To Swallow Some Camels*

December 20th, 2016 by John Morris

* writes “Acknowledging you were wrong is a hard thing to do. In Norway, they liken the process to swallowing camels. Why camels? Perhaps it’s because they are large, hairy, and have humps. The expression “to swallow some camels” means to concede or to admit that your viewpoint was incorrect.”    

NB: I learned the phrase “to swallow a camel” comes from the Bible  Matthew 23:24.      

Time for me to swallow a camel.  Got to do it.  Don’t like it, but it needs done.

Years ago, I took a primer course on Robert’s Rules of Order.  My mentor believed his every word should always be chiseled into granite.  He pontificated while I absorbed.   So I rejoined the business world with a solid understanding of how meetings should be conducted.  So I thought.

However, I learned recently one of my paradigms was wrong but only after taking an intractable position on the matter.

Let’s stop here and review what I’ve written so far.  Rules pertaining to conducting meetings are as dry a subject as can be found.  How did I get to such a point?  To be fair, my opponents were nowhere near as locked into their position as I was.  I truly believed I was right and wanted correctness to prevail.  Or I should just say it was hubris.

Camels ready; here goes.

To settled the matter in my favor, I enlisted Robert’s Rules of Order’s chat room.  The consensus came back in small, stinging words.  With the fourth response, I knew I was toast.  If anything, these guys sent gracious comments to me.

I was wrong to insist a presenter could not make or second a motion on the subject they champion.  Not so; any member in good standing (read paid dues) attending a meeting can make a motion or second it.  My original position even made sense to me.  If a presenter can not get two people in the assembly to agree with their proposition, it’s DOA.  Not so, at least not at this stage.  Got to let it go.

Now I must swallow some camel and say to the membership of the Vietnam Veterans of America Chapter 436 that I was wrong.  I shall take any form of punishment you measure out.

Unless this believe this self-effacing blog will do.


The old boy writing this blog wears many hats: Vietnam Veteran, husband & father, salesman and techno-dude. After my service with the Army Security Agency, I operated a sign company for nineteen years, The sign industry changed after CAD/CAM machines made the task easy enough for the non-talented. I sold my company and never looked back.

Life has granted me a life partner better than I deserve. My wife, Lyn is a transplanted Kansas gal. Her bliss is teaching kindergarten and first grade.

I am the most proud of my children. My son, Adam lives an international life teaching English and living in Sozhou, China. He is married to one of life's truly lovely women, Yuri Kim. My daughter, Beth grew up in a small town and found her way in life means working and living in major cities like Chicago and New York. She and her life partner, Julie Sterling married in LaJolla, California in 2010.

I like getting the newest gadgets, but also I like to use things until they are useless, i.e., my last personal car was an 88 Honda Prelude Si.

I wrote a Vietnam Veteran newsletter for nine years. During this journey, I learned I like to write. It is a harmless exercise that rewards honest effort while tolerating failure gracefully. I been away from it for too long. My son gave me the blog, and it was a lifeline back to writing.

My best advice is to show the world what you can do but to accept only your opinion of who and what you are.

Update: In August 2008, my job became one of the half-million jobs that went away that month. I took the following year getting the home ready for my official retirement.

In October 2009, I took a part-time job as a saleman at the vaulted Maxwell's Hardware.

On November 29, 2011, I reached my 66th birthday, and I officially started Social Security. I intend to stay with Maxwell's as long as I can contribute.