I noticed today, while hitting the daily clicks, a growing preponderance of religiously-themed links. Chiefly “Pro-“ vs. “Anti-“ — dreary stuff, most of it. My Morning-Mind puzzled over this phenom, until I finally woke up enough to recall: Shrove Tuesday.* Ash Wednesday. And, uh, Thumthing Thurthday. The Lenten crawl toward Easter has begun.
Easter, with its many dividing lines, certainly seems to invite debate. I would have been all over this stuff, when I was in my 20s. There’s nothing more clarifying than a debate, after all, particularly when one side apparently walks away with all the marbles.
But I lost my appetite for it, after a while. What these spectacular smack-downs hammered home more deeply than anything was the fact that I clearly wasn’t the smartest chap in the room. And those occasions when I presumed to be led to behaviour I would later recall with profound shame. I finally decided that if the fragile yolk of my ego was to remain intact, the more prudent strategy would be to acknowledge the clear strengths of any particular argument, and gently probe at possible vulnerabilities, where perceived.
It’s what I do — unless the roaring ape within glimpses the shiny possibility that, maybe just this once, he really might be the smartest chap in the room. I still wield the whip and the chair, of course, but there are times when the Old Gorilla will not abide.
Speaking of which, here’s a Frazetta cartoon from MAD Magazine that always gets me giggling.
*AKA, "Pancake" Tuesday.