Yet another piece of the Psychology of Shortcuts
Legend of Monsignor Bernard Francis Kellogg, Jr
May his legendary giving live on
Better known as "Father Bernie," a rare human being
Imagine the scenario, precisely thus:
This scene of real life begins with a young fellow very successfully completing a course on speed-reading. No matter how fast he reads, his brain effectively assimilates the information whereby he can explain it to others in condensed fashion. Every time he speaks, respect for him is demonstrated. This little boy lives in hugely abusive enviroment. General affluence of the neighborhood further reduced anyone's ability to know about it. You don't talk about these things in rich neighborhoods. He becomes a problem child. His mother's promise that he would be wise at 65 as long as he read a book per day proved worthwhile for the next a thousand days, and it seemed the only time he was left unscarred. Some days it was several books in a row.
Though food's plentiful in the house, it's used as a weapon of sorts, and hunger is not a stranger. Next-door neighbor, learning of one "go to your room" session lasting two days, engaged the boy's 15-yr-old sister to smuggle a full home-cooked food with dessert and all under her shirt, three round trips to feed her brother in one of the wealthiest neighbhorhoods in the civilized world. Hunger was not a stranger.
Kid grows up. Scores in the extreme, successes as dramatic as his failures. Gregarious, he listens to his elders enough to figure out how to hear the word "yes" rather often. Screws up big, and breaks records along the way. Despite a selfish couple of decades there is never a thought to skip past hungry people, always a buck for the hungry, the homeless. Has the extraordinary fortune to meet Dr. Mnsr. Bernard Francis Kellogg, Jr, better known as "Father Bernie," a renegade Catholic priest famed less for his release from armed captivity by hired guerillas or appointment as Monsignor by Pope John Paul II, than the manner in which he could charm crowds as invidivuals, each human displaying evidence of profound response to this unusual man. As odd as the experience was to see it occur repeatedly, nonetheless pleasant for its experience.
Bernie, as he demanded to be called unless acting in official duties,Knowing his 70-year old heart, which had been through a long, damaged life, didn't have much to travel in the road of life, he wanted to pass on the most important of his messages. The young man he chose could not possibly have been further from his own directions, or so it seemed. Contriving to have our young man with him up to 10 and 12 hours per day, Investing hugely in the purchase of every self-empowerment and self-esteem and -image and -productivity tapes and videos, he wanted his final student to get
With time clearly running out, telling no one that he had serious heart problems, he tutored the youth, an adolescent who happened to be in his 30's, hidden behind the many thousands of books he'd read, at the rate of just one or two per day. Monsignor Kellogg had received a half dozen degrees, including an honorary doctorate. The acuity of his brain is one rarely matched because of his ability to take complex, vital subjects and shatter them into single sentences of simple and effective power. It's uncommon to hear someone blowing high-powered wisdom in tiny sentences of simplicity. Deep-seated angers, long-held resentment between couples, even labor/management disputes: when "Father Bernie" entered a room, things were going to warm up. Funny, irreverant, powerful. That's it; that's all that matters. No doubt the commercial world rued his choice of vocations.
Although he'd written a hundred or more insightful essays, the young man wouldn't consider selling them, which would entail someone else editing his writing, too unthinkable to follow through on. Then, already an old hand at an internet just a few years old, he saw thehungersite.com, and later realized it was also thehungersite.net. The light bulb went off like a forty-five million megawatt extravaganza of flashing crashing lights and pastels and all the greatest things there are to eat: he found a way to pass on Monsignor Kellog's message without having to sell his work or suffer the deficits of celebrity which, to the rational mind, vastly outweigh the benefits, as confirmed by the late Dodi Fayed and his Princess Diana, and their "safer" Mercedes Benz.
By adopting the persona he'd self-deprecatingly used on a pro bono radio series that he and a friend personally underwrote, he could present all the wisdom he'd collected, and thanks to Msgr Kellogg, crystallized into simple English that everyone can relate to, passing on all the greatest chunks of wisdom, often referred to as "shortcuts" or "PowerGems," through the internet. Instead of seeking personal pay or glory, he figured he'd just pass it on to thehungersite.net people. Providing a multi-thousand dollar value to the internet surfer at no charge beyond a request to click the food buttons and feed starving people at NO CHARGE to the surfer who merely clicks two buttons and voila! - a human life is saved! It's just amazing.
By the time he thought of doing it on a large scale, he'd already been so thrilled by the concept that he'd included hundreds of the buttons on hundreds of the web pages he was building. That's when he got serious.
No one knows why MrShortcut chose thehungersite.net over thehungersite.com or thehungersite.net, or even www.thehungersite.net, etc.
Doesn't really matter why, ultimately, because his little food buttons, embellished by what is called "onmouseover" effect, starting catching people's eye, and the next thing you know, those little 1.1 cups of food per click started saving more and more lives, and little children who know the pain of that horrible empty stomach, were suddenly being provided with warm, healthy, nutritious food thanks to the butt-kicking generosity of the surfers who appreciated the EyeCandy and PowerGems of the prolifically amazing MrShortcut, student of the even greater, "twinkling-eyed wonder," Monsignor Bernard Francis Kellogg, Jr.
It's worth noting a couple of postscripts, with so many tragedies and monstrous injustices occurring throughout the many threads of the growing legends.
1) Eleven months after beginning their amazing relationship, the trips to the doctor became more frequent, then came the ambulance, the helicopter and priority treatments and specialists, the foolish bypass, and during later recuperative weeks more helicopter and ambulance rides, and the inevitable final ride without the sirens. Extraordinary effort was made to contact the young man to tell him that his mentor had passed on; it was clear at delivery that he knew, although no one'd told him. The bond had cracked, and an era in itself had ended. He was thankful that they'd kept in touch by mail, and knew he'd find a way to carry out Bernie's wonderful happy bubbling message of empowerment.
2) That young man created several hundred thousand unique web pages, creating and kissing each one by first designing five hundred differing versions of five hundred different essays, and then creating a thousand or so "EyeCandy" designs. Packaging his EyeCandy and PowerGems into a loosely connected unit called the Psychology of Shortcuts (in recognition of yet another of his teachers, Dr. Denis Waitley), the search engines have loved his sites from Day One, providing a glimpse into the rare phenomena known as "hyperdominance" on the search engines. Behind his shoulder, he could hear Monsignor Kellogg offering some humorous comment or another that reminded him that wealth is not measured by how much you gather; wealth is measured by how much you give away.
Even with the multiple tragedies of his life, one specific day came on a May evening, when the little boy, now the world's premiere and most prolific webmaster, dubbed the "Godfather of EyeCandy," saw the numbers, that his work was producing enough for thousands of clicks per day, thousands of human beings who will ease that evil wrenching pain and know a full and warm and happy belly. The little boy had actually achieved the impossible by becoming the richest man on earth. At least, that's he saw it, figuring thousands of people per day might agree.
The fourth and final footnote: We now have sincerely unique pleasure that we can all share and enjoy, exchange and multiply, at knowing that Monsignor Kellogg's dream came true, all of his work, all of the thousands of dollars he invested that normally went for the neediest: all of himself that he invested paid off a thousand times a thousand times! His message WAS passed on to the young man, and much, FAR more importantly, his message is being passed on to all, who understand what happens when you drop a hundred dollar bill in the bank for two hundred years to feed the hungry tomorrow, or click a button now to feed the hungry today. Let history record Monsignor Kellogg as the man who solved global starvation and applied Newton's Third Law of Physics to the axiom of everpresent greed.