A Collector’s Item..!

Many years ago, a young priest told me he was going to do his doctorate. Now, I know that doctorates for priests in our country are a dime a dozen and many small colleges and seminaries offer the same, “Why do you want to do it?” I asked.

“So that I can do research into that particular angle of theology and it will help me in my sermons,” he said.

“Then do it by all means,” I told him, “As long as you make good music with it and it is not something you are just collecting, do it!”

He looked at me askance: And I repeated the story of a violinist:

‘An enchanting story about violinist Fritz Kreisler,’ I told him, ‘tells how he once came across a beautiful instrument he wanted to acquire. When he finally raised the money for the violin, he returned to buy it and learned that it had already been sold to a collector.’

‘He went to the new owner's home in order to try to persuade him to sell the violin. But the collector said it was one of his prized possessions and he could not let it go. The disappointed Kreisler turned to leave, but then asked a favor. "May I play the instrument once more before it is consigned to silence?"

‘Permission was granted and the great musician began to play. The violin sang out a quality of music so beautiful that the collector himself could only listen in wonderment. "I have no right to keep that to myself," he said after the musician finished. "The violin is yours, Mr. Kreisler. Take it into the world, and let people hear it."

The priest nodded to me, “Yes,” he said, “I understand what you are saying! I will make good music with my doctorate!”

To you my readers, “How many of us are like that collector, we get married to a talented woman, but hide her within the walls of our house, making her our collector’s item when she could make beautiful music with her many talents?’

‘We marry of our daughter before she can develop into an individual! Sometimes they are trained to be doctors and professionals in their field, and instead of allowing them or our daughters- in- law to work, we pin their doctorates to their sarees just to show them off to the world, and keep them at home as showpieces!’

But worse off are they that gather and collect degrees and doctorates just to flaunt them around. Use them and use your learning well but don’t put them on your letterhead or behind your name or in front as a collector’s item..!

Robert Clements is a newspaper columnist and author. He blogs at www.bobsbanter.com and can be reached at bobsbanter@gmail.com