Wednesday, March 23, 2011

It had to happen

"It is easy to find fault, if one has the disposition." — Mark Twain, Pudd'nhead Wilson

I SUPPOSE it was inevitable that someone would hate everything at the party. A woman sent me an email tonight complaining that: 

1) She had to pay to attend the party where we packed pajamas for domestic violence shelters, so in her opinion she was paying to work (I'm thinking most everyone else thought of it as a donation)  

2) She had to pay to park in the ramp (hey, she could have parked on the street where it's free)  

3) She had to buy her own glasses of wine (I didn't see anyone twisting her arm to drink) 

4) There wasn't enough pizza (I guessed the best that I could. Last year I had 
way too much and ended up donating $250 worth of pizza to the local homeless shelter)  

5) She would have just as soon listened to CDs instead of live music 

6) And what were all those kids doing there?!?! 

Hmmm. "Those kids" were children who came with moms who are residents at the CFI Family Violence Shelter in Des Moines. You know, "those people" we serve. As far as live music goes, I was kind of thinking it helped make the night. Go figure. This is a woman who signs her emails with a religious aphorism.

She reminds me that religiousness does not necessarily make someone generous — or prevent him or her (in this case, her) from being mean-spirited. Morality does not have to spring from religion. 

It's been a long time since I read the Dialogues of Plato, but I absolutely loved, loved, loved them. One of my very favorite things is a recording of Sidney Poitier reading excerpts from the Dialogues. (Oops something shiny.) But hopefully we recall enough of our classics education to remember that ancient Greece was the birthplace of Western ethics, and that was BC.
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