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About twelve years ago, my young family checked into the Avi Resort and Casino outside of Laughlin on the Colorado River. With four children, one hotel room was not an option; we had reserved two adjoining rooms. My children’s ages, at the time, were 2, 4, 10, and 12, with the youngest the only boy. After an afternoon on the beach, we were settling into our rooms for the evening when blood-curdling screams came from the kids’ room.
I ran into their room to see what was causing all the commotion.
All four kids were standing on the beds, talking all at once, terrified. As I looked about the room, I couldn’t discern what the commotion was all about. I finally was able to get one of them to calm down enough to tell me what was going on. Apparently, there were little red bugs crawling all over the wall, but I couldn’t find any evidence of this. My children insisted that when the lights were turned off, the bugs started climbing up the wall and when the lights were turned on, the bugs ran away.
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I didn’t see anything that indicated there were bugs; I thought perhaps they had a little too much sun or a scary movie had had its way with their imagination. I decided to give them the benefit of the doubt and test their theory. I turned the lights out and sat quietly, surrounded by the glow of the hotel room TV that flickered in the background. Sure enough, after a minute or two, what seemed like hundreds of tiny red bugs started climbing up the wall behind their beds. We, of course, moved all the kids into our room and called down to the front desk, insisting that our rooms be changed.
I had not believed because my initial investigation showed there was nothing to fear. But the squeaky wheels couldn’t help but be heard and all proved that their noise was well-founded. Two new rooms later, a few ice cream cones, and the natives had settled down enough to sleep. It, of course, is a family story remembered often.
There is a car at the end of my street, a nice little mini SUV, black of course, with the a single sticker on its back window. It simply states , “wag more bark less.” I tend to disagree with the intended sentiment. The barkers in my life are the agents of change – not the idiots who mindlessly wag agreement with goofy, superficial happiness. Anything of substance requires barking now and then. I am glad to have raised and be raising barkers.
Don’t be afraid to bark. Don’t be afraid to not wag. I am all about being happy, but I am also all about being seriously involved in the world around you. Sometimes, blind happiness isn’t a part of a serious equation. Refuse quiet submission or unacceptable conditions. Bark when needed, wag when it’s real.
Rayanne Thorn, @ray_anne is the Marketing Director for the online recruiting software company, Broadbean Technology. She is also a proud mother of four residing in Laguna Beach, California, and a contributor for Blogging4Jobs. Connect with her on LinkedIn.