Weekly Thought – August 24, 2021
Fred appreciated Albert Einstein. One of his favorite Einstein quotes inspired his own thinking: “Everything should be made as simple as possible, but no simpler.” He avoided conversation filled with fluff and flattery.
Beginning next week we will begin adding content from the thousands of 3×5 cards Fred kept as a personal resource from his own thoughts, as well as quotes from others. We are working to create a permanent archive for these cards and their profound wisdom. Would you pray for us as we dive into this very deep pool? Thank you.
Mary Alice in a very untypical choice became interested in an old black and white western movie. The main characters were a thirtyish, soft-spoken farmer’s wife; the farmer; and a toddler baby boy. The wife died leaving the man to raise the boy. As she lay dying he shared his dream of building her a house with a porch and rocking chairs under the hackberry tree.
When the wife died the husband with singleness of purpose dedicated himself to raising the son. The commitments he made required very little conversation. They were total, simple, direct, and all-consuming.
Commitment is a large part of the simple life. Paul said, “this one thing I do.” Modern man says, “these many things I will try.” They rarely settle on any one thing as being completely worthy of a focused life.
The simple farmer felt that living out a simple life, fulfilling his responsibilities, and not asking too much was all the reward that life offered him. There is great dignity in this. Advertising in all its forms creates discontent, shouting at us about what we do not have and what we should be getting. Few people in our culture would sit under a hackberry tree after a hard day’s work. True essence is elegant by its nature and doesn’t need additional external trappings.
The farmer spoke to his baby boy, “I’ll raise you good if it takes every breath in my body.” Simple elegance.
This simplicity was part of the man. In this film his conversation was never more than two or three words. That certainly made it easier on the script writer!
The farmer said things simply, not feeling that he had to justify or rationalize or make himself look good by his conversation. Much of urban conversation is impressing, justifying, embellishing, and talking for effect. When men and women come to me for counsel on public speaking I tell them one of the very first rules is: “Speak to express, not to impress.”
The truth simply spoken is a brilliant jewel in an elegant Tiffany mounting… understated yet always appropriate.
This week carefully consider: 1) How well do I monitor my conversational motivations? 2) What do I do when I recognize I am trying to impress, not just express? 3) Who models clear, simple conversation?
Words of Wisdom: “Speak to express, not to impress.”
Wisdom from the Word: “Let your conversation be always full of grace, seasoned with salt, so that you may know how to answer everyone.” (Colossians 4:6 NIV Bible)