Friday, June 12, 2015

How to Think (not what)


“We Teach Them  How to Think: 
                     not What”

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  
flannel-board Vacation Bible School
–stories and hymns and art projects.

“Reverend,” they called him, Johnstown
wives of coal miners and steel workers---
families living in the projects, drunks and
homeless sheltered.

“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.

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