Tuesday, July 2, 2013

Essay: Why I sound “too preachy”

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Why I sound “too preachy”

From the book: Chum for Thought: Throwing Ideas into Dangerous Waters by David Satterlee

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Why growing up as a lay #preacher and substitute #teacher makes you #assertive

Why I sound “too preachy”

It has been suggested that I sound “too preachy.” Yeah, that should have been expected. Let me introduce myself a little more to those of my neighbors who, so far, have only smiled and waved.
As you probably have noticed, there’s nothing like a conservative preacher, any teacher, or a flaming liberal, to tell you just how things ought to be.

First, I was actually the closest thing to a conservative preacher in my young manhood. I was raised in a fundamentalist, evangelical Christian faith that believed in the ordination of all lay ministers. During that time, I led adult Bible study groups every week for years. For the record, the brotherhood and I eventually saw fit to part ways.

Second, I have also regularly taught
children and adults. I spent almost two decades in computer work for Amoco Oil Company, where I designed and led many technical classes. Next, I spent a decade as an herbalist – telling people how to live. I was also a substitute teacher for several years and am married to a career public school teacher.

While I was with Amoco, they gave me a series of career-development psychology tests. In one of them, my top two archetype identifications were found to be “Evangelist” and “Warrior.” That was tough news for someone with social anxieties.

The counselor had a hard time putting his finger on my potential. He mumbled his way through the obvious, but I knew he was thinking: missionary to the heathens, tilting at windmills, and questing hero. In the end, Amoco buried me deep in the corners of several computer rooms. I managed to make trouble anyway.

And finally, in case you haven’t noticed, I’ve become that odd duck in the middle of rural Iowa, a flaming liberal. Find me a tree and I’ll hug it. Fear not, my good neighbors. I am a gentle soul and, as my wife says, “the nicest man I’ve ever met.” I’ll put it out there and you can buy it or not. I quit putting my foot in actual doors a long time ago.