Food for Thought from Karl Menninger roughly 4 Decades Ago

“On a sunny day in September, 1972, a stern-faced, plainly dressed man could be seen standing still on a street corner in the busy Chicago Loop. As pedestrians hurried by on their way to lunch or business, he would solemnly lift his right arm, and pointing to the person nearest him, intone loudly the single word, ”˜GUILTY!’”Then, without any change of expression, he would resume his stiff stance for a few moments before repeating the gesture. Then, again, the inexorable raising of his arm, the pointing, and the solemn pronouncing of the one word, ”˜GUILTY!’

“The effect of this strange j’accuse pantomime on the passing strangers was extraordinary, almost eerie. They would stare at him, hesitate, look away, look at each other, and then at him again; then hurriedly continue on their ways.

“One man, turning to another who was my informant, exclaimed: ”˜But how did he know?’ “No doubt many others had similar thoughts. How did he know, indeed?

–Karl Menninger, “Whatever Became of Sin?” which you may find in The Rotarian of January 1974 there, his emphasis (These are also the words at beginning of his famous book of the same title)


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