My wife bruises fairly easily. I swear if I so much as look at her the wrong way she would bruise. The other day she accidentally let a door close on her arm. While she was not injured, it was just enough to leave a mark. By the time she went to work the next day, a dark bruise covered the lower part of her forearm. Because of my wife’s fair skin tone, it was very hard to miss.
Renee works in an office that employs six hundred people. Yet not one of them expressed concern about how she obtained the bruise. It’s always a running joke in my house that nobody makes mention of her bruises because they automatically assume it was something Renee did. They all claim that I would never hurt a fly. (Where does that line come from anyway? As if angry men are prone to endangering the lives of innocent houseflies.)
I think as a society we tend to automatically place people into ‘good’ and ‘bad’ categories. But in my opinion, this is a dangerous practice. Just because a person predominately displays bad behavior, does not mean that it is beyond their capacity to display good behavior. The same thing is true of people who predominately display good behavior: bad behavior exists within them, and if stoked at just the right moment, could display itself in surprising ways.
Renee’s coworkers are right about me. I have never hit my wife. But does this mean that the urge has never presented itself? Absolutely not. I would be lying if I said otherwise. Don’t get me wrong: I don’t believe in hitting women, but I also don’t think it’s healthy to overestimate your self-control. When push comes to shove it really comes to down to a battle between the anger that ignites during a heated argument, and what I know is the right thing to do. I know that one of my responsibilities as a man is to keep my anger in check. And so I do.
The point that I wish to make, is that we should all take a moment, and look inside ourselves to find the areas in which we are vulnerable to the emotions that provoke our own bad behavior. Once we can identify those vulnerabilities, we should make every precaution to safeguard ourselves from indulging in the idea of impossibilities, because nothing is impossible. The minute we begin to believe otherwise, is the very moment we foolishly close our eyes and turn our backs on an open flame.
—Photo credit: iamNigelMorris/Flickr