There is a humorous children's book by Byron Barton entitled Buzz, Buzz, Buzz, which contains a wonderful lesson for us adults as well.
The story begins with a bee buzzing around a pasture until it stings a bull. When the bull reacts, the cow becomes so nervous that she kicks the farmer's wife who was milking her (and knocks over the milk bucket, too). The wife then yells at her husband, who goes after the donkey, who flees and knocks over the shed, and so on and so on. While a child's reaction might be one of amused horror, ours should be a bit more thoughtful. When do our frustrations and hurts cause us to lash out at others? How can we turn a "reaction" into an "action"? Perhaps instead of saying hurtful words, we could just give ourselves permission for a quiet "time out" for a few minutes until strong emotions are under control. Or maybe the hurt is such that we need to close the door and just have a good cry and a discussion with God about what we need. In the children's book, the sting of the tiny bee had serious repercussions for the entire farm. This awareness is a reminder to us that our words and actions can begin a cascade of healing or hurting, kindness or meanness, loving or hating.
The next time we feel the sting, will we only react, or choose to act?