Monthly Archives: May 2014

Why You Should Ask Stupid Questions

evanbaehr.com/blog/2014/4/22/why-you-should-ask-stupid-questions

Evan Baehr

By stupid questions I mean ones that have known answers that I might be expected to already know.  Someone throws out an acronym and I have a blank stare and ask: what does that mean? Ten seconds on google would return the basic answer.  To some, this is a stupid question—you might even say an “ignorant question.”

My change of heart came from developing a right view of “ignorance,” which I see as a “known lack of understanding.”  For example, “I am ignorant of online payment protocols” means I have not spent time coming to understand them.

“You mentioned making the service better for our customers; but the American citizens aren’t our customers—about 400 junk mailers are our customers.” — US Postmaster General Patrick Donahoe to Outbox founder Evan BaehrI am on a lifelong quest as a learner—it excites and challenges me.  This passion comes from inspiration from Charles Eams, about whom this was written, “Sell your expertise and you have a limited repertoire. Sell your ignorance and you have an unlimited repertoire. He was selling his ignorance and his desire to learn about a subject. The journey of not knowing to knowing was his work.”

Traveling on a journey of not knowing used to be one of my greatest fears—I had an idol of wanting to appear to be “in the know.”  Now I realize that was a wrong view of knowledge—and a wrong view of myself.  Along this process I committed something even worse: pretending to know, an offense widely committed that carries huge costs: you undermine the intellectual integrity of the conversation by not knowing what is being said, you deceive others about yourself, and, worst of all, you fail to learn. I now have the courage to “sell my ignorance” and travel with excitement and courage along a journey of not knowing. If you have not already, I hope you, too, may find that courag

A Man’s Plea for a Discussion of Modesty

Who’s Winning the Cleavage Contest? (No One.)

PinkHeartA woman in Church feels she is well-dressed. The men who see her—the elderly, those in their prime, even very young boys—are unable to see her heart, distracted by her revealing to the world, a treasure God created for her husband alone.

A female usher (specially trained to intervene in a charitable manner), comes by with a tasteful sweater, asking the well-dressed woman to put it on.

Why should I do that?” Almost no one who has such habits of dress, would have any comprehension of the fact that a problem even exists.

But should we be caught with our heads in the sand, while the secular world demonstrates, not merely awareness of the problem, but is taking the leadership in solving it? Are we in the Church able to discuss this topic, charitably, of course, but with courage and resolve?

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The Fate of the Children of Lir

Translated and adapted by Lady Gregory

Now at the time when the Tuatha de Danaan chose a king for themselves after the battle of Tailltin, and Lir heard the kingship was given to Bodb Dearg, it did not please him, and he left the gathering without leave and with no word to any one; for he thought it was he himself had a right to be made king. But if he went away himself, Bodb was given the kingship none the less, for not one of the five begrudged it to him but only Lir. And it is what they determined, to follow after Lir, and to burn down his house, and to attack himself with spear and sword, on account of his not giving obedience to the king they had chosen. “We will not do that,” said Bodb Dearg, “for that man would defend any place he is in; and besides that,” he said, “I am none the less king over the Tuatha de Danaan, although he does not submit to me.”

All went on like that for a good while, but at last a great misfortune came on Lir, for his wife died from him after a sickness of three nights. And that came very hard on Lir, and there was heaviness on his mind after her. And there was great talk of the death of that woman in her own time.

And the news of it was told all through Ireland, and it came to the house of Bodb, and the best of the Men of Dea were with him at that time. And Bodb said: “If Lir had a mind for it,” he said, “my help and my friendship would be good for him now, since his wife is not living to him. For I have here with me the three young girls of the best shape, and the best appearance, and the best name in all Ireland, Aobh, Aoife, and Ailbhe, the three daughters of Oilell of Aran, my own three nurslings.” The Men of Dea said then it was a good thought he had, and that what he said was true.

Messages and messengers were sent then from Bodb Dearg to the place Lir was, to say that if he had a mind to join with the Son of the Dagda and to acknowledge his lordship, he would give him a foster-child of his foster-children. And Lir thought well of the offer, and he set out on the morrow with fifty chariots from Sidhe Fionnachaidh; and he went by every short way till he came to Bodb’s dwelling-place at Loch Dearg, and there was a welcome before him there, and all the people were merry and pleasant before him, and he and his people got good attendance that night.

And the three daughters of Oilell of Aran were sitting on the one seat with Bodb Dearg’s wife, the queen of the Tuatha de Danaan, that was their foster-mother. And Bodb said: “You may have your choice of the three young girls, Lir.” “I cannot say,” said Lir, “which one of them is my choice, but whichever of them is the eldest, she is the noblest, and it is best for me to take her.” “If that is so,” said Bodb, “it is Aobh is the eldest, and she will be given to you, if it is your wish.” “It is my wish,” he said. And he took Aobh for his wife that night, and he stopped there for a fortnight, and then he brought her away to his own house, till he would make a great wedding-feast.

And in the course of time Aobh brought forth two children, a daughter and a son, Fionnuala and Aodh their names were. And after a while she was brought to bed again, and this time she gave birth to two sons, and they called them Fiachra and Conn. And she herself died at their birth. And that weighed very heavy on Lir, and only for the way his mind was set on his four children he would have gone near to die of grief. Continue reading