Sunday, October 30, 2005

There are three types of true stories. Unfair, fair, and irrelevant.

Unfair stories always cost someone who does not deserve. Take a friend of my daughter's who met her current boyfriend years ago, when other boys put a chair against a door and began to beat him up. The girl stood up and intervened, screaming and shaming and otherwise making them back down. No wonder my daughter loves her friend, and the story is neat, but it hurts the poor guy all over again, so they've all resolved not to tell the story about him.

Irrelevant stories are great stories, but they don't do anything for whatever dialog is involved. Like my poor neighbor forgetting to put her husband's car in park and having it roll across the alley and hit our garage door. The story can be charming and funny (when I called to explain why I was going to be late to work my secretary laughed so hard I had to explain it all over again to the office manager who was walking by). But there isn't any point to the story.

Then their are stories that are fair and fit in with the theme. Given that Saturday I attended a meeting, helped on an elder's quorum move, attended a temple wedding, a trunk or treat my wife and I were in charge of and a ring ceremony (as well as a few other things) it was a busy day. But, the wedding was of a kid I had in primary.

When we first met, I was sent out in the hall with him since he was a boy and I was a guy, and they felt he needed discipline. I didn't see it, he just needed a moment to collect himself, so I told him to stay calm and pretend that I had punished him and that should do it. Everything was secret until he told his parents (luckily, they approved).

He was a great kid then, and he has been a great kid since. This last year a lot of things have worked out for him and it was so good to see him in the Temple, along with a number of other people I hold dear. Almost as if I was seeing my own kids.

That story is fair to everyone involved and is the happiest kind of truth as well.


Sarebear said...

I love reading your insights, and how you compare and contrast things. That type of thing REALLY resonates with me.

That last story . . . I LOVE IT! Too bad I never ran into any Primary Teachers like you. Not that I was a troublemaker, but perhaps would have seen all the trouble others did to me.

annegb said...

I am laughing out loud, Stephen, that is so cool.