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Monday, October 18, 2010

Snob Regrets

Tonight I would like to apologize to all the people I have been a snob to in my life (a snobbery ironically based on a deep feeling of inadequacy).  Mainly, this is towards people who I have underestimated particularly as a youth, but also later.  When I was young I looked especially at cities, and people with prestigious jobs in the city, as being superior to rural folk.  The sad part is that I often lived in rural areas.  I can now only shake my head at my presumption and arrogance.  Take farmers for example.  Two stand out in my mind particularly—Lewis Hamilton (a tomato farmer) and Clarence Smith (who had orange groves).  I had no conception (and still don’t) of all the business and agricultural acumen that is necessary to succeed in these occupations.  I looked at it from the outside, and thought there must be not much to it.  (I have later come to believe that all jobs require skills and mastery of complexity.)  Lewis and Clarence were good men—now I understand great men.  Both had families; Lewis adopted a troubled youth.  They were kind to me and extraordinarily modest.  Their humility came from their Christian faith, but I think also from the uncertainty that farmers face in many areas, but especially from the threats of pests and contrary weather.  If I had the privilege of meeting these men today, I would love them for their acceptance of me when I was far inferior to them because of my stupid presumptions.  It’s an odd thing, but I still take an abundance of food for granted, and seldom if ever, when giving a blessing, express thanks for the people involved in its production.

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