In the same way, some folks get so attached to an object, an idea or an ideology, that they lug it no matter how much it has stopped working.
Defending a bad idea because others see its error is a fool’s errand. But there are always those who will line up to be errand boys.
We see it every day in our government. Politicians come up with a proposal and become entrenched, rather than reflective. It does not seem to occur to them that someone may see flaws that they cannot see. They cannot bury their camel, even when they find it deceased.
Now, as we have poked fun at some political camels, let us speak of the other unmentionable ungulate: religion.
Religion is a competitive business. There are a limited number of people to convert. Everywhere there are evangelists placing bounties on potential members. While on the surface this seems strange, given the teachings of most founders of faiths, it does not deter church marketing departments.
Nearly every faith tradition carries its camels because of an unwillingness to admit a brainstorm is lifeless or was never alive.
To gore another ox, let us turn to education. In the search for superiority, a large number of inferior ideas are generated. These ideas then must be defended by those who crated them, even in the face of contrary experience — a catchy title like “No Child Left Behind” can be lugged way past the time it is proven to be meaningless.
In any event, camels, real or symbolic, are not the most efficient vehicles in the short run, and can become a gross liability when they pass away.
Yet we often claim that our own camel is just sleeping — until it starts to rot. Besides, we say, it was not ours. We didn’t know it died.
But eventually, we must admit it needs to be buried, not carried.
The lesson is that when we have a great idea that turns out to be anything but, admit it. It looks better than dragging a dromedary — stinking and dead — wherever you go.
• Mike McLellan can be contacted by calling and leaving a message at 830-4231 or emailing him at DrMikeM@sbcglobal.net.