I was about four years old and there was a rabbit in a cage that had my full attention. My mother could see my interest and watched me carefully.
I gently ran my fingers across the cold metal and smiled the most innocent smile a four year old could give a rabbit. This rabbit liked me. We connected on such a deep level and I knew my mother wouldn’t understand. “Don’t put your finger in that cage—he’ll think it’s a carrot,” my mother said. She obviously didn’t know what she was talking about, I was basically the rabbit whisperer and the language we spoke was a higher frequency than hers. I slowly stuck my finger in between two metal bars to do a little wave and pulled it out quickly. Nothing happened. I did it again, but this time to softly rub on my new friend’s plush fur. Success. I am beaming at this point okay, and can’t wait to show my mom what I can do!
I insert my finger into the cage and turn my head for what seemed like a millisecond and then it happened. That stupid rabbit bit me. Our relationship was over, no more secret language, no more memories in the making, Thumper and I were through. I screamed. I cried. I blamed my mom—the way any child would—while she rocked me back and forth with an ice pack on my finger.
I can’t think of a more bullheaded moment than this.
Maybe it’s because we don’t have our parents in our ears anymore. But for most of us, our track record shows it wouldn’t make much of a difference.
As a child it was basically suicide to go and do something an adult specifically told you not to. You were asking for the full wrath of God to fall upon you but first allowing enough time to complete the disobedient act for your own enjoyment. I, for one, am thankful to have had a mother tell me when I was wrong and discipline me accordingly, but it doesn’t mean I don’t still struggle. There are so many times where I feel in my gut not to follow through with a person, place, or decision and I do it anyway and then want to punch anyone in the face afterwards. I’m an adult. This should be over with. Right? It’s not, y’all. I am struggling like everybody else to trust my instincts and quite honestly, I’m mad about it, like fighting mad, like bull fighting mad! See what I did there? Moving on.
Maybe it’s because we don’t have our parents in our ears anymore. But for most of us, our track record shows it wouldn’t make much of a difference. We’ve got to figure this out on our own.
Don’t stick your finger in the cage.
Being bullheaded can teach us to never take no for an answer, which can be a good thing! But it could also mean that we're acting like animals that chew curd, poop, chew curd again and will run over anything that stands in its way. Not the most effective approach to life. So whatever that gut of yours is telling you not to do, listen to it. Listen to those around who know a love you— those who have your best interest at heart. And please, by all means, don't stick your finger in the cage.