Stop, look, and listen . . .
When we were kids, adults were the other side — not enemies as such, just not where you’d go for advice on anything.
What you learned, you learned from kids, so our learning was suspect, but we thought otherwise.
Reconsidering in later years, we realized we lived on second-hand advice coming from “the other side.”
Osmosis came with Sunday dinner. The whole fandamily was there: Mom who cooked it all, Dad who paid for it all, and uncles, aunts, grandmas and grandpas who ate it all.
They talked, we listened, or daydreamed we were playing on a hilltop somewhere. Indoctrination it was, unwitting perhaps, but there it was. Our friends lapped it up too when we spouted it later, as we lapped up their knowledge.
Our information sources were limited, definitely biased, and the subjects were hammered ceaselessly until you turned a deaf ear to it all.
So what else is new?
Our major news media sources are limited to three — their biases are as blatant as Grandpa’s and they hammer stories until the deaf ear of childhood returns.
Luckily we had a saving grace at the dinner table. Uncle Blondie usually had a story like Father O’Malley’s to cut the tension when ideas clashed.
Father O’Malley rose from his bed one fine spring day relishing the morning air, and his new parish, when he saw a jackass lying dead on his lawn.
He promptly called the local police station.
“Good morning. This is Sergeant Jones. How might I help you?”
“And the best of the day te yerself. This is Father O’Malley at St. Brigid’s. There’s a jackass lying dead on me front lawn. Would ye be so kind as to send a couple o’ yer lads to take care of the matter?”
Sergeant Jones, who considered himself something of a wit, replied, “Well now, Father, it was always my impression that you people took care of last rites!”
There was dead silence on the line for moment.
Then, Father O’Malley replied: “Aye, ‘tis certainly true, but we are also obliged to notify the next of kin.”
Too bad the national news media don’t have someone like Uncle Blondie around to tell such tales, or dig out some “hokey” stuff, like this from Anonymous to smarten up their news fodder:
“Here rests at last from earthly toil
A man who knew not fame.
He loved his fellows, and through life
He always played the game.
No wealth, no lands were his,
Yet strange indeed it is to say
Much poorer would the world have been
Had he not had his day.”
Doggerel would be the likely brand slapped on it, although more and more, popping up in the endless spouting from the guru world they’re sounding a bit hokey too, as they once again are talking about “the people side of enterprise.”
Has there ever been another side?
A tip of the hat to those who practice the fine art of listening, the part of communication needing a lot more exercise!