Thursday, 22 September 2011

The Chocolate Teapot

Imagine the following. You are stood alone on a stage with a giant screen behind you. Sat out in the audience are two hundred of your friends, colleagues, family members. They've gathered for a special premier, a movie that celebrates your life. Only that's not the whole story; unbeknown to you what's about to be played is footage chronicling every sin, every deviant thought, every  indiscretion you've ever entertained. And I mean the whole shebang, with special attention paid to those private moments when you were alone. Remember those experiments? That self discovery? The really embarrassing deep stuff you don't even feel comfortable dwelling upon?
How would you feel? Popcorn anyone?
I'd like to think that, upon hearing of the script change I'd smile and tell people to enjoy the show, yet even I confess to a certain discomfort at the thought of others knowing everything about me.
Believe it or not, a pastor used that story once, doing so to remind us of both our sin and our need for redemption.  I humbly disagree and regard the whole affair as just evidence of our own humanity. Come on people, we've all thought and done things that we'd rather remain a secret. Or at least I have. But does that rather obvious reality really require penance and repentance and guilt inducing angst? I really don't think so, and for me the word sin is about as much use as a chocolate teapot.
Stop the press! We do weird things sometimes! We think and act in ways privately that we'd probably refrain from in public. When out and about we deploy something called social skills, and we all have these to a greater or lesser extent. We're each of us on a continuum, with perhaps Her Majesty the Queen at one end and people like me at the other. Now here's the thing; I know you have your strange moments. I know this, and you know this. I take some comfort from knowing I'm not alone in the asylum. What you think and do in your own private space is your business, and frankly I'm unconcerned.
Many years ago I remember telling my then Managing Director that "I wanted to live my life without doing so at the expense of other people."
This mantra has not changed. And as much as it's within my power it never will. You read these blogs; you know enough about me to have some  idea about what I might do during my hard earned spare time. The other day somebody said to me that I have this knack of saying what everybody is thinking but lacks the guts to say. Now this may or may not be so, but if I had one goal for my blog, just one desire I'd like to see realised, it would be for people to come away resting just a bit more comfortably in their own skin. We're human aren't we? And that means we're not always as refined or cultured or discreet or balanced as we might hope. That's ok. That's just fine. You're in good company. And you're not alone.

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