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Tuesday, April 09, 2019

Having Lots of Stories

I come from a storytelling people. My Irish ancestors steal stories from every culture on Earth and make them their own. My Cherokee ancestors told stories around the campfire on long nights. My Scots, British, German, Scandanavian and Jewish forebears told their own stories and told them quite well if you check out any decent library. 

Not everyone likes my storytelling, however. Storytelling is a gift that can be powerful, especially in an argument.

A friend of mine once complained that whenever we argue, I've always got a story that proves I'm right. The implication is, of course, that I make these stories up to prove my point.

Not so!  By the time you get to be as old as me, you've collected thousands of such stories. They shape how you think and what you believe. We call that experience. It's the best way I know to discover the truth.

If you've managed to do things in your life, if you've stepped out of your comfort zone regularly, if you've heard God's still small voice and said, "Here am I, send me," then you probably have a lot more interesting and illustrative stories than most folk.

© 2019 by Tom King

Saturday, February 09, 2019

Truth, Lie and the Observant Farmer

I saw a meme the other day that told the old story of the time Lie dressed itself up as Truth. Of course, it had been transmogrified into a parable about how wicked Donald Trump is by someone I've seen post the most outrageous balderdash to defend his progressive vision of the future.

In the version I heard many moons ago, the story went something like this.

Lie Steals Truth's Clothes:

One hot summer day, Truth was walking in the woods and came upon a pond. Truth being overly warm, decided she'd take a little swim. She hung her clothes on a nearby bush and plunged into the water. Meanwhile, not far away Lie was lurking as he always does, looking for a way to deceive. He heard Truth splashing around in the pond and went to check it out. When he saw Truth's clothes hanging on the bush, a wicked, naughty, evil plan just popped into his nasty little mind.

He would steal Truth's clothes! Then he could tell all the lies he wanted, but because he would be dressed up as Truth, people would believe him. Quick as a flash he grabbed Truth's clothes, slipped them on over his own and ran for it. Truth saw him just then and despite her lack of clothing, she set off in hot pursuit, for Truth knew what sort of trouble Lie could cause running around dressed as herself.

Lie Tells Some Whoppers:

As Lie quickly put some distance between himself and his angry, wet, naked pursuer, he met a man coming down the road. "I might as well try out Truth's clothes and see how they work," he decided.

Lie went up to the stranger and told the man a pretty good lie. The stranger said, "You know that must be the truth because he is wearing Truth's clothes."

Smirking at his own cleverness, Lie went further down the road, where he soon met a second man. "Hello, sir," said Lie and proceeded to tell a big fat lie this time. 

The second man scratched his chin and said, "You know that sounds like a lie to me, but he's wearing Truth's clothes so it must be the truth."

Lie Employs Statistics:

By this time Truth was gaining on Lie and was just minutes behind. Lie, unaware of this, spots a third man, an old farmer, approaching. "This time I'll try a real doozy," he thought and proceeded to tell a lie so incredible that he might not have got away with it at first, but he used a lot of phony statistics and fake stories to make the lie sound even better and the farmer looked for a moment as though he'd bought Lie's story.

"You know," said the third man. scratching his head. "That story you just told there Sonny, sounds like a great big whopper of a lie." Then he looks off down the road and turns back to Lie. "But just because it sounds like Truth, don't make it Truth. You may look like Truth, fella. You may sound like Truth. You may even wear Truth's clothes, but mister, you ain't Truth." He points back along the way that Lie had come.

"You certainly ain't Truth, mister Lie," the farmer shook his head, "No sir, because yonder comes the nekkid Truth!"

At least that's the way I heard it.

© 2019 by Tom King