Clancy and I spent the weekend at a friend’s place up in Shoshona. Dave and I have been friends since high school and we were attendants at one another’s weddings, so we’re fairly close. By pure chance we ended up moving within a couple hours of one another.

Dave is one of the best people I’ve known. Extremely intelligent, pretty charismatic, and he has moral aspirations far above and beyond what I would even attempt. Two of his moral stances are environmentalism and anti-materialism. All but the most rabid right-wingers like to consider themselves one or the other, but Dave walks the walk. To give you an idea, he said with honest lament that as much as he would really enjoy being able to take cold two-minute showers, a warm morning shower is his vice.

He doesn’t hold these ideas in a showie look-at-me kind of way like some. Which in some ways makes it harder.

When you’re a guest in someone’s home, the last thing that you want to do is offend. If in the home of conservative Christian sorts, I try not to use the Lord’s name in vain even if I don’t consider it a big deal to do so. It’s a matter of respect.

But unfortunately, we both kind of spent the weekend worried that we were offending by taking too-long showers or eating or drinking too much or what-have-you. I also bit my tongue before mentioning that some of what I was wearing was bought at Walmart. That’s the last thing that Dave would intend, but it’s kind of hard not to think about it when confronted with someone that’s constantly striving to live up to his value system.

On the upshot, it’s people like those that propel you to take stock of who you are in comparison to who you would like to be. He retouched me with some of my younger hippier beliefs. He and I disagree on an awful lot of things, but it makes me even look at those ideals I have that doesn’t in a more intense way. In a good way, though. Because he doesn’t take a holier-than-thou posture, he doesn’t make me defensive or make me feel like I’m lacking. Taking stock means not only looking at the distance between where you are and where you would like to be, but also the distance between where you are and where you started out from.

Category: Coffeehouse

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One Response to Taking Stock In Rome

  1. Larry Ayers says:

    A very thoughtful piece. You are quite an introspective writer. I don’t or can’t do that because there are elements of my life which I’ve agreed not to discuss on my blog. I wish I could!

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