Tuesday, November 24, 2009
Know Your Audience
An old hill farming crofter trudges several miles through freezing snow to his local and very remote chapel for Sunday service. No-one else is there, aside from the clergyman.
"I'm not sure it's worth proceeding with the service - might we do better to go back to our warm homes and a hot drink?.." asks the clergyman, inviting a mutually helpful reaction from his audience of one.
"Well, I'm just a simple farmer," says the old crofter, "But when I go to feed my herd, and if only one beast turns up, I sure don't leave it hungry."
So the clergyman, feeling somewhat ashamed, delivers his service - all the bells and whistles, hymns and readings, lasting a good couple of hours - finishing proudly with the fresh observation that no matter how small the need, our duty remains. And he thanks the old farmer for the lesson he has learned.
"Was that okay?" asks the clergyman, as the two set off home.
"Well I'm just a simple farmer," says the old crofter, "But when I go to feed my herd, and if only one beast turns up, I sure don't force it to eat what I brought for the whole herd..."
From which we see the extra lesson, that while our duty remains regardless of the level of need, we have the additional responsibility to ensure that we adapt our delivery (of whatever is our stock in trade) according to the requirements of our audience.
I know the story is a little old-timey, but the message is still relevant.
This story and more like it at Business Balls