In 2004, a man went over a dry, brown patch of grass while mowing his lawn. A blade on the mower struck a rock and created a spark, which resulted in a fire that soon raged out of control. The resulting catastrophe, known as the Bear Fire, blackened 10,484 acres of land and destroyed more than 80 homes. To put out the blaze required the efforts of 33 fire crews and 42 fire engines.
Our family truly enjoys the thrills and adrenaline rush found in taking amusement park rides. One recent ride we braved included a 170-foot drop. During the intense ride, I lost my bearings at one point and had no idea where we were headed. I was no longer in control, but simply hurtling down a twisting, turning track.
At the start of this year, a friend of mine made a statement that set the tone for the rest of my year. Nicola remains convinced that “control” is at the root of many of our internal struggles—with self-control being the most challenging to master. We get angry or lose heart when we can’t control people or circumstances. We lack discipline and lose control over our own thoughts, words, or actions, and spiral into a self-destructive cycle—hurting ourselves and others.
My wife rarely gets angry, and in that way she’s my complete opposite. But that also means that when she does get mad, I pay very close attention because only something significant gets her worked up.
My friend noticed that his maple tree was shedding leaves prematurely. The tree doctor told him his tree was suffering from a girdling root. It had taken 30 years, but the offending root had encircled the tree and was now slowly choking it. If my friend didn’t dig down and hack the root off, the tree would die.
During a convocation speech at a major Christian university in 2012, business magnate and TV celebrity Donald Trump told 10,000 students that the way to succeed in business is to “get even,” igniting an outcry from critics who said that Trump’s philosophy was inconsistent with Christian values.
I was babysitting two 5-year-old boys while their mothers went shopping. They were having a fun time playing together until one of the children threw a ball that accidentally struck the other on the nose.
If you engage in any form of social media (Facebook, Twitter, blogs, etc.), you’ve surely read something that set your blood to boil. I’m not sure that we’ve figured out how to have meaningful conversation around divisive topics in the virtual world. Is it even possible?
Scott and Robin began to worry when cracks appeared in the walls of their home. Over the course of 2 weeks, the fractures widened until their garage dropped away from their house. The rest of their property shifted and eventually sank 10 feet below street level. Then eight of their neighbors endured the same gradual catastrophe, linked to underground leakage from a county water system.
In 2006, Trevor Thompson surveyed 1,003 adults and determined the following: While waiting in line at an office or store, most people take an average of 17 minutes to lose their cool. When placed on hold during a phone call, most people lose their patience in 9 minutes. Women lose their patience after waiting in line for about 18 minutes. Men lose it after 15 minutes. People with a college education and a higher income lose their patience quicker than those with lower income less and education.
April 2013 marked a milestone birthday for me. To celebrate, we took a long trip to my college “stomping grounds.” Numerous tollbooths, scenic beach views, and city excursions marked our unforgettable vacation. The highlight for my husband and me, though, was a little unexpected: it was that our kids had actually enjoyed being together for an extended period of time.