From The Storyteller
Hello All: Some things are learned the hard way. I offer a lesson from my past. Enjoy. Doug
“When a candle is burning you can see the flame and feel the heat, but if you shine a light at it, the flame will not cast a shadow“, says Elaine explaining a science lab she is planning for her chemistry students. Me, “Really. I would like to see that; let’s try it here.” We did and, just as she said, the flame did not cast a shadow.
Which lead me to ponder the way people think about the things we see. For some, if something cannot be seen, felt, or measured (e.g. God) it does not exist. Yet, for most of those same folks, "love" which also cannot be seen, felt or measured does exist. Surprise!
A good friend loved Rock & Roll music and had a vinyl record collection that filled a full wall in his house from floor to ceiling. Another good friend totally committed to classical music, feels R&R is a musical disaster. I was surprised when I learned these two, great music lovers were at opposite ends of the music rainbow. Yes, “Different strokes for different folks,” is a universal truth
Which brings me to share what I have found to be a safe way to handle times when I am genuinely surprised by things people do and say. I developed it out of necessity when I became the new, Methodist preacher in a small town.
1) Love the people you encounter for who they are, knowing ahead of time you will often be surprised by what they say and do.
2) When surprised, try to not act surprised and use one of two responses. Either,” I never thought about it that way before; I’ll think about it” or, after a long pause, follow up with a pondering, “Hummmm.”
Moral: Being prepared for surprises is helpful.