So someone asked, in response to the first post about the fish tank (https://robholifield0812.wordpress.com/2010/07/30/life-in-the-fish-bowl-a-community-experiment-1/), if I am saying we need to send our Domino Bill fish type people back to the pet store for the sake of community? And I would have to answer “not really”. Although there are times when that has to happen like when a school has to remove a student from a class  or a coach has to cut a player who is keeping the team from doing well because of all the junk that is being caused. It is actually the easiet way to deal with a problem person who hurts the communities he or she is a part. Below is one of my favorite clips of  “sending people out of community”.

Veronica Salt in Willy Wonka

But the reality is many times it is impossible and not the best thing to do. I am one that wants to give grace and second chances to people with the hope that they will change. Because unlike fish, people can get over their nature of hurting others and can change into someone who is full of life and health. There is a great line at the end of the orginal Willy Wonka movie when Charlie asked about what will happen to the kids who were eliminated. Willy tells him, “they are being restored to their terrible selves (and here it is – the grace part) but hopefully will be a little wiser for the wear”. I may be reading a lot more into that than was meant but I believe people can change and that statement makes me smile.

So how do we deal with the “Domino Bills” in our life. How do we deal with them when they are ruining the community that we are a part of? That is a really tough question and I would love to hear how you deal with it. Boundaries need to be set, intervention must sometimes be done, but grace and love play a huge role. Even with the orginal Domino Bill in my tank I had two choices of getting him out of the tank. I could take him back to the pet store or flush him down the drain. I did not flush because honestly him tormenting my fish was not his fault. It was my fault – I had been warned that it was in his nature to dominate a tank. He needed to be in a tank that only had his kind of fish or a small bowl where it was all about him. Domino fish just do that.

Well many people destroying community have not been made to do it but have become that way because of things in their past we will never know. So we set boundaries, have hard conversations, penalize when it is necessary but we try to do it with grace and love knowing that they can change. And when the situation calls for removal,like my fish tank did, we do it in such a way that there is an opportunity for a second chance. I am planning to visit that pet store again soon – I hope I hear that Bill has been sold to someone with a tank full of Dominos and he is happily swimming and enjoying!

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