Last week we were given tickets to the Cardinals baseball game. Ryan did not want to go so Kelly asked her friend Lauren to come along. Lauren would come to our house after she got off work. Kelly went outside to wait for Lauren and she brought Monica with her. Kelly decided to walk up the street as she talked on the phone. She didnít put Monica on her leash, and every time Monica wandered away Kelly would say ďNo come back.Ē Monica would come back. This went on for a little while, then suddenly Monica darted down the street. She had spotted three big dogs and ran towards them. Kelly chased after her while a ruckus of barking and excitement ensued. Abruptly Monica turned and slunk towards Kelly with her tail hung low. Kelly was about to reprimand her when she saw blood dripping from Monicaís face to the sidewalk. Her eye was covered with blood.
Meanwhile I was at home oblivious to all that was taking place. I answered my ringing cell phone to Kelly who is crying asking if she should take her to the vet. Apparently Lauren had arrived just in time to witness the episode. I told Kelly to go the vet and I would meet her there. Fortunately our vet is only a couple blocks away. The veterinarian examined Monica found that she had closed her eye when she was bit. Her eyelid and face under the eye were cut open but the eye itself was unharmed. In fact she did not even need stitches.
"Why donít you follow the rules?" I yelled at Kelly while we waited in the vetís exam room. Later I thought about it. We often take Monica to work with us and we never put her on the leash to go outside. She just goes to the bathroom and then comes right back. No problem. But what if a rabbit were to run by? Monica would probably take off. We should put her on a leash but we donít because nothing bad has happened yet. Nothing is compelling us to take this extra step, but if we had an incident we would wish that we had. We relax our standards, we donít follow the rules, and we donít do what we should. The more time that goes by without an episode, the less we fear the consequences. Isnít it that way with a lot of stuff in life? You know you shouldnít speed when you drive, but the more time goes by that you donít get caught, the less threatening a ticket becomes. Or you know shouldnít eat potato chips for lunch, but you do once and you donít gain weight, then you do the next day, and the next. Later you decide to have another bag for an afternoon snack, and then bam! You wonder where those extra 10 pounds came from. What am I getting at here? There are rules, some of them imposed upon us by others, some we set for ourselves and when we break the rules, when we relax our standards, some times there are no consequences. This is a slippery slope because eventually if we break the rules long enough, weíll get bit.
ďEverybody, sooner or later, sits down to a banquet of consequences.Ē Ė Robert Louis Stevenson