Thursday, 26 June 2008

Please do not yell at me

You may or may not have noticed that in recent weeks I have written next to nothing about the Episcopal Church and the Anglican Communion.

This is in part because so many other “bloggers” are having their say.

But it’s mostly because I cannot endure “yelling”. And there is a great deal of yelling in the Church these days.

My Dad was a “yeller”. That’s the only way he know how to deal with nine children. He would often scream “I’ll tan your hide”, meaning “I’ll “whoop” your rear end until it is turned into leather.

This was only a threat. He would hit us, but never “whooped” us with his belt. But he yelled a lot.

We, the nine, vowed that we would never do the same. One of my brothers “heard himself” yelling at his young son, and in hearing this he realised that he sounded just like Dad.

This brother vowed that he would never yell again, and instead developed a pattern of conversation and listening with that son. Thank God he did so. He and the son have a loving relationship, based not on fear, but on understanding.

I hate it when people yell at me. A dear friend in SRQ did so some 18 months ago. It was about nothing important, but I reacted viscerally.

After a few days we had a great conversation in which he explained why he yelled (he was so, so tired), and I expressed that yelling brought back many bad memories.

It was a blessed and reconciling conversation.

On Wednesday (25th June ‘08) the Director of Volunteers at Resurrection House yelled at me. She was angry because we three morning volunteers had to leave “on time” at the end of our “shift”, and the afternoon volunteers had not arrived.

(Truly that was “her problem” and not mine - I simply could not stay late as I had a lunch date).

I felt a rush of anger. But I am learning not to react from anger, but to wait for a time for reasoned conversation.

For when I am angry at being yelled I, I am likely to yell back.

I restrained that anger, and left for my lunch date.

The Director of Volunteers and I will have a peaceable conversation about this next week.

And I plead “whomever you supervise (children, volunteers, employees and the like), NEVER yell at them“.

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