I attended both my daughter’s and my niece’s graduation this past weekend.
Because of the size of the graduating classes and the number of family members attending, the ceremonies were held at a large arena on the campus of a nearby university.
Towards the end of the second ceremony, I walked out of the arena area and stood for a while in the roundabout participating in one of my favorite hobby’s; studying people.
There were two particular incidents that caught my eye. There was a family standing outside the entrance to one of the aisle’s and their little girl, who looked to be about four years old, was standing about ten feet away near another aisle entrance peering around the corner. The father walked up behind her, leaned down and shouted in her ear “I hope you get lost!” The little girl literally jumped, screamed and then started crying. Her father grabbed her arm and jerked her back towards the rest of the family.
As a father, I felt myself getting so angry and couldn’t help wondering, which lesson this little girl will remember the most; to stay close to her family at all times, or how much her father humiliated and frightened her. The father did look around to see who was paying attention and I was staring him right in the eye because I was so angry. He wouldn’t hold my stare.
The other incident had to do with another family that was preparing to leave the arena. The husband was having a hard time getting all the family members together. There was his wife, their children, and the grandparents. His wife said something to him and the husband, in front of the rest of the family, put his finger in her face and told her to “Just shut up.” The mother-in-law tried to calm him down and his response was to say to his mother-in-law, “You better get a handle on her or I will.” Again, this occurred in front of the family and the public and, again, I felt myself getting so angry.
Because of an early and very influential experience as a young child, I’ve always detested bullies and those, who interact with others using intimidation and fear. I’ll even admit to being overly sensitive to the degree that I’ll confront at the drop of a hat if I see someone who can’t defend themselves being taken advantage of.
I detest it even more when it involves the head of the household doing so with members of their own family. I can’t imagine how any sane person can treat someone that way one minute and then try to convince them in the next that they respect or love them. How can they not imagine what their loved ones must be thinking about them and how long the effects of such behaviors will stay with them?
Truth Be Told, I prayed that evening for both the father and the husband, that the Spirit would intervene in their hearts and minds, and for the father’s little girl and the husband’s wife and family, that the Spirit would protect and sustain them.