Just when you thought there was hope….

by Rod Smith
I love Friedman. I hope you will too.

I love Friedman. I hope you will too.

I have reconstructed one of the late Rabbi Ed. Friedman’s parables which I first encountered as a footnote in his paper entitled “The Challenge of Change and the Spirit of Adventure.” (It’s essential reading, by the way):

A man was getting ready for heart bypass surgery when his organs called a (secret, of course) meeting. Lungs declared they would refuse to participate in the surgery saying the host had no business making them work harder after all they’d done for him for all these years.

Spleen agreed. Pancreas nudged in agreement. Actually Pancreas winked, but it is hard to tell with Pancreas.

Intestine mulled endlessly on the matter and felt (it was rather an emotional moment, actually) it should side, if he sided with anyone, with Spleen.

Intestine, who found it hard to have an opinion anyway, also did everything slowly.

The Kidney Twins, in unison and stony-faced, kidded a just little (they are not given to too much humor) that he had had the audacity to think they’d work any harder on his behalf, “Who does he think he is trying to get all well?” Their comment became a scoff.

Bowel, not given to small talk, churned the over the matter, repeatedly sighed a long conspiratorial, “Nooo. Nooo. Noooo!”

Liver, still seated, said he wasn’t about to change after all these years. Then, standing to address the meeting, said, “Who exactly is he to decide without due process anyway? New lease on life, a new Heart around here will mean new demands. Everyone’s been so worried about old Heart for all these years, no one gave a rip about us! We’ll show him who is boss! He’ll get all active – which means we’ll have to, too. No. No. No. What does he know about taking out the trash anyway? I do the REAL work around here!”

Round the table the organs voted and a decision was reached. “No! No to surgery for our ambitious, unreasonable, demanding, host.”

Just then Brain spoke up, “It’s none of your business. It is not your decision to make. Get back to work.”

(I highly recommend Friedman’s Fables and Failure of Nerve by the same author.)

One Comment to “Just when you thought there was hope….”

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