I awoke (abruptly) at 3:00am and found myself thinking back to my high school days. My thoughts drifted to a geometry teacher we had who would start most of his sentences with "Um, supposing..." And it wasn't the normal 'um' that some of us use when we are trying to connect our thoughts. This um was a major pronouncement - as though he was proclaiming some monumental thought.
The thing I remembered was that we used to keep track of the "um's" and the "supposings" with those hand-written roman numeral charts like I suppose Nero used to use when he was deciding who he would throw to the lions [do not research my historical reference]
Those of us who were in the gang would laugh amongst ourselves and gaze knowingly whenever he would say "um" or "supposing," and laugh harder and gaze more staringly when he would use "Um, supposing" in the same sentence. That was a real holiday for us.
The shame of it is that, with all the geometry he was teaching us, we didn't learn much outside of the ability to count his um's and supposings. There was no real world value to be had in that, as I learned later in life.
It got me to thinking (as most of this does) that we often overlook the value of the lesson in favor of the absurdity of the act itself.
Many times we overlook the significance of the act while we are evaluating the method. Such was the case this week when the Catholics were choosing their new Pope. Smoke proclaimed whether or not they had found one, when most of us would have just texted a smiley face.
While the election of a new Pope may have no real world value to some of us, most of the value of it was lost in the people who were busy counting the smoke and counting the rings. As usual, we missed the point.
Um, supposing electing a human to run a religion is really pointless?