A Fear of Whales

A Fear of Whales

What We’re Up Against

There’s a lunch I go to when I can at another ministry house on campus. They gather to eat mostly organic local food, and It’s free, so win/win! But the Spiritual Director had hoped it would foster just a bit more community than it does.

To use his words “it’s a drag” people come, eat and leave, without talking to anybody they don’t know. And the people who do know each other form tight and unfriendly cliques. So he and I and a couple friends sat down and brainstormed ideas about how to mix it up a bit.

“You could tape water guns under their chairs” Said one friend

“Yeah but they would have to be unloaded or they would leak”

“What about like an organized Mixer-game What’s a good game?”

Nah” I said. To formal, people won’t go for it.

“What if we just made paper airplanes and threw them at each other?”

So that’s what we did. The next morning we took a bunch of discarded newspaper (Eco-Friendly) and folded them up into airplanes, and threw them at one another at the lunch. You won’t believe what happened.


We were sure no red blooded American youth would pass up the opportunity to make a complete mess of a room while joyously chucking paper at their friends and perfect strangers but it wasn’t to be.

We folded airplanes and we threw then at one another and we ducked and dodged all around a bunch of counter-cultural hippies in cliques eating their organic rice who did their best to ignore us completely.

One man was actually began reading the old out of date newspaper rather than join the fun. I couldn’t believe it.
I mean I understand that I’m a lot more outgoing than most people are or want to be, and significantly more counter-cultural. But to sit down in the middle of an airplane war and disregard it… That takes some extraordinary level of militaristic introversion that I just can’t fathom.

I mean it’s not like this was a meeting of the Southern Baptist Men in Business here! It was everybody. Including the friendly looking college kids folks with the tie-dye shirts.

Thoreau said “most men life lives of quiet desperation” but even a quietly desperate man will respond to stimuli. Today I wonder if most men live at all.

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