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9.10.2005

Better Answer

I had this question on the 3?s post earlier this week: What is the most important thing you want your children to tell you they learned from you when they grow up? I think I found a "better" answer, something that might be true of my kids and I, and anyone else paying attention:
... And truthfulness, like the strange world of the Bible, was a subject of which my father understood himself to be a learner, not an authority, and certainly not a professional. He was notoriously impatient with people who thought or spoke otherwise of themselves. He didn't always know how to have a conversation with people who didn't seem too well acquainted with the criminals under their own hats. Like Columbo, he was a little embarassed for them and a little frustrated.

This frustration had a lot to do with the hope and comfort he derived from what we might term Waffle House Conversationalism, the open and folksy dynamic of people sitting and talking over food and drink in a boisterous public place. What could be more exciting and egalitarian? No appeal to the court of fact has more resonance than another, everybody has to let everybody else finish speaking, and nobody's allowed to talk too terribly loud, because people are trying to eat in peace. You're welcome to bring the Bible or the president into it, but if you don't keep you ego at a reasonable volume, you can take your conversation elsewhere.

(David Dark, The Gospel According To America, p. xi)

2 Comments:

Anonymous Kelly said...

I love the entire first paragraph you quoted. What a fabulous way to put it, 'He didn't always know how to have a conversation with people who didn't seem too well acquainted with the criminals under their own hats.'

10/9/05 1:44 PM  
Blogger Rick said...

hey, kelly - doesn't it just rub you wrong to talk to someone who has all the answers, all the right answers, no room for discussion? argh :)

10/9/05 10:21 PM  

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