The Eyes of a Child

by rthieme on June 26, 1998

I used to be amused when I was an Episcopal priest that people thought of ministry as detached from “real life.” The truth is, one hears just about everything, from the biting stings of an overly scrupulous conscience to obvious denial that enables people who commit murder to sleep peacefully as if they have done nothing more than swat a few flies.

And yet the perspective of  the years sometimes vanishes and one hears with clarity the still small voice of the child inside.

This morning it is Microsoft – again – on the front page of the Wall Street Journal, doing its best to destroy a bankrupt entrepreneur whose daughter has leukemia. Their brigade of lawyers – trained to delay justice and slaughter the innocent – claim that “Internet Explorer” is a generic term (you know, like windows) and that nobody can own it. Their disingenuous arguments remind me of tobacco company executives, solid citizens dressed in thousand dollar suits, lying to Congress about human beings they knowingly killed and cover-ups that testify to the depth of the river of blood through which they waded eye-deep in hell to a pusher’s profits.

So this is the question: when those folks in the front seats at dinners in their honor tell those bold-faced lies, does that child’s voice ever reach their ears? Do they even know they are lying or have they convinced themselves that the appearance of integrity is just another card to play in a crooked game?

Jane Wagner said, I am getting more and more cynical all the time and I still can’t keep up. But cynicism is the pain of disillusioned idealists who – once in a while – see with the eyes of a child, hear that child’s voice, and remember the kind of world we dreamed it could be.

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