I once listened to a motivational speaker who talked about hiding goats. I am particularly interested in all things goat right now. You see, I want two. Little ones. Cute ones. I’m currently working on convincing my husband that two little goats are what’s missing from our already busy lives. I have visions of quitting my job and becoming a goat herder. Although, I don’t think two goats quite make a herd.
So when I heard this speaker talk about goats, I sat up and listened. I soon figured out he was not talking about actual goats. He was talking about not letting other people “get your goat”. What does it mean to allow someone to get your goat? Well, think about that one person in your life that gets under your skin. Oh, you have more than one? Bless your heart. Well, think about those people. No matter how you steal yourself for an encounter with them, no matter how firm your resolve not let them get the better of you… in a matter of minutes in their presence, you have lost your cool and find your usual peace-loving self, ready to resort to violence. And… there goes your goat.
Sometimes we let people we don’t even know get our goat. Other drivers, slow checkout clerks at Walmart, other shoppers at Walmart… pretty much everyone and everything at Walmart. Perhaps I have shared too much, but Walmart makes me crazy. Gets my goat every time. My dad lets almost every other driver on the road get his goat.
We live in a world where everyone just lets their goats run wild for others to get. Offenses fly around like swarms of bats, or bees, or other swarming things, and goats start disappearing. Social media and other forms of internet communications do little to help the matter. Grown adults hide behind devices and post things they would never say in a face to face encounter. I stopped watching the news a few years ago because all the news outlets want is to get my goat. Most of the time, I have no idea what’s going on in the world, but I do know where my goat is.
We have to learn to hide our goats. We can’t just let them run lose for others to take. It’s not easy, hiding goats. If you know anything about goats, you likely know that keeping them pinned up is a challenge. They are persistent climbers and unless you have taken great care in building their enclosures, you’ll look around to find them running loose. We have to take responsibility for managing our goats.
Here’s the thing about goat getting. No one can get your goat unless you allow them to get it. When you guard your goat carefully, it may appear that you are disengaged or disinterested in the drama before you, when in fact, you are simply hiding your goat. The people who enjoy getting your goat will then find themselves dissatisfied, and move on to less well guarded goats.
Lines at the bank will no longer frustrate you. Poor wait staff at restaurants will still get a decent tip from you. You’ll stop gesturing wildly to rude drivers, sit pleasantly through holiday family get-togethers, and you’ll no longer feel it necessary to post your two cents worth on the latest internet offenses.
Why? Because you’ve decided to hide your goat.