Friday, June 12, 2015
How to Think (not what)
“We Teach Them How to Think:
70 years ago, after Norman Rockwell
Prayers on the front porch, I would
now be walking half a block to my
father’s Presbyterian Church and
Vacation Bible School
–stories and hymns and art projects.
“Reverend,” they called him,
wives of coal miners and steel workers---
families living in the projects, drunks and
“Weak theologically and sentimental”—
according to my Orthodox Presbyterian
FB friend. “Liberal. Progressive.”
Afterwards Junie Harbrant and me would
harvest cigarette butts off the steps of the
Catholic church—katy-corner from the
Presbyterians and Holy Rollers & smokem
in the empty lot behind the nunnery.
“You’re generalizing, Sam”—my students
accuse me. “Reducing. Assuming. Presuming.
Overstating. Understating.” My natural selection:
I cherry-pick and rip-off from the whole what
calls to me, suits my business and agenda—
walking thru a field or mall, reading a newspaper,
scrolling Face book --embarrassment of riches,
I take what I want and ignore the rest.
No wonder I feel guilt all the days of my life.
Makes good sense. Crime against the whole:
moving violations. Damaged and damaging.
How could it be other wise? It’s the denial and
cover-up that’s toxic.
Sociopathologic: I’m not the boss of myself.
Mind-Set is: my bias/belief. prejudice/convictions
shape & jiggle-dance. Me—puppet knee jerk
response ability to this and that and whatever:
conservatives, orthodox and fundamental Christians,
atheists, militant & mild, Justin Beiber, Wendy
Williams, tattoos, body piercings and rap, homo
phobes and flamboyant gays, liberals and
libertarians, Lutherans and mid-westerners,
home less and trailer trash, platitudes and
bromides on Face book… I could go on. I am legion:
I contain multitudes, covered and concealed
of course, makes good sense. Be polite, political.
I’m a taker, not a giver. I don’t listen. Rain—yes.
I hear it. I take it for granted. I’m entitled.
Privileged. It’s the denial and cover-up
that raises my bozone layer.