Story Time

Over their aperitifs, Plato mused, “It’s hard to be original in your own home town,” to which Mendelssohn added, “Palaces built on landfills will always smell of garbage.”  And the Greek said, “That’s what I meant.”



An old wise man (he was actually more verbose than wise, but at certain stages in a wise man’s career it’s hard to tell the difference, well, at any rate...) early one morning gathered a group of youngsters and said he had an important story to tell them as their initial “grown-up lesson.”  And after they had settled down he began, “There was once a man who liked to think, and do other interesting things alone.  So he decided he would begin to arise an hour earlier each morning so as to have more free time for himself.  But soon this just became another part of his unnoticed daily routine, and so, to give himself some fresh impetus, he moved his wake up time up another hour earlier, but quite soon this too just another creature in his zoo of habit.  So then, after much careful thought and deliberation, do you know what the man decided to do?"  And after it became obvious that none of his little listeners could conceive of the proper response, the old man said, “Well, settle down again, and I’ll tell you what he did.  Every day for the rest of his life, he set his alarm to go off one minute earlier than it did the morning before.”  And the tykes were so smitten by the implications of the tale that several had milk, while the rest wet their pants.



In a circumstantial world, it’s hard to prove anything conclusively.