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Wednesday, May 20, 2015

The Big Thing About Little Stories

Why does Nathan speak to David with a parable? How does the parable relate to [what David has done]? Serendipity Bible Fourth Edition, page 452).

Parables reveal principles inherent in situations we like to obscure with complexity. Complexity is our aspirin of choice enabling all kinds of rationalizations. Parables lay bare principles revealing our states of denial for what they are – exercises with greater or lesser intent to deceive ourselves or others.  Nathan told the story about a little ewe lamb that would offend all levels of autonomous ethical sensibilities from adults to children, from the brilliant to the slow.  Parables are the little plays that catch the consciences of both the king and the pauper. In America Abraham Lincoln was a vastly superior President because of his ability to tell stories – parables if you will – that laid bare principle.  

HARD LEMONADE (One of Lincoln's Favorite stories).

  • Out in Sangamon County, there was an old temperance lecturer, who was very strict in the doctrine and practice of total abstinence. One day, after a long ride in the hot sun, he stopped at the house of a friend who proposed making him a lemonade. As the mild beverage was being mixed, the friend insinuatingly asked if he wouldn’t like just the least drop of something stronger, to brace up his nerves after the exhausting heat and exercise.
  • "No," replied the lecturer, "I couldn’t think of it; I’m opposed on principle. But," he added, with a longing glance at the black bottle that stood conveniently at hand, "If you could manage to put in a drop unbeknownst to me, I guess it wouldn’t hurt me as much."
  • — Story relayed by the Cincinnati Gazette
  • From 11 of Abe Lincoln's Favorite Stories (

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