Monday, April 4, 2011

Dangerous Fences - A Letter to Dr. Salesman

(a parable)

[A Letter From the Daughter / Sister to her fence salesman]

Dear Dr. Salesman,

It is with great distress that I write this letter, since we have heard that you lost my father as one of your fence-builders. I wanted to assure you that your fence building advice has not been lost on us, and we continue to follow your supplemental manual religiously. The audio tapes have been especially motivating.

You were right that if we built a few very high fences and rebuked the children sharply they would eventually not want to go outside of the fences toward the danger. We were still concerned about my brother and his influence on Dad and the rest of the family, but we had made the difficult decision to build a wall and fence to prevent their influence on our own children's desire for the other side of the fence. Eventually we came to believe you were right, and now we agree that we should have done it sooner.

It has been hard, but the results have been effective, and our children have almost entirely quit going over, around, or through the fences. Your guidance has been a real help, but we were hoping you could come over and help us maintain these fences. There are just so many of them that we need your expertise. You are so good at explaining how to build and maintain them, and I want you to know that we really appreciate your work. It is no wonder that you have such a large sales base.

The children love and admire all fence salesmen (especially our own), and they are all very good at marching around the fences singing, "The Foolish man Built His Fence Upon the Sand" and "Father Salesman." Thank you for all the good teaching materials. The children have had great fun learning from them, and it has really opened their eyes to understand how many dangers there are on the other side of the fence. The "History of Fence builders" has been especially helpful, since it has helped us see that all who build fences will be made fun of.

In any case, our family is safe, and we have you and your sales force to thank for it!

Respectfully Yours,

Sister Fences

[Reply From Dr. Salesman]

Dear Sister Fences,

Of course the path you have chosen is difficult, and the rigors of fence building and maintenance are a challenge, but the manual has said that it wouldn't be easy. You need to do your part, and the manufacturer will always help you. That is why I am here to guide you as you build more fences. Make sure you attend every fence building session, since it is there that you will gain motivation, encouragement, and advice on how to build fences, and don't forget to read the manual in light of the supplemental materials.

Also, make sure you continue to tell others about the importance of fence building. Your experience will be an encouragement to them, and teaching others will solidify your commitment in your own mind as well. Especially avoid those who don't love the manufacturer. You can always recognize them because they will be using the wrong edition of the manual, and they don't have very high fences. Its usually best to build a wall when you find one of these. They are very dangerous to fence building.

It was sad to have to deal so sharply with your Dad, and of course, you know your brother abandoned fences long ago. It always happens the same way. They start claiming that the supplemental material isn't in the manual, and then they start tearing down fences. At first they will start claiming to be free, and then they will run all over the place until they trip into some danger that they didn't have fenced off. It is so foolish to try to live your life with low fences, and especially to have so few of them. In time, when they do fall into danger, you will be assured that your children are safe.

I had heard that your oldest has gone around the fences a few times, as children often do at their age. Don't worry too much about it; it is normal for children to fall into minor dangers from time to time. Just make sure you keep the big dangers fenced off thoroughly and rebuke them sharply. Follow all the directions I gave you carefully, and I will see you next week.

Much Love,

Dr. Salesman

Next: Epilogue - Dangerous Fences
Previous: One More Time Around the Fences

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