If you own pets, you’ve experienced the fun of coming home to utter destruction. If you haven’t, read on my friend. I’ll share a little of my own with you.

Ricky and Lucy, my two hooligans, love to be with us. In fact, they’re both lying beside my stool as I write.

If you inspect the picture I posted, you’ll see the hint of destruction. Lucy can’t simply eat her Busy Bone. She rips it into chunks, spreads those chunks around, and guards them against her brother. Sigh. Dog arguments will ensue because Ricky sees these shreds as totally edible.

I like to relate my observations back to my interactions with humans. We all know someone who leaves a path of destruction behind them, chewing people up as they move along. If you can’t think of anyone who acts this way, perhaps you’re the culprit?

These people demand our attention, if for no other reason than to keep ourselves from becoming the tiny shreds left behind after their tornado comes through. Some fall into self-preservation mode when dealing with this personality type. Or the opposite fight-or-flight response—those dukes might come up ready to spar.

I’ll admit I’ve struggled in the past dealing with this type of personality. Using both methods left me wanting a better way. If I avoid these people, I end up being weak-kneed. Not my vision of my best self. But when I fight, I don’t like who I become. There must be a better way.

Years ago, a man provided security services for a rich person’s livestock business. It wasn’t a formal agreement, but more of an understood arrangement. In time, the proprietor of the security services asked for a little something in compensation. After all, the owner of the livestock company was one ridiculously rich dude. He could afford to pay.

Alas, the prosperous guy was also mean and foolish. He refused to pay, pretending not to understand they’d rendered the services. He even insulted the men from the security company. Not a smart move, because, where these guys lived, the anger the refusal generated was about to get the affluent man murdered and his livestock stolen. In this neighborhood, the normal response was to pull out weapons and take what the man owed, and more.

But the wealthy landowner had a beautiful, smart wife. She found out about what her idiot husband had done and stepped in to apologize and fix the problem. Not only did she save her own life and the business, but her foolish spouse’s life as well.

Believe it or not, it wasn’t long before her husband had a heart attack and died, most likely from overindulging while those who worked for him suffered. After his death, the owner of the security company married the cruel guy’s wife. Clever lady.

It’s a great example of working around the mean people in your life and not letting them lead you down a path you don’t want to be on.

I’m not making it up. Look in the Bible. 1 Samuel in the 25th chapter. Excellent stuff.