Tuesday, October 30, 2007

Humans as Bundles of Contradictions

When Dr. Burroughs, Bishop of Ripon, was here in Australia, he told a story of a small boy who had been drafted in at the last moment to fill a vacant place at a fashionable dinner-party—the sort at which the menu offers a choice for nearly every course. Hardly had he settled down when a problem confronted him on which his previous experience threw no light. In a low, compelling voice, the waiter put the alternatives to him: ‘Thick or clear?’ Playing for safety, our young friend answered Both!’

What the waiter did is not related; perhaps he brought a mixture; but it really does not matter. The thing that does matter is that in saying 'Both!’ that boy described himself and every other human being. No boy is altogether thick or altogether clear; altogether kind or altogether cruel; altogether good or altogether bad. He is both! He [and all of us!] is an everlasting anachronism, an animated ambiguity, a bundle of contradictions; and he is all this for the simple reason that, first and last, and through and through, he is so essentially a boy.

F W Boreham, The Fiery Crags (London: The Epworth Press, 1928), 15-16.

Image: “he is so essentially a boy.”

This story is one of the more then 200 stories that are contained in the newly published book: F W Boreham, All the Blessings of Life: The Best Stories of F W Boreham.

Discover the places where you can buy this book at the site New Boreham Books. While you are there, follow the link to Abe Books and see the growing range of F W Boreham resources.