By Frank J. Buchman
“That just makes a person’s blood boil.”
Our judging team coach criticized us 43 years ago after we mixed up the placing on a Hereford heifer class in the college livestock judging contest at the Houston Livestock Show, when the official card was obvious to him.
Reminder of the comment comes when we can’t understand why somebody does something different than what seems apparent.
Just a year ago, doing our job trying to assist in developing an advertising campaign, we were persistent, to the point that when the phone was finally answered, response: “I’m furious. You infuriate me,” with a slamming in our ear. Shocked us how anybody could get upset by somebody trying to help.
Recently, after we’d written a story about one of our friends, a mentor of sorts, we sent the article to him before going to press, as we’d changed quotations to “read better.” Most writers never let anybody see their stuff, other than editors, before being printed. We do for accuracy, and to prevent misunderstandings.
This time, e-mail response, again: “I’m furious. Furious.” Then: “Fuming.” Stunned, how could we make someone mad by telling their successful life’s story?
Calling him, we apologized for whatever we’d done wrong, requested changes, so we could meet newspaper deadlines, to which we thought he agreed.
When published, contrasting typical appreciative response, this comeback: “I am incredulous.” Then, 60 times: “Please.” And, “Don’t run it anywhere else. I thought you understood how much I hated it.”
Incomprehensible how trying to do good goes astray. Still, there have been previous occasions; threatened to be slugged in our college dorm, others whacking pica pole on desk, throwing scissors across the floor, permanent door indention from a fist, and colts going into a bucking rage
None of this has been intentionally offensive. We’re TCB, acronym for “taking care of business,” as used by Elvis Presley. Now, it’s TCGB, our interpretation we’re doing what He expects.
Reminds us of First, Proverbs 15:18: “A hot-tempered man stirs up strife, but he who is slow to anger appeases contention.” Yet, Ecclesiastes 10:4: “If the temper rises up against you, do not leave your place; for gentleness and calmness prevent or stop great offenses.” And, Ephesians 4:31: “Let all bitterness, indignation, wrath, resentment, quarreling, slander and malice be banished from you.”