Recently I was having a discussion with a young man of my acquaintance. Topics were the usual stuff; life, death, the universe, you know the drill. He had decided on a course of action that were I to describe it here, the majority of you would be snorting the type of howls of derision that would make a pigsty blush.
I listened to his course of action. He laid it out in a very rational way, although his demeanor was not that of a calm man. He struggled to keep check on his emotions. I could see that he wanted to get angry with me for even asking certain questions, for raising particular topics. But the social conventions of our time required both that I ask the questions and that he respond in a sympathetic manner. So we did not fall to beating each other with fine pieces of hickory.
It was only later that the true implications of the conversation dawned on me.