Because I would never blog about work…

September 13, 2010 at 3:28 pm (plays well with others)

The Easter Ham^

Every Easter for as long as she could remember, a young girl watched her mother^^ prepare the Easter ham. The mother would unwrap the ham, cut off the ends, cover it in honey, place sliced pineapples on top, and cherries in the middle of the pineapple slices. When the daughter grew up, come Easter, she prepared a ham for her own family in exactly the same way. One year her parents came to visit and the mother helped the daughter with the ham. The daughter unwrapped the ham, cut off the ends, covered it in honey, placed sliced pineapples on top, and cherries in the middle of the pineapple slices.

“Honey, why do you cut off the ends of the ham?” asked the mother.

“Because that’s the way you always did it, Mom, and I learned how to prepare a ham from watching you,” she replied.

“But, dear, I only cut off the ends because the ham wouldn’t fit in my pan.”

It is remarkable how frequently we are told that we are supposed to do something ‘because that’s how it has always been done.’ Horseshit. The best way to advance a society, company, or idea is to question loudly and often*.


You say to your soldier, ‘Do this’ and he does it. But I am obliged to say to the American, ‘This is why you ought to do this’ and then he does it**.

Baron von Steuben


^There are many versions of this story, but I chose to use the one my mom told me only minutes ago, not the least of my reasons being that hers is very concise.
^^Sheesh this is a sexist story.
*And if that concept strikes you as a big ol’ bite of the thumb to our 43rd President, well then, I can only allow you to draw your own conclusions.
**I guess I am particularly American. And also? See! Even in the 18th century, questioning authority was thought to be a particularly American characteristic.



  1. Jess said,

    Sounds like things at work are either going great or are really frustrating. Fingers crossed that it’s the former.

  2. Bridget said,

    Your mom rocks (but you know that). If you need a distraction, I’m always available to discuss Halloween costumes.

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