I was thinking about the way the educators at Indiana University made use of the gifts I brought to them — high GRE scores, writing ability, Ivy League law degree, Wall Street experience. It reminded me of a story.
These two guys were talking. One said, Hey, I’m sorry about your uncle. The other says, Oh, it’s OK. He’s been fading for a long time. It was expected.
The first guy says, Well, if there’s a positive side to a funeral, at least it tends to bring the family together.
Second guy: Yeah, it did. That was good. And, something unexpected: he left me a car.
Your uncle left you a car?
Yeah. A Volvo.
Well, yeah, that’s a plus. What are you going to do with it?
Unfortunately, I’m going to have to junk it. Sell it for scrap.
Oh, that’s too bad. A junker, eh?
No, it’s actually not in terrible shape.
Bad engine, then, I guess?
No, the engine seems pretty solid. It’s actually a pretty good car.
So — junk it. You mean sell it. You’re going to sell it.
Naw, I’m gonna junk it.
Well — how come? Can’t you get something out of it?
Maybe, but I really don’t do that.
[First guy, scratching his head]: OK, I’m missing something here. Your uncle dies, rest his soul, and leaves you a car. It’s a good-running Volvo. And you’re going to junk it. Why wouldn’t you at least try to sell it?
[Second guy, looking surprised]: You’ve known me, what, 15 years, and you don’t know the answer to that. Sometimes you amaze me. I obviously can’t do anything with it. You know my family only drives Mercedes, and this is not a Mercedes, right?
Well, yeah … it’s not a Mercedes. But —
No buts about it. Volvo is not a bad car. But we just don’t deal in that sort of thing. There’s really no alternative.