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August 5th, 2018
A young man approached Lucilius who was watering a plant in a neighbor’s garden and was asked why people are stubborn.
Lucilius watched the soil around the little plant darken and sink. He responded: “All are weary of who they invite into their home lest the guest make a mess of things. They fear not the mess, they fear the cleaning.”
“I do not understand,” said the young man.
Lucilius turned to the young man and asked, “have you ever entertained a good friend at your home?”
“Well yes, of course” said the young man.
“And when the party was finished, did you smile thinking on the good time as you put your house back in order?”
“But of course,” said the young man.
“You take out your fine china, and cook according to your plan, and when all is finished you know where everything is and you know the place where they must return. There is no confusion. And so even though there is effort to entertain a friend, it is not difficult. Would you agree?”
“Yes, but what does this have to do with people and how stubborn they are?”
“We are reluctant to entertain guests who might make a larger mess than we like to expect. Our fine china may break in such a mess. Things long forgotten may be pulled out into the light unintended and when we put things in order we are confronted with these mistakes from the past. Things do not simply return to the way they were before. Entertaining Strangers is risking the order of our homes. This is why people only entertain ideas they already agree with. To do otherwise is to think long and hard about a new order for our minds.”
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