What to do when someone does something really bad
I had planned for a different topic for today’s post. However, I’m in the midst of a traumatic experience and felt it was important to share it. There will be no pictures, but be forewarned that it is a sad animal tale.
Arriving home this morning after a breakfast meeting, I took Grace outside for a short walk to do her business. We go where we often do, down an unpaved road with a little turnaround. It’s quiet and quick. Normally.
As I walked along and glanced behind me, I noticed that she had lagged behind. Sometimes that’s not too unusual, but today I got all the way to the end, turned around, and she was still not in sight. Finally I got a glimpse of her and she was tracking a scent, her nose firmly to the ground as she darted here and there.
I rejoined her and after a few nudges, I convinced her to follow me on the way back home. Then it happened. I looked to my side, about 100 yards away in the woods, and an adorable wild bunny, white with black spots popped into my view. Grace saw it, too, and she sprinted off in the rabbit’s direction.
I heard a yelp. My heart sank.
Next thing I saw was Grace carrying this bunny to our house. She stopped with her catch and as I’m yelling, “NOOOO!” she picked it up and starting moving it closer to home. The whole experience lasted about two minutes, probably even less, even though it seemed so much longer. I’ve heard that animals know how to kill their prey quickly. As I’m typing, the poor, dead bunny is on our deck, just outside the side door.
I’m devastated. Just the other night I was having a hard time watching the show Frozen Planet on the Discovery channel because of all the violence between and among species in the wild. I know it’s natural, it’s the way animals survive. And as my husband says, “even an [insert whatever animal you want] has to eat.”
I wanted to kill Grace. Well, that’s harsh, I know, and overstated, but I wasn’t happy. And as shaken as I am, I realize that I can’t be angry at her for doing what an animal is supposed to do.
It makes me think deeply about the people in my life who sometimes do things that irritate me to no end. In reality, they are acting on their own instinct. They are doing what they need to do to survive.
I have (nearly) unlimited compassion for Grace. Which makes it easier for me to forgive, easier to try to understand the motive, and realize that the act wasn’t one of malice. That same generosity of spirit isn’t as easy in situations where you don’t have the same kind of relationship, such as a more casual type of association that you typically have in the workforce.
Next time I get provoked by another person, I’d be wise to dig for a deeper understanding of why they did what they did. I still may disagree with the action, but it could lead to greater awareness and compassion for the other person.
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