Keeping Cool

Has anyone seen the story about the off duty police detective who drew his gun at a snowball fight? Check out the video:

Sunday night (12/20/09) on 60 minutes I listened to a telephone answering machine message from Alec Baldwin — he was unloading on his teenage daughter. His embarrassment and humiliation were painfully obvious as I watched him try to explain why he lost his cool. Teenage daughters or unruly crowds can bring us to a point of frustration where we may be tempted to unload.

Can you think of a scripture that supports the idea of keeping your cool?

Updated information below added at 2145, 12/21/09

OK, I can’t take it anymore. I’ve read some articles on this snowball situation and I think that everyone I’ve read is missing it. The detective blew it, yes, definitely. There is no way a cop should pull out his gun because he was provoked by a group of snowballers, I mean, that’s obvious right? The guy lost his cool and now he’ll pay for it with discipline from his police department and, most painful of all, a large smudge on a good long career as a peace officer. He was wrong.

The other side of this thing though, is that the snowballers themselves were also way out of line. As a leader in my organization I used to run some of the behavior of my firefighters through the teenage son test. That is, when I thought one of the firefighters perhaps did something stupid I’d ask myself, “Would either of my two teenage sons do something this dopey?” If I could answer no, then I knew for certain that the behavior was out of line. I would think that most of us would have grown out of throwing snowballs at vehicles by the time we were out of junior high school. Throwing snowballs at a man with a gun in his hand is, well, that’s beyond my comprehension. That – was – incredibly – stupid! Disrespecting a police officer — also stupid, and behavior that I would describe as, small minded. The snowballers: also wrong.

As for the scripture, two come to mind, both from James.

For the snowballers consideration: James 3:17, 18 But the wisdom that comes from heaven is first of all pure; then peace-loving, considerate, submissive, full of mercy and good fruit, impartial and sincere. Peacemakers who sow in peace raise a harvest of righteousness.

And for the detective: James 1:19, 20  Wherefore, my beloved brethren, let every man be swift to hear, slow to speak, slow to wrath: For the wrath of man worketh not the righteousness of God.

2 Comments on “Keeping Cool

  1. I’ve had conversations with several people about this and you’re the first to mention that the detective is an authority figure (a leader). It’s also interesting that you mentioned the movies. The only place I’ve seen anger work in a positive manner for a leader has been — in the movies!

  2. Yeah, I think you nailed it.

    The funny thing is even though the crowed acts indignant and repulsed by the police man’s actions, you can tell they are pleased with themselves. They baited an authority figure into doing something stupid and then they revel in his embarrassment.

    It feels pretty great when someone does you wrong and then they get what they deserve. People crave victimization followed by swift justice. (Basically every movie plot ever)

    Yeah, the cop drew his gun at a snowball fight. It’s a cliche, but it’s pretty much what the crowed was hoping for.

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