Aphorism of the Week
You have this time to help build the edifice -- or help bring it down.
Dedicated to the Pentagon saluting Gay Pride Month for its newly openly lesbian and gay soldiers; to the General Mills company publicly repudiating the proposed Minnesota state constitutional amendment to ban same-sex marriage; and to South Dakota voters rejecting their own proposed constitutional amendment to let religious fundamentalists act unlawfully according to religious dictates. Also dedicated in admonishment of Christian fundamentalists firing Trish Cameron, a teacher in Moorhead, Minnesota at St. Joseph's Catholic School, for holding a personal, private belief that gay and lesbian couples have the right to marry; and for these fundamentalists' spate of verbal attacks against not only same-sex marriage, but contraception rights and the opening of a new local Islamic Center and mosque in St. Anthony, Minnesota. In the land once represented by Hubert H. Humphrey and Paul Wellstone, that once prided itself for welcoming diversity, we can do better.
Parable of the Week
The Fist, The Hand
A great commander assembled his lieutenants for war.
One lieutenant asked him, "Sir, your former compatriot and long-since foe has offered parley upon the plain of battle. Shouldn't we respond to his overture?"
"From this enemy? No," the commander replied.
Confused, the lieutenant asked why.
"You are new to my staff, are you not?" The commander rose from the head of the conference table, gesturing to the lieutenant to also stand, then walked around the table to him.
The commander reached down to the table, plucked an almond from a silver dish full of nuts, and offered it to the lieutenant.
"Have an almond, lieutenant."
As the lieutenant looked down and picked the nut from the commander's extended palm, the commander asked him, "How do you know when a former friend has become your implacable enemy?"
The lieutenant pondered, and then replied, "I don't know, sir."
"Eat your nut, lieutenant."
The lieutenant quickly popped it into his mouth and chewed it.
"You look hungry. Please, have another," the commander said as he picked up and extended to him a second almond.
But as the lieutenant reached out to take the second almond, the commander closed his palm around it into a fist -- which slowly reared back and then suddenly loomed in the lieutenant's surprised face.
The lieutenant found himself lying on his back on the carpet, blood dripping from one nostril down into his ear.
The commander dropped the nut, bent over him and solicitously reached down his open hand, saying, "Here, son, let me help you up."
But the lieutenant brushed away his hand.
The commander straightened, smiled with satisfaction, and said, "So, you do know, after all."
Thus, to become a fist, the open hand will first close.
June 16, 2012, excerpt from The Parables of Reason (Chapter 1, "Reality's Acceptance"), Copyright © 2007-2012 by Frank H. Burton, Ph.D., Founder and Executive Director, The Circle of Reason. All rights reserved.