Roy Exum: A Fable And A Parable

Thursday, December 26, 2013 - by Roy Exum
Roy Exum
Roy Exum

It is believed that a man who was named Aesop lived even before the birth of Christ in ancient Greece and, although he was a slave, he was a legendary story teller. The fabulous “Aesop’s Fables” were read to me as a small boy and they are just as wonderful today; they never seem to age.

Sometime during the 1st century Apollonius of Tyana described Aesop like this: “Like those who dine well off the plainest dishes, he made use of humble incidents to teach great truths, and after serving up a story he adds to it the advice to do a thing or not to do it.”

A parable, on the other hand, is an imaginary story that is used to teach a moral or spiritual lesson. I have a great friend in Texas who shares stories with me from time to time and, after a very full Christmas Day, I’d like to pass along a fable (advice) and parable (lesson) he shared with me not long ago.

It is believed that the authors of both stories are unknown.

THE HOUSE WE BUILD

An elderly carpenter was ready to retire. He told his employer-contractor of his plans to leave the house-building business and live a more leisurely life with his wife enjoying his extended family. He would miss the paycheck, but he needed to retire. They could get by. 

The contractor was sorry to see his good worker go and asked if he could build just one more house as a personal favor. The carpenter said yes, but in time it was easy to see that his heart was not in his work. He resorted to shoddy workmanship and used inferior materials. It was an unfortunate way to end his career. 

When the carpenter finished his work and the builder came to inspect the house, the contractor handed the front-door key to the carpenter:

"This is your house," he said, "my gift to you."

What a shock! What a shame! If he had only known he was building his own house, he would have done it all so differently. Now he had to live in the home he had built none too well. 

So it is with us. We build our lives in a distracted way, reacting rather than acting, willing to put up less than the best. At important points we do not give the job our best effort. Then with a shock we look at the situation we have created and find that we are now living in the house we have built. If we had realized that we would have done it differently.

Think of our self as the carpenter. Think about our house. Each day we hammer a nail, place a board, or erect a wall. Build wisely. It is the only life we will ever build. Even if we live for only one day more, that day deserves to be lived graciously and with dignity.

We built our life today. It is the result of our attitudes and the choices we have made in the past.

We can build the life we want. It will be the exact result of our attitudes and the choices we make today and tomorrow.

-- Author Unknown

* * *

TRUE LOVE -- PAST, PRESENT, FUTURE

It was a busy morning and about 8:30 a.m. an elderly gentleman in his 80's arrived to have stitches removed from his thumb. He stated that he was in a hurry as he had an appointment at 9:00am.

I took his vital signs and had him take a seat, knowing it would be over an hour before someone would be able to see him. I saw him looking at his watch and decided, since I was not busy with another patient, I would evaluate his wound.

On exam it was well healed, so I talked to one of the doctors, got the needed supplies to remove his sutures and redress his wound.

While taking care of his wound, we began to engage in conversation I asked him if he had a doctor's appointment this morning, as he was in such a hurry. The gentleman told me no, that he needed to go to the nursing home to eat breakfast with his wife.

I then inquired as to her health. He told me that she had been there for a while and that she was a victim of Alzheimer Disease. As we talked, and I finished dressing his wound, I asked if she would be worried if he was a bit late. He replied that she no longer knew who he was, that she had not recognized him in five years now.

I was surprised, and asked him.

"And you still go every morning, even though she doesn't know who you are?"

He smiled as he patted my hand and said.

"She doesn't know me, but I still know who she is."

I had to hold back tears as he left, I had goose bumps on my arm, and thought,

"That is the kind of love I want in my life."

True love is neither physical, nor romantic. True love is an acceptance of all that is, has been, will be, and will not be.

-- Author Unknown

royexum@aol.com



Kyle Hedrick For Circuit Court Judge

I am writing to publicly offer my endorsement of Kyle Hedrick for Circuit Court Judge.  Kyle has already shown that he has the temperament needed for this seat.  He rose to the top during the governor’s selection process and anyone that has been around him can understand why.  Selection of a judge should be done with several things in mind.  I have found ... (click for more)

Roy Exum: Unmask Brain Injuries

I have a special friend, a real special guy who had a childhood others would envy. One night during a party at his University of Alabama fraternity, he and some other brothers threw a thug out who was trying to crash the party. Who would have ever guessed the jerk would come back with a butcher knife and slam the business end through the promising kid’s brain. After weeks of touch-and-go, ... (click for more)

Federal Jury Finds Gillispie Guilty Of 6 Counts In Sex Trafficking Case

A federal jury on Wednesday morning found Corrie Gillispie guilty of six counts in his sex trafficking trial. Gillispie was ruled guilty of two counts of sex trafficking, two counts of kidnapping, one count of transporting a person across state lines for prostitution, and one count of money laundering.  The panel found him not guilty of another charge of transporting ... (click for more)

Attorney Says There Was No Valid Reason To Euthanize Monteagle Family's Pet Raccoon Boomer

A Chattanooga attorney who specializes in wildlife cases says there was no valid reason for health officials to have euthanized a pet raccoon belonging to a family in Monteagle. Candace Bone said the family had owned "Boomer" for three years after getting her from an approved raccoon farm. She said, "We are all devastated. He was just like a baby to us. Boomer slept between ... (click for more)

Lady Mustangs Dump Lady Owls, 2-0, On Frost's Two-Run Homer In Seventh Inning

CLEVELAND, Tenn. – After chasing Ooltewah in the District 5-3A softball standings this season, Walker Valley is now the chasee after Wednesday’s 2-0 victory over the Lady Owls on Carissa Frost’s game-winning two-run homer with two out in the seventh inning. “It’s a huge win for us and our program,” Walker Valley coach Lauren Limburg said.   The diminutive Frost, ... (click for more)

Painter's Game-Winning Hit Lifts Red Bank, 6-5

I’m sure you’ve heard the classic line of “It’s not over until it’s over” and also the one about “it’s not over until the fat lady sings.” Take your pick, but either one would have applied as that was certainly the case at the Red Bank softball field Wednesday evening. The Lionettes won the game with the Whitwell Lady Tigers by a final score of 6-5, but it took nine innings ... (click for more)