the parable of the mean old man
not too long ago there lived a man named mr surley who was mean. he was not an ordinary kind of mean either. mr surley was especially vexatious, and he had been that way since the day he was born. all his life he grimaced and fumed and if people spoke to him he snapped at them and grumbled and cursed at them as he walked away. mind you, mr surley had never been given any good reason to be mean. he just was.
one fine evening while sitting on his front porch drinking some ice-cold lemonade and watching the sunset he decided he would go and talk to his doctor about his condition and see what could be done. after all, he was getting along in years and would not be around for much longer.
the next morning that is just what he did. he rose early, prepared and ate a hearty breakfast and headed down to dr smileys office for an appointment. after explaining the problem dr smiley was perplexed. he ran some doctorly tests and discovered nothing wrong with mr surley and so dr smiley showed him some graphs and charts of the results and sent him on his way by advising him to cheer up.
but mr surley could not cheer up because he was too mean. he just grumbled and cursed the doctor as he walked away.
and so for the next several months mr surley went around to various people hoping they could pinpoint the problem and give him an idea of how to change. he sought out therapists, counselors, scientists, architects, engineers, philosophers and all manner of other experts but to no avail. could not one of them figure out what made him so mean.
and he grumbled and cursed them as he walked away.
finally he gave up and headed back home. he was tired and did not feel much like there was anyone could help him. he just grimaced and fumed and if people spoke to him he snapped at them and grumbled and cursed at them as he walked away.
one fine evening while sitting on his front porch drinking some ice-cold lemonade and watching the sunset mr surley grimaced and fumed as the towns pastor walked up his front steps onto the porch and greeted him. mr surley had tried everything though, so after pastor giddy sat down he explained his situation. the pastor listened attentively then told mr surley he needed to pray for god to change him.
and that night before he went to bed that is just what he did. mr surley prayed for god to change him so he would not be mean anymore. by morning he was dead, having passed quietly in his sleep.
so the moral of the story is…