A Lesson in Self-Control

Over the past two months, I found myself in two separate situations that made me ponder as I looked back at them. I actually learned a lot about myself as a result. One of the incidents happened just a couple of weeks ago. My wife, two daughters and myself were lounging around at home on a weekday during the mid-morning hours, a little while before I leave for NSMAC. My wife decided that she would take a ride to Dunkin’ Donuts with our 2 year-old daughter to get us a couple of coffees. She was also planning to stop and get gas for her car. She was gone for about fifteen minutes when I received a phone call from her. I answered the call and she was crying hysterically, as was my daughter who I could hear in the background. She said that she had a problem at the gas station and that she would tell me about it in a couple of minutes when she gets home. I went outside to meet them in our driveway and when they returned, my wife was still crying but was a bit more calm than she was when she called on the phone. However, my daughter was still very upset and we had a very hard time calming her down.

My wife explained to me that she pulled up to the gas pump at the gas station and she asked the attendant to put $30.00 worth of gas in her tank. The attendant apparently misunderstood her because he filled up her tank and the total came to $44.00. My wife only had $30.00 with her and she told him that she had requested he only put $30.00 of gas in the tank. At this point, the attendant got very upset and started screaming at my wife, saying that she better pay him and it that it was not his mistake. Well, those of you who know my wife can probably figure out that she was not going to take this kind of treatment from anyone, and she started screaming right back at him. My poor daughter was in her car seat and was very frightened by the whole scene, and she started crying and screaming. At this point, the managers came outside got involved. While my wife is a regular customer at this gas station, they knew who she was and told her to go, and they can work out the outstanding balance with her at another time. The managers obviously handled the situation very well. However, I was still not happy to just leave it at that. I saw my 2 year-old little girls crying hysterically because of some jerk and it made me furious! Also, this same jerk treated my wife with enormous disrespect and this just added more fuel to the fire.

So I got into my truck and headed down to the gas station. When I pulled into the gas station I got out of my truck and I stormed over to the attendant. I started getting in his face, yelling expletives at him and basically just putting the fear of God into him. The managers came running out and told me that they were very sorry for the incident that had happened and it would not happen again. I expressed to them my dissatisfaction with their choice of people to work for them and I paid them the balance that my wife left behind.

The other situation happened earlier this summer. My wife and I and four of our friends, two men and two women (they were not couples, just friends) went out on a Saturday night for some appetizers and drinks at a local tavern. One of my male friends and me noticed that there was a Golden Tee video golf game across the room and we went to play. Needless to say, once we got started playing, we spent most of the rest of our time doing so. A little later in the night, the other guy we were with came over and said that there were two guys sitting at the bar making wisecracks to the ladies. Now this type of thing does not bother me one bit, as long as the ladies are comfortable dealing with it and can handle the situation. Therefore, I was of the position that I would leave it alone unless it gets out of hand. However, my friend that was playing golf with me went crazy! He went over to the two men and started yelling in their faces, shoving them and challenging them to a fight. In fact, my other friend and myself had to hold him back or else he would have killed these guys. Well, the two guys that were harassing the girls got thrown out and we were allowed to stay. These guys apparently are known by the bar staff for their type of behavior.

Anyhow, like I said… I started to ponder the two situations and I came to a couple of conclusions. I thought about my behavior in the gas station situation and about my friend’s behavior in the bar situation. Although my and his behavior appeared to be quite similar, it was very, very different. You see, I was in complete control of myself at the gas station. Sure, if you saw me, you would have thought I was a maniac! However, I was thinking very clearly during the entire event. I had the presence of mind not to out my hands on the attendant, which could have had legal ramifications. I did not have to be restrained and I had no intention of getting into a physical altercation with this dope. I just wanted to teach him a lesson by giving him a little scare, and perhaps send him a message that he is not going to disrespect people in the manner that he did and get away with it.

When you consider my friend’s behavior at the bar, there is no denying that he was completely out of control. If we were not there to restrain him, who knows what he may have done to these guys or perhaps what may have happened to him. And I do not only mean physically… he could have developed some major legal problems for himself.

Bottom line… thank the Lord for my Martial Arts training. I am 100% certain that my ability to control myself in these types of situations is all due to my Martial Arts training.

Keep up the good fight!

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