From The Storyteller
Sept. 2, 2019, Knowing
“It’s not the things you don’t know that’ll get ya, it’s the things you know for sure, that ain’t so.” Mark Twain got it right. Being a “why not” person, eating my own words has been an unpleasant task I’ve had some practice with. My word eating-events usually followed those times I knew something for “sure, that ain’t so”. Age and experience has made me less “sure” about many things. Which brings me to one of my favorite tasks, people watching.
I’m smiling in J&B’s coffee shop near the Texas Tech campus. The fall term has begun and there are several different groups of young people sharing things they’re “sure” of. I’m expecting the standard “all about me” lectures, but what I hear are thoughtful conversations about the motivations for their major studies. I’m smiling because they are talking about how their particular majors will help make a difference in the world, and not about their personal wealth, fame and glory. Wow, did I get that one wrong!
Yes, eventually they will experience the truth in Mark Twain’s saying, because that is the nature of living out youthful dreams. I would also point out eating our own words is something we all do at one time or another. Which brings me once again to eating my own words, or in this case my thoughts. That morning I learned that I have been too cynical about the focus of the younger generation.
What I was expecting and what I heard were two different things. Listening to young folks sharing dreams of how they plan on making the world a better place, restores my faith in this further generation.
Moral: Glad to learn something I was “sure” about, ain’t so.