From The Storyteller
Hello All: Today's story identifies a human condition I experience often. Enjoy, Doug
“What part of Texas is Kansas in?” The honest question of one of our 9-year-old boys as he is making his first trip to a place outside of Texas. If you have spent much time with people who proudly wear the title “Native Texan”, his question would not surprise you. For this 9-year-old, the idea that there is Texas, and only a few places that aren’t in Texas, works.
Fast forward several years and Elaine and I are eating breakfast in Honolulu, Hawaii. Talking with our waitress she asks, “Where are you from?” Thinking Corpus Christi, Texas might be an unknown, I simply said, “Texas”. The look on her face was a perfect example of clueless.
Thinking a hint might help I offered the word “Dallas”. Instantly that word transformed us, at least in her mind, into rich oil barons like J.R. Ewing from the TV show. Since this was during my pre-rich oil baron days (still waiting), I know our waitress remained clueless about us, but she didn’t know it and our service improved.
Which brings me to the observation that a 9-year-old in Texas and an adult waitress in Hawaii can believe they are right about something that is nowhere close, maybe there is something we can learn from this. This in turn brings me to the conclusion that being “right” isn’t all that we make it out to be.
Yes, being right about your shoe size is important, because being wrong there can be a royal pain. But being clueless about Kansas as a part of Texas or me being an oil baron is not. In the words of Mark Twain’s Huck Finn: “That is just the way with some people. They get down on a thing when they don’t know nothing about it.”
Moral: For humans, being clueless is a normal condition.