• Jane Wheeler

The Appetizer




Ray, my youngest, took his dog to the dog park where they often go.


As per usual, my son took his dog on leash into the park and then released him to head out and run, it’s what dogs do there.


Imagine his surprise at seeing his dog jump up on a lady and try to eat the budgie that she had on her shoulder in the dog park. Talk about ruffling some feathers!


My son was very apologetic and felt horrible.


When someone does something that is considered “unwise” even bordering on stupid, had to say it, why are we the ones left apologizing when something horrible happens?

Like birdie becomes an appetizer.


You have to wonder, what do people think? Sometimes you wonder if they do.

It’s a DOG park! Dogs are known to chase things, hunt things, eat things.


Consequence Definition: a result or effect of an action


Consequences are the natural result or effect of something we do.


I do not wear my jacket in the winter, I am going to get cold. I run a red light, a ticket could come in the mail. I do not do my job and my boss is probably going to let me go. I do not study for my class and I get a failing grade. We think these things are “no brainers” but I wonder if everyone thinks the same.


From my observations, consequences are not used as much as they used to be. I have noticed that the norm now is to try to absolve people of their actions, let’s just talk to them; no accountability.


Absolve Definition: set or declare (someone) free from blame, guilt, or responsibility.


Life is full of responsibilities, if we do not teach them early to our children, they will come and bite their sorry butts later in life and they will wonder why.


It takes me back to a story of a young fellow I know who was hired to go to another city 100 kms away and bring back a vehicle for his boss. He did not make it back all the way, the vehicle broke down and had to get towed back. He had tried to drive the vehicle at highway speed in 4 low. What this essentially means is he was using gears that are only designed to be driven at slow speed when you need get out of a stuck or slippery situation. He had totally destroyed the transmission and the consequence was that he was fired.


He sat at my kitchen table and actually questioned why he got fired because it was not his fault. One of the other fellows there was walking through the kitchen at the time but did an abrupt about face, went over to this guy and got right in his face and very calmly but firmly asked, “who was driving the vehicle?”


The kid had to say ‘me’.


To which the other fellow replied, ‘then it IS your fault.’


The kid was a little baffled, but he had been bailed out of trouble many times when he lived at home, he had had lack of consequences, and to him it meant it is always someone else’s fault.


Teaching consequences early is a great way to use smaller issues so that when the tough big life issues come up, the person is equipped to make the best decisions.


If a child does not want to eat what you are having for supper, then should you make 2 meals? Or should you inform them that this is supper and if they are hungry they will eat it or wait until breakfast?


An employee is always late after several warnings, you let them go. Consequences.


A student fails to show up to class several times a week, the school tells them not to come back. Consequences.


It seems that taking ownership for the mess I/me created is almost a thing of the past.


When you keep messing up and think that other people are at fault, consider this: each time who is the common denominator? If you find it is YOU, you seem to be at each situation, then PLEASE, do an about face, look in a mirror and seriously talk to that person.

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Grande Prairie, AB