January 21, 2024


by: tguerry


Categories: Current Culture

Ya Think?

Ya Think?

Lessons From the Drive-Through

Years ago, on an afternoon when I was either late for a meeting or had a broken leg and couldn’t easily get out of the car (you choose the most believable excuse), I went through a local fast-food drive-through and ordered a large soft drink. The total was $1.17 and all I had was a five-dollar bill, along with a bucketload of spare change in my truck’s cup holder. Consequently, I gave the girl a fiver plus seventeen cents in coins. The fact that drive-throughs still accepted cash should alert you this was a long time ago.

First, she looked at me like my fly was open. Then, she actually verbalized her frustration by asking what she was supposed to do with the seventeen cents. On an average day, I might have told where to insert those coins, but I was feeling compassionate, so I ignored her question, at least until she gave me back three dollars and eighty-three cents change, including some pennies that were sticky enough to have come from someone else’s cup holder.

So much for compassion. I demanded, “Where’s my other seventeen cents?” She begrudgingly gave back the spare seventeen cents, which I later realized she had assumed was her tip. I was in too much of a hurry to hand her back all of the change and ask for a dollar bill. And, after all, fixing her lack of math skills was not my responsibility.

As I drove away, wishing I’d given her 117 pennies instead, I realized my encounter had not been with someone who was simply uneducated but with someone who resided on the low end of the IQ curve. She honestly could not comprehend my actions. She was also probably working at the top of her game (and career path).

Don’t get me wrong. I’m not trying to denigrate her humanity. She was likely a good person and embodied the exact same, God-given, intrinsic human value as Mother Theresa or, perhaps your favorite pro athlete — although I suspect she and the pro athlete may also have had the IQ thing in common.

What I’ve come to realize after replaying that scenario in my head over the years is that her limited understanding rendered a very narrow perspective on the world. Her discovery that a CEO earned fifty times her minimum-wage salary, would have had to include the assumption of criminal activity. She simply could not have comprehended that another human being might have embodied skills worth that amount.

Welcome to the Age of Ageism (sung to the tune of The Age of Aquarius)
If I said all black people are crooks because a black friend once stole from me, you’d rightly call me a racist. If I claimed all women were immoral because I once knew a girl who had sex with strangers for money, you’d call me a sexist. But if I said that older employees were a dicey bet because I recently watched a 68-year-old friend go down the rabbit-hole of Alzheimer’s, you’d probably agree with me instead of calling me a bigot. You might even site recent scientific findings to rationalize our shared prejudice.

I have a good friend who has headed up a local non-profit for over twenty years, and for the twenty years prior to that, he ran similar non-profits. In this last twenty years, he’s led his current non-profit to the apex of recognition by similar non-profits across the country. Much of that is due to mistakes he made — and learned from on other people’s nickel — in the previous twenty years. As you might expect, someone with over forty years of leadership experience is no longer a Spring chicken and yet, his mind is still as sharp as any college professor I ever studied under. He also has innovative ideas for the future of the non-profit based on his vast experience.

Why then, would some of his much younger employees and vendors consider themselves better qualified than he is, to make critical decisions regarding the organization? It’s for the exact same reason that I drove a fast car as a teenager, and I drive a big, slow, pickup truck today. In over fifty years of driving, I’ve endured the consequences of enough wrecks to understand that when that young buck, revving his sports car’s engine next to me at the stop light, thoughtlessly swerves into my lane, I’ll be home eating dinner while his parents are identifying his remains.

Just like the girl in the drive-through window, that kid is not experienced enough to know how much he doesn’t know. And, neither are my friend’s employees. Kind of makes me ponder just how much you and I haven’t learned yet. That’s a seriously scary black hole.

Cup-Of-CoffeeMaybe you know something I don’t know. Maybe you know a whole lot that I don’t know. Email me at guy@lawsoncomm.com. I’ll buy you coffee and we can talk about what you think I should know.You’ll get a free coffee and I’ll get enlightenment — that’s a great bargain.


All I have seen teaches me to trust the Creator for all I have not seen.

― Ralph Waldo Emerson


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A More Christlike God

Bradley Jersak

Right up front, I’m gonna say this book is not for everybody. If you’re an atheist or agnostic, you might roll your eyes and think, “Not another Bible book”. If you’re a conservative believer, you might think, “Not more liberal heresy”. But to both of you, I say, “Not so fast.” This is a book about questioning our concept of religion and the traditional foundations it’s based on. I can’t say I agree with everything he says but I can heartily embrace his willingness to ask honest questions — just so long as we’re also willing to question our own motives for questioning everything else.