Felling by Yelling

by Andy Wood on March 13, 2009

in Hoarders, Life Currency, LV Alter-egos, Turning Points, Words

yelling-2Interested in getting a head start on your firewood for next winter?  I once heard of a unique way to drop a tree.  It seems some villagers in the Solomon Islands in the South Pacific have learned how to conquer the really big ones.  If a tree is too large to be felled with an ax, the natives cut it down by yelling at it.  (I’m not making this up.  I read it in a book, so it must be true.)  Just at dawn these woodsmen with special powers sneak up on a tree and suddenly scream at it at the top of their lungs.  They do this every day for 30 days, and the tree dies and falls over.  The theory is that yelling kills the spirit of the tree.  According to the villagers, it always works.

Felling by yelling.  Sounds crazy, doesn’t it?  Crazy enough to be true.

I’ll have to admit, though, I’ve never seen it happen.  I’ve never yelled at a tree (and I wouldn’t tell you if I had).  Not for thirty days.  Not for one day.  Furthermore, I’ve never seen anyone else yell at a tree.  So I can’t say by experience that hollering works on trees.

But it does work on kids.  I have seen that happen.

Works on spouses, too.

Some people yell at their cars or their washing machine, and it doesn’t seem to do much good.  But I’ve seen it drop a few pastors.  And I’ve seen it kill the spirit of a friend or two as well.

The Tryout

The only time I ever tried out for Little League, I was ten years old.  There was another kid there whose name I don’t remember, but I do remember he was a lot of fun and always seemed to be pleasant.

Until tryout day.

Somehow amid all the excitement, he lost his baseball glove.  He wasn’t very happy about losing his glove, but still managed to keep his good disposition around me and the other guys.  He was even pleasant when he called his dad and told him truthfully what had happened.

Then his dad showed up, and I saw an unforgettable scene.   At ten years of age, I didn’t know how to describe what happened, but looking back on it now, it all seems so clear.  There before my eyes, the spirit of my friend died.

His dad got out of the car, and his first words were, “Hello, stupid.

He went on talking and walking, backing my friend up into a frightened ball against the phone booth.  “So you lost your glove, stupid?” (Pause here for a slap on the face, in front of God and everybody.)  “Do you think I’m gonna buy you another glove, stupid?”

After a few more slaps in the face and several more choice insults, my dispirited, humiliated friend was ordered to his car, and the rest of us were left speechless.

I never saw my friend again.  Too bad.

I never saw his dad again, either.  Thank God!

I do know that things change and people change, and I pray that was true for both of them.  But I will always remember the change in his countenance, the fear in his eyes, and the sick feeling I had in my stomach.

All because of words.

All because of yelling.

Felling by Shelling

There are other ways, of course, to kill a person’s spirit.  Some people just don’t like hollering. In fact, they don’t like talking at all.  They practice “felling by shelling.”  They build a shell around their hearts and hang a “Keep Out” sign on the outside.  They’re too busy, too tired, too angry, too important, too arrogant, too scared, too… too… too….

Felling by shelling takes longer, but it’s much more destructive because you can’t always see it coming.

Felling by yelling is death by design.  Felling by shelling is death by neglect.

You don’t intend to ignore your wife.  You don’t mean to be too tired for your kids.  You don’t plan to isolate yourself from your friends.  But somewhere over a period of time they come to the conclusion that they don’t have much to offer you.  And one day you wake up to discover that the people you love have given their hearts to someone or something else.  Someone or something that made them feel wanted.  And you realize that the shell that was keeping everybody else out is now holding you in your own stupid, silent prison.

People need communication.  Honest, open, warm, vulnerable, fun, humble, happy, interested, patient, understanding, attentive, deep, quiet, quality, loving communication.  Without it, their spirits die silently.

They don’t need to be blasted.

They can’t survive being ignored.

Is anything falling in your forest?

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