Saturday, July 20, 2013

Knee Jerks

When a little child gets upset, you'd better be ready for it. The temper tantrums of toddlers can be epic. They will scream, sob and throw themselves to the ground in what appears to be nothing short of agony.  I have witnessed this firsthand while perusing through the aisles of the grocery store.  But what is even worse than a two year old throwing a temper tantrum? It is when a seemingly mature adult reacts without thinking.  This phenomenon is called a "Knee-jerk reaction."

You've all had a physical right? It's that dreaded routine check-up where the doctor gives you a thorough once-over.  My least favorite moment, aside from every other moment in between, is when he thumps your knee at just the right angle with that miniature sized hammer, prompting an involuntary muscle movement (i.e. a knee-jerk reaction).

Much like how our physical bodies react without thinking, so too can our emotions. This can be a very dangerous thing. All sorts of horrific occurrences in life can often be traced back to the moment a person, or even whole groups of people react. But we all know this much is true as well, that what goes up must come down, and that for every action, there is a reaction.  It is a ripple effect... and sometimes, a tidal wave.

Yesterday proved to be an interesting day for my brother.  The day began like any other, relaxed and contemplative over a cup of coffee. He was scrolling through the various daily news articles online when he received an email from a former business colleague.  In short, the email alerted my brother to several slandering social media posts that a certain person was writing all over various communities of cyber-space.  It was extremely unnerving.

The individual was accusing him of not paying for a service rendered, that he had in fact paid for. It was an aggressive attack on his reputation in this very small town.  The person not only wrote on their own social media walls about what a bleep bleeping bleep they thought he was, but they also went to his former place of business and left really accusatory comments there as well.

He was furious.  He went to the individual's place of employment and spoke with the owner of the business. When they were discussing what had happened, it was actually the person who was slandering my brother  who entered the payment information incorrectly to begin with!  I highly doubt the person will admit to that error on all the many public forums where so many negative posts were made. It is unfortunate.

And yet, what is fortunate is to behave with a certain measure of respectability.  Thankfully, my brother is not the type of guy who sets out on vengeful quests or gives in to knee-Jerks.  That would be even worse.  One misunderstanding can lead to five and then to fifteen.  Before you know it, that little ripple in the pond now has the force of a thousand waves behind it, destroying everything that was built on seemingly safe shores.

We are all guilty of being a bit of a knee-jerk from time to time.  I have certainly had my fair share of flip-outs, freak-outs and knee-jerks. No one is perfect. But how we handle the aftermath, the clean-up of these destructive waves, can be what makes the difference in our communities. Can we admit when we were wrong? Can we admit we acted poorly when we felt wronged? Are we able to slow down and think before we act? Or are we content to be a bunch of volatile time-bombs, reacting on a hair-pin trigger?

My hope is that we all try to get along.  Or in the very least, throw a life line to those who got swept away by the surging effects of the storm.  In the millisecond before you react, try to remember your true nature, our imperfect nature, and act like a good human being.


Lifesaver Cocktail

1oz Midori Melon Liquor 
1oz Bacardi Lt. Rum
Splash of Pineapple juice
Stir and strain 
Can be served up or on the rocks.


  1. I absolutely love reading every single word you so eloquently write. love u.

    1. THANK YOU SOOOO MUCH!!!!! That just made my day!!! I truly appreciate the kind feedback, as well as your continued readership!! I am celebrating hitting 1000 views today!!!!! LOVE U TOO!!!!!! :)