Sunday, January 25, 2009
The Debt We All Owe Chief Justice Roberts
It occurred to me this morning, when I lovingly and, I thought, helpfully pointed out to Suellen that she had added an unnecessary "the" to a passage she had prepared to be read aloud from the church lectern this morning. Instead of saying "A reading from Paul's First Letter to the Corinthians" the passage read "A reading from the Paul's First Letter to the Corinthians."
A small matter, no? Certainly not something to shoot the messenger about, wouldn't you say? Well, let's just say Suellen - the very embodiment of sweetness and charm - is not a morning person.
And that's when I had my epiphany. That's when I realized we are all released from ever again beating ourselves up about mistakes we have made while trying to do right. Why that typo in your book, lovingly and responsibly slaved over for more than a year, is not worthy of a thought. Why that memo you wrote, in which you extolled the importance of public service, but instead you wrote "pubic service" -- to your subordinates' endless delight -- is something you, too, can finally laugh about after all these years.
And the reason we are all released from these burdens is because the Chief Justice of the Supreme Court of the United States, a man who is supposed to be, by temperament and training, super careful about every word he says and writes, while performing one of the most important functions -- and one of the simplest functions -- he will perform in his entire lifetime, in front of an audience of hundreds of millions, nay, billions! -- the Chief Justice of the Supreme Court blew it!
Whatever it was you did, it just couldn't have been as publicly stupid as that. Yet he still managed to get out of bed the next morning.
Roberts got a do-over, and so do you. Now go enjoy your day.