She said, "I am a Colonial's wife and I want those."  Alrighty, then......We just walked away.  Yeah............

When I recalled that first story of the cocoa and milk, I wonder how those kids grew up.  Certainly living in such a household had to have a negative affect on them.  How awful!  And I wondered about the many people in authority acting out of control and no one tries to stop them.  Seriously, whether the authority comes with money, class, power, or more, it seems to suppress many of those who are being submitted to the bad behavior magnified maybe because they feel beneath those who are acting out. Maybe out of fear of reprisal.  I would hope we would responded differently today to that Sgt. and his disgusting behavior.

And getting back to the story of the pitcher who cut up everyone's baseball shirts?  He was given a suspension......How about a little counseling to go along with that?!  Seriously.  Is he married?  Are his kids experiencing such behavior at home when he can't have his way?

Why in the world do we put up with such bad behavior from others? I don't have the answers, do you?  Whatever the answers, and I expect there would be many, we need to stand firm in our faith, discerning with prayer how to respond to the bad behavior magnified that goes on around us.

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