From the mouths of children

One of my daily routines is to tell a story at bedtime to my child. I decided to tell her about Che Guevara, the man in Latin America, who wanted to help the poor by throwing out the rich and cruel landlords, and the evil dictators. “You have got it all muddled up pop,” my child protested. “That is Robin Hood you were talking about, and he and his men no longer exist.”

I then picked up one of her books to begin to read. The story we were reading was about a young man, called Jeff, who when not at work, was sought after by kids and adults in the neighborhood for his infectious sense of humor, his innumerable anecdotes, and his uncanny ability to take a dig at himself.

Jeff, it turns out, was a favorite because he was always around to help kids fix up their broken toys. He also helped the elder in the neighborhood with their chores, when he could

My child, interrupted me midway to ask, “These days, where do we find a person like this ?”. “Read me something about people we know”, she demanded.

Vowing to be as close to reality as possible, I began:

There was a man called Kirk who was the head of a company. He wore swanky suits, and was driven to work every morning in a luxury car. He was a man of many words, usually about his company, and its products, and how well they sold. In fact, he never passed up an opportunity to talk about these things.

His duty was to make money for the people who owned the company – they call them shareholders – and he did that very well.

He must have been an important man, because he had lots of people working for him. Everybody laughed when he said something funny. There were a lot of newspaper reporters and TV camera men running behind him. He was a “thought leader” and what he said was considered very important. He was always dressed right, always with a smile for the cameras.

He had people – they call them a public relations firm – that reminded newspapers all the time about his company, his work, and yes, his thought leadership. He traveled a lot, worked a lot, his company organized functions where he gave speeches a lot, he was away from home a lot. His company rewarded him with vacations in exotic locations, lots of money……..

My child was snoring before I could finish the story. She never asked me again to read to her at bedtime.

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