Daily prompt: Bury the chaplain?


Now there’s a cheery little word! And here was me all set to be a veritable ray of sunshine only to be stymied by the WP moving finger, which having writ, has no doubt moved on to have its brekkie, supper or whatever, depending on what time of day it is in WP land.

I am reminded of a divinity class conducted by the school chaplain when I was about 14. Being an Anglican boarding school, we had a divinity class each week, but this is the only one that really sticks in my mind. For reasons best known to himself (or knowing the chaplain, perhaps it was Himself) he spent the lesson discussing the pros and cons of burial versus cremation in relation to the inevitable death of our parents.

Even 60 years later, I can feel the gobsmack. Here we were, young, vulnerable, impressionable and far from home. What was he thinking!

The conclusion I’ve come to since is that he wasn’t. Thinking. He was man of deep conviction, chiefly regarding his own unassailable worth and virtue. He had no need to think of others’ feelings. He was by definition right, and if he caused discomfort, it was all part of the learning process for the less enlightened.

It must be nice to have that sort of conviction of your own rightness. Peaceful, you know? No agonising, no doubting, no retrospective cringing. What’s more there’s a lot of it about, which proves my point: it’s a great way to live.

Sadly for me, it’s completely at odds with the way I was raised.


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15 Responses to Daily prompt: Bury the chaplain?

  1. It’s funny. I talked with a young guy at my mortgage company yesterday about refinancing my house. I liked him. We had a good rapport. Then he told me about a 68 year old woman, client, who had frustrated him because she didn’t want to refinance her house even though it would be to her financial benefit in half a dozen ways, including that she could have a lower house payment and retire. She just didn’t want another 30 year mortgage. She has 20 on her current mortgage.

    The young guy asked her what difference it made since she was never going to pay off her mortgage anyway (the one she has now and a new one if she got it). That is the kind of truth some people just don’t want to hear and the kid was so 1) young, 2) logical and, 3) truly helpful that he didn’t realize what the woman heard when he said it. 🙂

    • Apparently the reality of our own mortality is something we come to surprisingly late, so I guess for him death was still an abstract concept. Different when you get to my age and realise you’ve got maybe 10 years at best. It doesn’t feel like very much. Not that I’d turn down a reduction in mortgage payments on that basis…

  2. Embeecee says:

    Ah save me from the piety of ‘always right’ thinkers. Because they’re wrong, at least once, they’re wrong in thinking that they know everything. Time and circumstance will teach them. That divinity teacher missed the mark widely and I wonder if he’s explaining his lack of modesty to someone in higher authority now?

  3. Sometimes, weird though this may sound, I wish someone had talked to me about many aspects of getting old before I actually GOT old.

  4. Aunt Beulah says:

    It’s at odds with the way I was raised as well, Martha. The phrase, “too big for your britches” was oft applied in our family, and in the case of your chaplain, my mom would have sniffed dismissively as she said, “He’s too big for his britches and needs a good comeuppance.”

  5. Aunt Beulah says:

    Sorry, Helen, I know you’re Helen. I was thinking about the above exchange between you and Martha and let my fingers get carried away with their speed, if not skill. My apologies.

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  7. lwbut says:

    Those of us who think they are always right are utterly annoying for those of us like me who actually are! 😉

    There’s a lot to be said for humility!….actually, the less said the better 😉

    I think some Christians become Christians because they want to learn how to always be right. Many of those who didn’t come to believe they are anyway. Blind faith involves not seeing things…. like your failings as failings. 🙂


    • Much complicated by the issue that even among Christians, there are so many branches of blind faith, each convinced the others are wrong and on their way to hell.

      • lwbut says:

        There is definitely a problem to believing that there is only one true belief for everyone. That being: it is simply not true for humans as a whole. As an individual?, perhaps.


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