Decay: (v) to become decomposed; rot
It saddens me deeply that intellectualism is incapable of delivering its promise to our humanity.
I’ve listened for decades to those who contend that education can swerve us out of our natural inclination to crash and burn.
There probably is truth to that.
Knowledge would be a wonderful thing if it did not present itself as all-knowing. Yes.
There is knowing, and then there is all-knowing.
Knowing is when you discover something and respectfully present it, fully aware that more data is going to come along, which will either enhance your discovery or flat-out contradict it.
Knowledge requires humility.
Unfortunately, the knowledgeable do not favor a humble spirit.
Throughout my youthful times of poverty, I was completely unable to afford going to the dentist. The one or two times I found myself in the holy seat of the tooth doctor, I was told that my teeth were not straight, my wisdom teeth should be removed, and I needed a bridge put in somewhere on the Mississippi River.
All of this was impossible.
And rather than telling me what I might be able to do, the dentist criticized me for being impoverished, unable to take care of my teeth, therefore threatening them with decay.
And decay was his swear-word.
Just uttering the word decay was supposed to make me shudder to the depths of my soul, scaring me into going out and borrowing money from a bank somewhere so I could fund his “toothy project.”
I didn’t do it.
It wasn’t because I was rebellious. But every extra dollar I had went into my career—or shoelaces for my children’s footwear.
If my teeth did not hurt, I assumed they were fine.
If they did hurt, I took lots of aspirin until they stopped hurting.
What has occurred is that as I’ve gotten older, some of my teeth have decided to die and go be with Jesus before the rest of me.
I guess they decayed enough that they just fell out.
I don’t normally share this story with anyone, so if it grosses you out, I apologize.
But it’s amazing. The teeth that remain seem to have greater resolve, fill in the gaps, and I am still able to chew a good steak or bite into an ear of corn.
I don’t know whether I chose the right path.
But I have found that the people who did put thousands of dollars into avoiding decay are now wearing dentures.
I only have a small army left.
But each one of them came with the original fortifications.