May 3, 2012 Kindness
Meet my little Chihuahua/German Shepherd mix, Rumo. He’s had a crazy life…found wandering the streets of Tijuana, locked up in a kennel, etc. When we got him, he was a frightened little guy that didn’t know how to use stairs and he licked constantly to soothe himself.
In the past year and a half, he has become more of a proud little wolf. My husband is amazing with animals and he has helped break Rumo of his dysfunctional habits. One thing about Rumo that will never change is that he is opportunistic. I just know that he had to scavenge to get by for a long time and he is quite a survivor. The only thing Rumo loves more than food is attention. He’ll take a belly rub over treats any day.
So recently, he’s been doing the strangest thing. As a little dog, he gets stepped on and knocked over occasionally. Whenever this happens, I feel awful and I pick him up and fawn over him, smothering him in love. Now he has started putting himself in places where he’ll be trampled ON PURPOSE!
I had wondered about this for a while, as I noticed him constantly under my feet. But it was really cemented last night when Daniel was out in the livingroom with him. Daniel told me that he pet Rumo and then began using the computer. Rumo then snuck around right under his feet… and was promptly stepped on. So Daniel took him into our bedroom where Rumo’s bed is on the floor, and went back out to use the computer.
It gets better/worse. Our little masochist put his legs in front of the door so that when Daniel came back in, he cried and wailed like a baby!!
I have begun to relate this story to what is happening with some of my students now. I had a pretty stern talk with them yesterday about the fact that they are so disrespectful to not only me, but to each other. I told them that they if they acted with maturity that they would have more privileges. I asked them “How would you treat me if I talked to you the way you talk to me?” One little smart ass replied “with kindness”! I can assure you that this is not true, as he regularly calls other students “dumpster babies” and “dirty twats”. But that’s a whole other story.
Anyway, I felt my response come out of my so naturally. “By being strict and continually making you learn and grow, I am doing you a kindness. If I just gave up and let you behave the way that you do, you might think that I am being ‘cool’, but in fact I wouldn’t be doing anything for you at all! You should be happy that I care enough to give you tough love.”
And for once, a hush fell over the room.
Just like with my little Rumo, sometimes you have to think about what is actually a “kindness”. I can’t fawn over Rumo the way that I have when he is hurt because he could be seriously injured someday if he keeps up his antics. And I can’t allow these preteens to run with what they’ve been taught (or more likely, what they haven’t been taught). Kindness isn’t always the fuzzy sweetness of this raccoon:
Sorry I just love that picture… had to put it in 😛
Sometimes it is difficult to give and it is often unappreciated. This is where detaching from the outcome comes in. It is hard to do, but it is essential. You have to act in alignment with yourself and allow the situation to unfold as it may. Usually, the less you try to control, the more things will go your way.