I know bears like this one

“The Bear Who Let It Alone”: A Fable by James Thurber
“In the woods of the Far West there once lived a brown bear who could take it or let it alone. He would go into a bar where they sold mead, a fermented drink made of honey, and he would have just two drinks. Then he would put some money on the bar and say, ‘See what the bears in the back room will have,’ and he would go home. But finally he took to drinking by himself most of the day. He would reel home at night, kick over the umbrella stand, knock down the bridge lamps, and ram his elbows through the windows. Then he would collapse on the floor and lie there until he went to sleep. His wife was greatly distressed and his children were very frightened.

“At length the bear saw the error of his ways and began to reform. In the end he became a famous teetotaler and a persistent temperance lecturer. He would tell everybody that came to his house about the awful effects of drink, and he would boast about how strong and well he had become since he gave up touching the stuff. To demonstrate this, he would stand on his head and on his hands and he would turn cartwheels in the house, kicking over the umbrella stand, knocking down the bridge lamps, and ramming his elbows through the windows. Then he would lie down on the floor, tired by his healthful exercise, and go to sleep. His wife was greatly distressed and his children were very frightened.

“Moral: You might as well fall flat on your face as lean over too far backward.”
(James Thurber, “The Bear Who Let It Alone.” Fables for Our Time, 1940)

You know them, too, right? They are the people who once agreed with you about something- members of your church, your club, your email discussion group, your homeschool group or your PTA or political party- it doesn’t matter. You were on the same side of some given issue, for lack of a better way to put it. But every once in a while, or fairly often, or every day, you found yourself cringing. They were bombastic, harsh, hasty to judge people and jump on them for things that weren’t worth twitching, let alone pouncing. They came across too strong, they seemed to relish cutting people down to size. Possibly they even came after you once or twice for not being orthodox on whatever the issue was, or not being orthodox enough, or not, somehow, being quite the person they thought you ought to be in the cause of whatever it was you were travelling companions of a sort.

And then they took a detour, had a conversion, saw the light, reversed themselves and found themselves on the opposite side of whatever it was you had once shared similar notions about- and everything was completely different. Now, everything having changed due to their complete reversal in opinion, you found yourself cringing. They were bombastic, harsh, hasty to judge people and jump on them for things that weren’t worth twitching, let alone pouncing. They came across too strong, they seemed to relish cutting people down to size.

And now they would add to that arsenal, “I know exactly what _____ is like/is thinking/believes, because I used to be just like them. Now I know better, but I used to be one of them so I have inside knowledge about….”

And you haven’t really the heart to tell them, “No. You don’t. You were kind of a harsh, rude, unfair jerk at times before and it made me uncomfortable, and you’re still the same, it’s just the issue that has changed- not your personality. And your personality was never the thing we shared in common, or at least, i hope it wasn’t.”

The mean, jerk pro-lifer becomes a mean, jerk pro=abort and vice versa. The mean, jerk young earth creationist becomes a mean, jerk atheist or theistic evolutionist, or whatever, and vice versa.

A reversal in opinions is not a conversion of the soul.

This entry was posted in Uncategorized. Bookmark the permalink. Trackbacks are closed, but you can post a comment.

Post a Comment

Your email is never published nor shared. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <s> <strike> <strong>

*
*



  • Amazon: Buy our Kindle Books

  • Search Amazon


    Try Audible and Get Two Free Audiobooks

  • Brainy Fridays Recommends:

  • Search:
    Christianbook.com