Home > 2011 Posts, About Dave > A Simple Sort

A Simple Sort

Dad didn’t say much, but what he said had weight.

He was a simple man in all the good senses of that word. And today, in a time when the word ‘Intellectual’ has become little more than a synonym for ‘Arrogant Moron’, I find Dad’s profound insights especially valuable.

Of course, with reference to what I just wrote, Dad would have advised, “Be careful, son. A moron cant help it, but an idiot should know better.” Yup, Dad; ‘Arrogant Idiot’ is what I should have written.

But this post isn’t about word choice. It’s about the simple method that Dad used to sort out and respond to a person’s true nature. When Dad was concerned or impressed with something that a neighbor did, or an item in the news, or a teenage behavior, he thought about it as follows.

Dad was a dead shot; any squirrel at 200 yards was sure to be on the plate

If something happened just once, even if he was pretty upset or delighted with it, Dad would say, “Once can be a mistake.” If a person did basically the same thing again, regardless of what they said about it, dad would consider that as their approach. Then, he’d make a brief observation, either in favor or noting that a different approach might make more sense. If there was a third case, Dad concluded that this was the person’s true philosophy. Regardless of how if affected others, the person would just keep on doing the same thing. It didn’t matter what they said, just what they did.

That’s when Dad jumped in to support the doers of good deeds or to stop the other kind of ‘philosopher’ from exploiting or harming Dad or those he cared about. Over the years, I’ve learned that Dad’s method works on Mother Theresa, John Edwards and everyone in between. They even work with the multiple, phony apologies so favored by celebrities and politicians who’ve gotten caught.

Dad’s simple way to sort out motivation makes sense to me: once could be a mistake, twice is an approach, and three times is a philosophy. Think about those around you and see if he wasn’t right.

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  1. August 5, 2011 at 6:31 am

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