I was a teenager sitting at the dinner table with my parents and our guests. One of the prominent personages, whom I’ll call Dr. Williams, was telling us all about his successful son. He told us, several times, that his son had “an important job.”
I noticed my mother set down her knife very, very slowly. I knew from experience that I was witnessing an act of great self control. What my mother really wanted to do at that moment was throw the knife at someone.
She cocked her head slightly to the right and looked at our guest. “Dr. Williams,” she said, softly but firmly, “can you think of a job that’s not important?”