Of Greater And Lesser Things

 

I was reading Lewis today. He made a good point. I know, hard to imagine. Unfortunately, I lied. I was not reading Lewis today. Or actually I was; Only, this was not the occasion which I intended to reference. Because the occasion on which I was reading Lewis and discovered the present talking point was now days ago, I cannot find the quote, or even the book for that matter from which the point was derived. So, I’ll have to wing it. Lewis said something like this, “Hey guys, don’t try to be a big man and order fools around. For the big man, is actually the little man when he… doesn’t act foolishly.” Wait a minute. let me find the book.

Don’t you hate it when your cap rusts in place? I know I do. I couldn’t find the book, but I do feel better because I just made another USPS customer service rep hate her job. That being said, I shall try to perpetrate (glaring wrong word, but I’m gonna let it happen) the paraphrase with a more decisive air of accuracy this go around. You know, few have ever felt that Lewis left his thoughts open to loose interpretation. I’m not going to put this in quotations because this is going to be so far off base that to even hint of its accuracy with quotations would be bad… bad. Lewis said, each occasion on which he who is in authority must exercise his authority by giving commands becomes by default an occasion on which the authoritarian must belittle himself. Just the same, the one in his service is given the opportunity to exalt himself through servitude under the commander’s authority. Servitude exalts a man, but giving orders is belittling even to the most respected leader. Therefor, the leader must be sparing with his commands and abundant in servitude ~ I’ll place one of these little swirly things to end the misquote.

This goes against my ego. And every man’s for that matter. I remember once, when a guy other than myself hadn’t fully grasped the point of Lewis’ words. He was a tenuous sort of fellow; One that you certainly wouldn’t like, yet neither would you dislike him. If you would have considered him at all, you may have only considered him to be an odd bump on the earth wherever he stood, perhaps here first, then over there. A bump in the landscaping, and one which you would conclude that a talented landscapist should fix, if only he had nothing else to do. You know landscapist isn’t a word. The proper word is landscaper. Like a common layman. I believe that there are ists and there are ers. There are painters and there are paintists, readers and readists. To call a landscapist a landscaper is like calling an artist an arter or a typist a typer. Okay, I just made that up. Landscapist is a word. And rightfully so, you see, an ist, as opposed to an er, belongs only to the specially initiated in ones field. And it would have required a landscapist to have removed this skulking bump from its post. This fellow was one of those sorts who is somber enough so that you begin to expect that he’ll not speak much, if at all for that matter. On one particular occasion, he did speak however, and the words which he spoke must have required some significant growth in his nether regions in order for them to have  manifested thus surreptitiously on his tongue. The little squat waited quietly for an opportunity when I was at my weakest socially. I was having fun, and we men know that the reason why we tend to only open up and really have fun around those whom we trust the most is because when we are enjoying ourselves through jestful merrymaking, we are at our weakest in the pecking order. We cannot, after all, pretend to be dominant amongst our species when we have just sat drunkenly on a whoopee cushion. Please don’t confuse my example for an actual event. Not only do I not play around with whoopee cushions, but in fact, I loath them. The occasion of present discussion was just one of those moments when a quiet man whom had never really felt  in control of the elements that surrounded him, saw an opportunity to seize the day. The details of the story are not irrelevant but I believe them to be unnecessary, so I’ll stick with the basic layout. I was laughing without a self-conscious thought. Just enjoying myself, when suddenly I heard the words, “Hey! Come over here and pick these up!” Stephanie, my wife, was standing close by, and immediately burst out laughing at theabsurdity of this weasel jumping on a perceived opportunity to dominate his fellow man. I decided to oblige him, relinquish my pride, and submit to his command. Later that evening Stephanie, pointed out that the young man had obviously belittled himself by attempting to prove his masculinity, and that I had looked like the better, more at ease with himself man by giving in to him. What an important lesson. One which I have sat on a bump and thought of many times since.

Nathan Gray

 

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2 thoughts on “Of Greater And Lesser Things

  1. I enjoyed this enormously, Nathan.
    (I finally got here… Sorry it takes me a while; seriously, some days I cannot cope with simple everyday…)
    But truly, I did enjoy it.

    I loved the opening. You led us right in, and then blunt stop: ‘I lied’. Like that!

    Loved your ‘Wait a minute. Let me find the book’ – very human! I had to laugh! And OH I feel sorry for the USPS workers!

    Lewis said, “Each occasion on which he who is in authority must exercise his authority by giving commands becomes by default an occasion on which the authoritarian must belittle himself. Just the same, the one in his service is given the opportunity to exalt himself through servitude under the commander’s authority. Servitude exalts a man, but giving orders is belittling even to the most respected leader. Therefor, the leader must be sparing with his commands and abundant in servitude.”
    Well, how awesome to read this today, how timely. *Thank you* 🙂 xx

    Love your landscapist/artist, landscaper/writer etc. Very interesting. I’d readily adopt that view, I much agree.

    My choicest pick of your passage: “…and the words which he spoke must have required some significant growth in his nether regions in order for them to have manifested thus surreptitiously on his tongue.”

    My most interested (interests me) pick: “I was having fun, and we men know that the reason why we tend to only open up and really have fun around those whom we trust the most is because when we are enjoying ourselves through jestful merrymaking, we are at our weakest in the pecking order.”

    Stephanie sounds a lovely wife, and if I were there I would have laughed too.

    This piece Nathan, though you say is oddly turned of phrase, isn’t “too difficult to read” at all. I enjoyed it. You know, that’s why I enjoy reading pages – I usually do on the weekend actually, not mornings pre work as I rather be writing but remembered I had this choice piece to read, yet, & wanted to before I moved on…. and it was so timely!)… I enjoy reading pages because you learn of other basic lives, our experiences as humans, so often common, and thought provoking and sometimes life changing.

    Bet y’all giggled your guts out in bed that night 😉

    the (reluctantly) “Exalted One” ha ha! ho ho!!

    Like

    1. You got this! You more than trudged through it… you really got in my head here. Outstanding! 🙂

      It is serendipitous that you’ve read this today. And I sincerely hope that it helped in some way.
      I could not do your great comment justice, and I’ll not try. Know that I’ve read this a couple of times through, and I smiled all the while.

      Like

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