A modern day parable. Or maybe not.
Dottie lives in a relatively modest 12,000 sqft mansion on a hill in Fort Worth, TX, in a little village of poor peasants and even poorer professors. Times have been tough for the villagers. There aren’t many new people moving to the village, and money is tight. The village mayor has slashed their pay, fired scores of workers, and robbed their pensions.
But Dottie lives a relatively easy life. Plenty of servants. Full-time chefs. She hasn’t even driven her own buggy in years.
Amid the tough times, the only thing really of value in the village is Dottie’s milk cow. But after a while, the milk cow started drying up. So the mayor of the village, who Dottie likes to call ‘Big Daddy’, told Dottie to take the milk cow to market and sell it.
So Dottie traveled thousands of miles — several times — accompanied by her most trusted lady’s maid Candi, to sell the village cow. But along the way, she crossed paths with Billy.
Now Billy and Dottie had known each other for years. But this time, Billy had some news for Dottie that he’d never mentioned before. Locked deep in his father’s safe were some magic beans. Beanstalk beans. And he wanted to sell some of them to Dottie.
Dottie was not really an expert in beans. Or in beanstalks. Or really in much of anything. Nevertheless, she wanted to buy the beans for the village. She just knew they were magic. Her heart told her they were.
So she “consulted” some beanstalk buyers and a few magicians and took notes. Careful notes. And she and her lady’s maid Candi went back to Billy with all the milk cows the village owned. They even got some wealthy village idiots to give her more money to buy the beans because they were very expensive. And with all the cutbacks in pay for the professors and peasants, Dottie needed the outside cash.
After many trips to Billy’s bean safe, and without any experience in determining whether the beans were really magic beanstalk beans, Dottie sold all the cows and spent millions of dollars to buy some of the beans. Satisfied she was doing the Lord’s work, she returned to the village on the Texas hill with much fanfare. The magic bean exhibit cost the village millions, but Big Daddy and Dottie have never really worried much about costs.
She even had her son, who also had no expertise in magic beanstalk beans either, to write a pamphlet about how his mommy, Dottie, had acquired the magic beans. The village held parties, and called for neighboring villagers to come and see the special beans that Dottie had bought with money that should have paid professors and peasants who were working for dirt.
But Dottie wanted her magic beans. And Dottie’s husband, Big Daddy, had never really been able to stop Dottie when her mind was made up.
So the village built a special house to display the magic beans. And the village press wrote lots of stories about the magic beans and told how special they were and how they provided the village with something different from all the other villages.
But eventually people began asking questions about the magic beans.
Why were these beans not being recognized as magical by all the other bean experts?
Why did the village Mayor send Dottie and her handmaid Candi — neither of whom had any expertise in buying beans — to conduct six and seven figure transactions to buy these magic beans.
Why did the Mayor, Big Daddy, not want anyone to know how much Dottie had spent on the magic beans?
Why had no expert bean analyst been brought along to determine the authenticity of Dottie’s magic beans.
And why would the Society of Magic Bean Authenticity hold a meeting this past November where a major topic of conversation was the dubious provenance and bogus character of Dottie’s magic beans?
And why would the village spend millions of dollars on unproven, unauthenticated magic beans when they couldn’t even pay their professors and the other peasant workers who served the village?
Nevertheless, the village has the magic beans. But the professors don’t have their retirement pay. And dozens of peasants don’t have jobs.
If you’d like to read more about Dottie’s travels to buy the dubious magic beans, click here.
But hold on . . .because there’s more to come. LOTS more.
(P.S. I will be sending a copy of this parable to all Southwestern Seminary professors with a couple of dried beans for them to keep on their desks as a reminder of the priorities the President and First Lady have for seminary funds.)
8 thoughts on “The parable of Dottie’s magic beans”
This is good tea!
Please don’t tell me the Steinways are imported from China!!
One could argue that these side projects (artifacts, Steinways, stained glass windows of CR idols, retirement homes, etc) are all specially funded and that there is no impact on the operating budget. I would suggest, however, that the president’s focus should be more on raising funds toward the operating costs of the institution rather than these special, flashy, projects. More academic chairs and fewer piano benches would be a formula that would benefit faculty and students alike.
On a practical level, more livable dorms would go a lot further in attracting new students than any museum pieces (real or fake).
I have it on good authority that those Steinways have not been properly taken care of, they are apparently not tuned as much as they should be.
Not good. They will lose their “All Steinway” designation if they don’t provide adequate maintenance.
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It is scandalous that the Patterson’s are treated as Royalty. IMO the CR never was about liberalism but taking over the SBC and some living like Kings and Queens off of others. When will these two people be stopped from this nonsense?
Anyone looked into why numerous professors and deans are leaving the seminary all within a matter of weeks announcing?
I had not seen much about this, beyond the usual mass of people who have been laid off.