Wednesday, September 26, 2001

I love this section from the very last page of Bonhoeffer's Ethics:

I have been thinking about the problem of talking about one's own fear (in air raids), a problem I wrote to you about quite recently. I believe that under the guise of "honesty" something is here presented as being "natural' which is really fundamentally a symtom of sin; it is really exactly like talking in public about sexual matters. The point is precisely that "truthfulness" soes not mean the disclosure of everything that exists. God Himself made clothes for man (Gen 3:21); and this means that in statu corruptionis many things in man are to remain concealed, and that if it is too late to eradicate evil, it is at least to be kept hidden. Exposure is cynical; and even if the cynic appears to himself be specially honest, or if he sets himself up to be a fanatical devotee of truth, he nevertheless fails to acheive the truth which is of decisive importance, namely, the truth that since the Fall there has been a need also for concealment and secrecy . . . In my view "telling the truth" means saying how something is in reality, i.e. respect for secrecy, confidence and concealment. "Betrayal", for example, is not truth; nor are frivolity, cynicism, etc. What is concealed must be disclosed only at confession, i.e., before God.
Okay, so I'm WAAYYY behind on my writing schedule. I was due to write last on Sept 11 actually, but found myself quite speechless that day and the next. Then I just got out of the habit. I will try to get back on track here. Thanks for your patience (if there are any you's out there to be patient).

Tuesday, September 04, 2001

Sometime very early in my life my parents (ever the cynics) must have warned me about things that claim to be "free". I didn't realize until sometime late in my thirties that the warning should go both ways. This article reminded me of a valuable lesson. I had been working for a company called Chambermaids, trying to decide if I wanted to pursue a business in the cleaning industry. Chambermaids had a fairly large and fairly affluent client base in the Detroit area. On one occasion, however, they had run a radio promotion in which they gave away one (or was it two) year of free home cleaning. As it turned out, the winners a) lived about 45-50 minutes away from the office, and b) were so slobby that it was hard to find the floor of their house. I'm not exactly known as a neat freak, but these people were out of control, as they say.

I suppose the real lesson is, beware of the sort of people attracted by things that are free. Or, conversely, your best customers are those who are willing and able to pay you.