Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Butting Heads

No doubt you’ve heard the expression, “Those two people are always butting heads.” Ever wonder where that expression came from?

While sitting underneath a tree near my mud hut a neighboring herd of goats passed through my compound to graze. Two young male goats, “Billy’s I think they are called,” decided that they would engage in what young males often do, see who is the toughest. For at least thirty minutes I watched these two adolescent males work off their testosterone frustration, as they are not yet big enough to breed with the many females in the herd. Raring up on their hind legs they would slam their heads together with such blows you could hear the thump with each mighty crash.

As a young man I often butted heads with people, trying, I suppose, to assert my position with those I worked with, in my marriage and with other relationships in an effort to be perceived as right. I often butted heads with my dad growing up and I sure did butt heads with my teenage daughters when they were at home, which I deeply regret today. Much older now, I no longer butt heads with people, certainly much less than when I was a kid (no pun intended). I’m learning that those who engage in head butting are, for the most part, immature, expending a lot of energy without getting anything worthwhile done. Like the dominant male in the herd, I continue to graze while I watch others knock each other out with their senseless head butting. I know that sometimes I should engage more, but rather than deal with the he obstinate or foolish, I would prefer not be involved. It’s amazing to me how many people I know who have been butting heads with others all their lives. You’d think by now they would know better, but instead they continue to have conflict in their lives primarily due to meaningless butt heading.

So, the next time you feel like you’re butting your head against the wall or that you have someone in your life you are always butting heads with, learn the lesson from the bush – at the end of the day the only thing that is accomplished with endless head butting is a headache and you still haven’t solved anything.