Monday, April 18, 2005

Walkin’ the talk

Since my last post, I’ve been doing a lot of reflecting on a certain situation and debating how best to write about it. So here goes: I’m getting feedback about a former boss at a business in town. This man was a very vocal member of a certain religious group. He never “preached” at the employees because that would violate work rules, but he talked constantly about his church and his activities at church and his children's involvement at church and the general values followers of this church are noted for. He projected this image everywhere he went – almost. He was not a good boss, and morale improved dramatically when he left. Anecdotes of him that are now trickling out are quite revealing. It’s like the rootbeer my dad made when we were kids (one used to be able to buy the Hires rootbeer extract which was mixed in a recipe containing sugar, yeast, and water). If it wasn't cold enough, the rootbeer would explode out of the bottle if the cap was loosened. One time, almost an entire bottle ended up on the ceiling of the kitchen, but that's another story. Stuff people kept bottled up about him while he was there has come spewing out. The way he behaved in front of his employees and in private totally discredited everything he thought he was projecting about his religious life. Walkin’ the talk is more than just a cliche. It is vital for anyone who is trying to convince someone that their beliefs are true, important, and life-changing. I guess it is important for all of us who have a belief system we are interested in sharing to make sure the life we live lines up with what we say we believe. In another somewhat more humorous incident, R’s long-time friend related a story of a diet-food-cult guru (they couldn’t eat anything yellow) who was caught in his hotel room at a big conference (that the friend was attending ) eating Twinkies and Doritos. That was the end of the guru.

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