Replacement glass for one of the church’s front doors was delivered to the church yesterday morning, as promised. But, like the sheet of glass delivered a few weeks ago, this one, again, did not fit. It was too tall; the wrong size. I should have controlled my anger, but did not. I asked the installer why he had not thought to measure the glass before delivering it to the church to install it. I called the company’s office and expressed my anger, in no uncertain terms, and demanded to know what they were going to do to correct the mistake—and I insisted that I was unwilling to wait several weeks, again, for the replacement. I complained that their ineptitude had wasted hours of my time and left the congregation wondering why the people in the church who are responsible for the building were unable to get the glass door repaired much more quickly. The solution the company offered was to offer a free upgrade to laminated glass, versus the tempered glass we ordered. Unlike tempered glass, which must be manufactured to size, the company could cut laminated glass to size in its shop. And that is what they did. The installer returned late yesterday afternoon with a sheet of cut-to-fit laminated glass. The installation took less than half an hour. I apologized to him for losing my temper earlier in the day. On Monday, I plan to call the person with whom I spoke to at the company’s office to apologize for losing my temper when I spoke to her. Though I remain convinced the company should have handled the first screw-up better and should have measured the second improperly-sized replacement before delivery, my displeasure with the process could have been and should have been conveyed with greater compassion.

Anger is a killing thing: it kills the man who angers, for each rage leaves him less than he had been before – it takes something from him.

~ Louis L’Amour ~

There was a time when I would have congratulated myself for being a no-nonsense, demanding hard-ass. That attitude now embarrasses me. It is not a strength. It is evidence of a weakness, of a willingness to place blame—to demean, bully, debase, and belittle with the intent of achieving an objective that could and should be achieved with a more charitable approach. I am less prone to allowing my temper to get the better of me today than I was in years past, but I obviously have not conquered my inexcusably short fuse. I have left a trail of people wounded by my temper; I added more yesterday.  I have not been hard enough on myself to overcome that trait. I need to work harder on myself.


Once again, I woke at 3. By 3:30, I admitted defeat in my battle to get back to sleep. And once again I read the news. That’s yet another dangerous bad habit. If I expect to become a more relaxed, calmer and less volatile person, I need to be more judicious in how I begin my days. At any rate, I read about Hurricane Hilary and the dangers it poses for Mexico and the U.S. southwest. And I read comments that the U.S. media tends to ignore threats to Mexico, focusing instead (and sometimes exclusively) on the threats to U.S. interests. And, of course, I read about Trump’s latest indictments and how his surrender to authorities in Georgia might play out. And I consumed more disturbing information about the impacts of climate change on the human population and the fears many have about how communities’ ability to respond to catastrophic storms at the same time dangerously high temperatures threaten the population. The one more pleasant piece of news I read reported on the common ground some communities in northern New York State are finding on matters that, in the past, threatened to tear those communities apart. Perhaps I should have looked for tips on dealing with insomnia.


And now, for some self-educational reminders, courtesy of people whose intellectual accomplishments might provide valuable insights to resolving emotional failures:

A man who has not passed through the inferno of his passions has never overcome them.

~ Carl Jung ~

Anger is an acid that can do more harm to the vessel in which it is stored than to anything on which it is poured.

~ Mark Twain ~


It’s 6:20. The light in the sky is beginning to infiltrate the forest. Soon, the dim outlines of trees will become brighter and clearer. And the heat of the day will begin in earnest. The temperature now is 72°F; the forecast calls for a rise of 28 degrees, topping off the day’s heat at 100°F. Today might be a good day to wander the backroads of northern Michigan; it’s a bit late to come to that realization though, isn’t it?

Instead, I will sit on the deck for a while, listening to birds converse about the best places to find savory seeds.

About John Swinburn

"Love not what you are but what you may become."― Miguel de Cervantes
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