Today while playing baseball with a friend in our neighborhood park, the kid inadvertently got too close to a nest of ground bees and had one land on his face. He did everything he's been told to do: don't panic, don't swat. The bee still stung him, right in the corner of his eye.
Our initial inclination was to call the park district to have them remove the nest, but my soon-to-be-eight-year-old son told us he didn't want them to kill the bees, because bees are good for us. Despite the pain the unprovoked bee inflicted on him, he didn't want retribution. He wanted the bees to live because of everything we've taught him about how bees are responsible for pollinating the crops so that we can have food to eat.
How often are we stung by others or events, and our immediate reaction is to sting back and inflict as much damage as possible in return? Perhaps we should think before we react and realize the implications before we instinctively strike back.
Next time life bites me, I'm going to remember my son's eyes and understand that most of the time pain goes away and swelling subsides. The lasting effect is how our character reflects our reaction.