I will briefly tell you a single thing About the nature of us That will itself explain to you Many things about this troubled world― Provided you will but take the thing For a walk from time to time And let it have its say:
It is harder to persuade Many young men to Look something up in the Bible Than to persuade them to go Half way around the world To fight a war.
People are messy, and once you’ve got some years under your belt, it’s really not all that hard to find some fault in what they say or do, in their attitudes or beliefs about things. If you pay much attention at all to someone, it’s likely that it won’t be long at all before you know better than something they’re doing, thinking, or saying. And at the moment you realize that you know better, if you’re like most people, you’re very likely to make some irrational leaps in your mind. You can easily make the unjustified mental leap from “I know better in this…” to other thoughts and attitudes such as:
“I know better in this…therefore, I know better about everything than this person does.”
“…therefore, I’m a better person than this person is.”
“…therefore, I know pretty much everything, more or less, about the topic in question.”
“…therefore, I should be a teacher of, or an authority on this topic.”
“…therefore, we should start a new organization based on this.”
I don’t mean to be salty about it, but It is difficult to explain what took me twenty years Of study, contemplation, and debate to understand― Such that it is impossible for you to dismiss it In your twenty seconds of noticing that it disagrees With what you already believe.
There are three particular things I will not suppose, and one that I will.
I dare not suppose I can fully understand from my American home in this “New World” the perspective of those who live in the old country―for whom our one or two handsful of American generations would seem but a cute beginning.
I’m sorry that I don’t have statistics for this, because I know that impressions can be inaccurate. Even so, it seems to me that I am detecting some important and troubling society trends that need the immediate attention of an increasingly inattentive society.
It is my impression that in my youth, there were a great many people here who could not only make a phone call to get directions, and write them down, but also follow them successfully to the destination, and then show up on time, ready to be a functioning part of whatever group was meeting.
Today, however, it seems increasingly rare to find a human who can successfully follow a hyperlink to your About page and read it for comprehension. Rather, they will message you with the questions that occur to them, but it does not occur to them that they should naturally need to know the general information you have written for all your customers to know.