Such an education in a day, was today. Though I speak not of those tasks which are required in the academic setting (which I have woefully neglected of late), but of the matter and matters between individuals – especially as I speak of my father and myself.
With our conversations of the previous evening being of rather light matters: politics, international affairs and so forth. I knew to expect talk of ideas and beliefs to come rather quickly. My only surprise being my father`s vehement way of going about it in stark contrast to how straightforwardly he would then concede his error in light of my argument.
I cannot express what a marked change this was in comparison to previous encounters – especially as he would bring each new issue forward with sudden tangential haste, in something of a bluff charge… only to nod assent to my crippling rejoinders and change his tack entirely. All the while, maintaining a relative good humor in our discussion – even at moments where his reasoning was shown to be dreadfully wanting.
Over the span of the dialogues, his inquiries changed from that of contention into that of sincerest curiosity – marveling, at different instances, how little I seemed to take “on blind faith” or without sufficient rationale.
His philosophical mettle being turned aside so deftly by his firstborn, it was by mid-day that he could naught but concede that there was nothing he could offer in light of my testimony to the matters we discussed – and that he felt he had learned much about these issues in “hashing them out” in such a manner.
There was also a rather poignant moment later in the afternoon…
My father (being a third-generation Master Carpenter) inquired of me (being fourth in legacy to this craft) as to why I had not yet remedied the annoying way our front door stuck to its frame in opening and closing.
Laughing gamely, with my excuses touching everything but to the purpose of his simple question, I confessed that it was no better reason than simply not esteeming the work sufficient to distract me from other pursuits.
Grinning at this knowingly (and taking such an opportunity to “score a few points” off of his head-strong son) he bade me bring him two specific materials that could repair this deformity without so much as a bead of sweat.
Focusing his technique upon what he termed as the root of the problem, he gave one sharp blow to a single angle of the doorframe – righting it immediately.
So too is it for many things. All that is imperfect must always be corrected at the “root” of its deficiency.