"We are constantly hatching an enormous number of false ideas, conceits, Utopias, mystical explanations, suspicions, and megalomaniacal fantasies, which disappear when brought into contact with other people."
Jean Piaget (1896 - 1980)
I was sitting in my favorite chair in Big Daddy's backyard garden when Big Daddy showed up from his bedroom. Big Daddy usually takes a nap in the afternoon, and today, he came out of it wearing a full grin and a story on his lips, right when the rain started pouring cats and dogs and frogs.
"Did the rain wake you?" I look up to him from my laptop, slightly alarmed by the marks of mischief on his normally tranquil face.
He spat, "A man came to me this morning, telling me in full condescension that the Qiblah in my mosque is not aligned with the sun. This smartass then said that he was going to make it right."
I sit silent, partially because I enjoy his grandfatherly-style of storytelling and partially knowing well enough when to keep my mouth shut when a man in his position is venting about a pet peeve.
He continues, "So before I went to bed this afternoon, I said to the Lord, 'Lord, we want some rain',"
He raised his voice to high enough to penetrate my ear against layers of thunder claps and rain and an uncontrollable laughter, "So there you have it, kiddo, lots of rain, and no sun to align the Qiblah with."
Morals of the story:
1. When a you're a smartass with ideas, reconsider your style of approach. Never ever approach the elders with disrespect. I got this from experience, that no matter how small, or senile, or traditional they may seem, elders are elders, and bad luck always comes when we cross their path with disrespect. Especially when it comes to adding adjustments to a well-established system in the elder's care. If you're right, you'll have your ideas implemented, and still win his respect. If you're wrong, you'll just learn something new and not walk away embarrassed.
2. Some elders do reach the leadership position without bribe, or tyranny or corrupted democracy. Some elders really are natural leaders in a society, out of intelligence and wisdom and sense of justice. Rare qualities to find in mankind today, but maybe the world is not yet in complete mayhem in favor for people like them. In Big Daddy's case, who secretly holds a doctorate degree in the practical matters of his religion, would it be too difficult for him to know the direction to which billions of Muslims would face during their daily prayers?
3. This is controversial, but it's the thing that started me write: Some people are gifted with abilities beyond measurement. Like power of words. The power to heal. The power to move clouds. Most of us would rather not pay attention to what the senses cannot perceive. But then, we've abused our cerebral capacity to conform with what is normal and accepted. What if one day everything that you're sure of is challenged, everything that the media has fed you with proven fabricated, and the fairytales you no longer put your hopes in become true?
Tell me a story.