Diary Entry from May 21, 1998

I’d totally forgotten about this, having to babysit a friend’s little dog for half a day.  The dog taught me something valuable…

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I babysat a friend’s little dog named Itsy-Bitsy.  She sits outside the glass sliding door and whines to get inside.  She’s about 7 or 8 years old, which is very mature for a little dog, yet she behaves like a puppy.  At first, I give in to her whining and helplessness, but after tiring of it, I decide to be firm and tell her no-no.  Finally, she stops.  This makes me philosophical about humans.

Just because we’re adults doesn’t mean we’re not going to find time to whine or be illogically helpless.  Age is no obstacle to abusing the kindness of others.  The best way to handle whining people is to tell them to get busy doing something, take charge of their own lives, and we stop trying to solve their problems for them.  Even God condemns whiners and complainers.  He destroyed thousands of Israelites in the wilderness who acted like Itsy-Bitsy today.

Why do people whine and complain?  Lazy, scared, uneducated, greedy, users, selfish?  Itsy-Bitsy is scared—being in a strange place—but she can instead be the type of dog that explores her new surroundings and acts friendly with our dog, playing, sleeping, and doing other dog things.  No, she chooses to sit helplessly by the door and whine uselessly all day.  Me running out all the time to comfort her just makes her worse!  She expects it and becomes more demanding in a variety of irritating ways.  What a learning experience!

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