The Only Thing Exterminated Here is the Death Penalty
In my last job, we weren’t allowed to kill the bugs.
Okay, it’s a bed & breakfast, so they had an exterminator come out on a regular basis for the comfort of their guests, but if a wasp flew into the dining room, you called Bill. He’d show up with the bug jar, capture the wasp and set it free.
Which is all well and good, but in my house, you take out the Raid.
The mice were saved, too, whenever possible. One such soul, Rodney, kept coming back, even though Bill would capture him in one of those humane traps and take him far into the woods in back. I’m not sure how he knew it was Rodney every time, but they developed a bond of sorts.
I couldn’t help myself. I offered to bring over my cat, Walter, for a play date with Rodney. That suggestion was met with a wounded look from Bill.
Despite my jokes, I respect Bill’s philosophy. It comes as a direct result of his time serving as a Marine in Vietnam and a police officer in Little Rock in the 70s. He’s seen enough killing and death.
He tells stories of his time on the force, but never as a Marine in combat. Something true of many, if not most, servicemen and women. What they witnessed, and took part in, during war is not something they want to remember or repeat, in words or actions.
Instead, some, like Bill, try to make sense of what happened by protecting all innocents. Bless the beasts and the children, as they used to say. A phrase born of a country at war. Where are the protest songs today?
We become the people we are today in part by our response or reaction to what happened yesterday. Ideally, it is a response, a chosen way of thinking and being. But what happens when you are thrown into a situation for which you are never prepared, then asked to live with the resulting emotions? The guilt, the shame of an inexplicable experience may result in burying your thoughts and beliefs about what happened. You lose a part of yourself.
Believe in yourself, the person you know yourself to be in spite of the thoughts that hammer at your brain. Seek out the support of others. Never give up in your search for better.
This life is far from perfect. But it is what we’re given for a time, so never give in to the worst. Let the better part of life win.
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