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Anger.  That’s what came first when I read the post under this picture on the neighborhood Facebook page.  This note showed up in the yard of a neighbor and she was angry, too.  She felt like her life she so loved in this tranquil subdivision had been shattered by a mean neighbor who didn’t like animals.  It’s one thing to find the note — imagine how you’d feel if you had just lost a healthy, awesome, fun three year old cat to sudden renal failure just a few months ago.  Yup – that’s us.  And we live in the same neighborhood where this note was found.  Anger.

My first comment on the neighborhood page showed my anger, as did my post on my own page.  Then I let grace creep in and my thoughts and comments went to praying for the best for this person.  My hope was that they would be found out and given some guidance toward channelling such hate and anger toward good rather than their efforts and energy going to something so negative and hateful.

And then this happened….

A neighbor ‘fessed up that this was her note.  She had posted it on a stake at the edge of her yard FOR GOOD — to warn people walking by with their dogs that she had put down a pesticide that was harmful to animals.  (Yes, you can take a second to re-read her note)  She posted this note out of kindness to animals, not hate for them. [We can talk about the use of pesticides at another time, in another place.]

Context.  How incredibly different is this note when it’s fastened to a stake in someone’s yard than it is when it blows off and lands in someone else’s?  It went from a well-intended warning to what was construed as a nasty threat.

Respond don’t react.

Use the right words.

Show grace.

Assume the best.


Err to the positive.

The lessons from this misunderstanding are plentiful.  Rather than hoping for the worst for the author of this note, I went to praying for more people in this world who are like her; what a difference a few minutes can make.

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