Little Things

Three thoughts on clarity…

‘The aspects of things that are most important for us are hidden because of their simplicity and familiarity’ (Wittgenstein)

A very devout man is sitting in his house whilst flood waters rise outside. The water steadily rises until his neighbours are able to float past on a rowing boat. They offer him a lift to a place of safety. ‘No’, he replies, ‘God will save me’. The waters continue to rise, the man has to take refuge in an upstairs bedroom. Other neighbours pass his bedroom window, this time in a speedboat. They offer him a lift to a place of safety. ‘No’, he replies, ‘God will save me’. The man has to move up to the roof and, as the waters lap around his feet, a helicopter comes into view, dropping its ladder for him to climb up. ‘No’, he replies, ‘God will save me’. Well, dear reader, the man dies and goes to heaven where he tearfully confronts his God ‘Why didn’t you save me?’ God’s reply, ‘Who did you think sent the rowboat, the speedboat and the helicopter?’

There once was a trader who travelled regularly between his country and the neighbouring one. Each time he travelled by donkey and each time he was stopped and searched (on suspicion of smuggling) by the border police. In thirty years they did not find a thing for which to arrest him. Some years later, whilst drinking in his local bar, the trader met one of his former adversaries who asked ‘Now that we are both retired, can you please tell me what it was you were smuggling?’ ‘Certainly’, replied the trader, ‘donkeys’. (The Bishop of Southwark, BBC Radio 4 ‘Thought for the Day’, 13/2/2001)

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