My grandad was a man of many talents. He was the editor to the American Journal Of Alcoholism and he could wiggle his ears without moving his eyebrows. And he was a self made man. He never finished high school yet he became a well respected science professor. The day after he received tenure he also received a frantic call from the college's administration office: "Professor, we were just putting away your files and we discovered an embarrassing typo. It almost seems like, ah ha ha, you never finished high school."
And my grandad replied, "Ah ha ha, I didn't."
My grandad was also a great storyteller. He could make science make sense. My favorite story he ever told me was the one about this research professor at his college who wanted to set up an experiment that would measure the effects of neglect. He wanted to establish scientific proof that babies raised without love, grew up unable to love.
So he got these 6 puppies and he put 3 of them in one cage and 3 in another cage. And the way he set up his experiment was, he had his students just lavish attention on the puppies in the first cage. But as for the other three; food and water only.
So the end of the semester rolls around and now the professor has arranged a huge lecture to report his findings. And it's a full house. He's got his two cages up on the stage with him. Everyone's taking notes. So he opens the first cage and, YAAAAAAAAAH, these three absolutely ga ga puppies come flying out, these furry bullets of puppy love, jumping up and kissing people's faces, playing tug of war with their notes.
"You see," says the professor. "You see."
And everybody's clapping.
Then he opens up the second cage. And these three, quiet little faces peep out at all those strange people. And then, YAAAAAAAAAH, they go flying out of the cage, 3 more furry bullets of puppy love, jumping up and kissing people's faces, playing tug of war with their notes. And the professor is practically pulling out his hair trying to figure out what went wrong with his experiment.
Well, it turns out, his students couldn't bare to see those 3 puppies being treated so badly. So late at night they took turns sneaking into the laboratory and giving them little hugs.
At this point in the story my grandfather would laugh and say, "You see, Rae, sometimes the greatest discoveries happen by accident. That professor set up an experiment to discover the effects of neglect. And instead, he discovered the effects of compassion. Ah-ha ha."