Sometimes the POINT must be made.

Saturday, November 24, 2012

What Happened to Larry?

When long time friends grow up and disperse into their own worlds, nobody knows where they will end up.   Having had so much in common around their school or neighborhood or through whatever activity brought them together, each member of a close group eventually moves on and makes his own path.  That is when the splintering begins.  Case in point:

A "people watcher" like me judges a good restaurant by the proximity of tables, rather than by the food served.  What is overheard can be much more satisfying than what is overeaten!  Recently, I witnessed a group of old friends getting reacquainted over pizza, and after good laughter and stories about what they pulled over on their poor old Dads, I heard this paraphrased exchange:

"So what happened to Larry?  You really mean that none of you guys have seen him?"

      "Oh, nobody sees him anymore.  He has a girlfriend."

"Oh, yeah.  That'll do it."

      "And he has religion now."

"What!?  Oh no!"

Apparently Larry, who had been one of the prime members of this group, went off the deep end.  At one time everyone loved, respected and admired Larry. But something terrible happened to Larry!  He "got religion".  He didn't just join Al Qaeda, or become a serial killer, or cut down a tree, or eat something that once had a face; he "got religion"!

I wish I could have made the following POINT to this group of friends.

If you can't pick up a rock, what do you say?  Do you say "That rock is SO heavy, that even I could not pick it up!"?  Or do you say "I am SO weak that I could not pick up THAT rock!"?

Well instead of saying "Religion is SO bad, that even LARRY, whom we all loved and respected and admired, has now been ruined by it and we must avoid him.", please consider saying "We all love and respect and admire Larry SO much that maybe he has now given even RELIGION some credibility!"

Here is THE POINT:
Use what you really know (Larry) to judge what you may not really know (Religion).


  1. Good point. Though unfortunately the response you heard is the most common one. One that I experience with in my own family. I questioned a family member a couple of weeks ago about just this thing. I said they knew me to be smart and always search things out and not follow blindly. A skill actually taught to me by them as a child. Why on earth did they think I was following religion just by "taking someone elses word for it"? They didn't have a solid reply but refused to acknowledge my point I was making.

  2. Thanks Emily, for the great comment, and for being the first follower at MILLERPOINTS!

    Yes, the ease with which our fam and friends can dismiss our real and deliberate commitments is disturbing. It can only be due to a self-defense default setting.