Lessons From Armenian Church


Ode Magazine
Oct 28 2009

Last week when I was in Armenian Church, the priest presented the
parishioners with a quiz that he said five-year-olds had answered
accurately but that graduates of Princeton couldn’t. Here’s the quiz:

What is greater than god, more evil than the devil; rich people want
it, poor people have it and if you eat it you will die?

He gave us a few minutes to think about it.

The Sunday school children in attendance wrote their answers on pieces
of paper and handed them in.

I hoped I was smarter than a five-year-old and a Princeton graduate,
but I just couldn’t come up with the answer. Being a non-believer in
god and the devil put me at a distinct disadvantage. I kept thinking
nature or the natural world, in answer to the first part but the
other questions didn’t fit. And I also believe that poor people can
be rich in ways other than monetarily.

The women sitting in front of me, turned around and whispered the
answer before the priest divulged it from the pulpit.


I never would have come up with the answer. My eco-agnostic-economic
views prevented me from seeing the world as simply as a child would.

I’m not sure who has the better vantage point.


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