Morton’s Fork

This was yesterday’s Daily Prompt. I was hesitant to post, but what the heck…

In response to The Daily Post’s writing prompt: “Morton’s Fork.”

Morton’s Fork

If you had to choose between being able to write a blog (but not read others’) or being able to read others’ blogs (but not write your own), which would you pick? Why?

My Therapist is on holiday this week. I’m quite relieved because there are all sorts things swirling around inside my head, but not necessarily in a bad way. There have been a couple of pivotal moments in there, but I wouldn’t know where to begin… so it’s off to the Daily Prompt for a temporary distraction.

The prompt itself did little to grab my attention, but the title, “Morton’s Fork,” did. Apparently, all of us have a Morton’s Fork experience at some point in our lives. Oh yes, it will even be at the heart of some memorable moments, albeit the most challenging ones. Confused? So was I.

Morton’s Fork is a term used to describe the dilemma of having to choose one of two difficult options, but each option holds an equally unfavourable outcome. Let us say you’re in trouble with the bank. Phoning will ultimately lead to having your precious cards destroyed in the Manager’s office. If you avoid calling altogether, the bank will cancel the cards, anyway. Either way, you end up potentially penniless. This is a Morton’s Fork dilemma.

I initially assumed the phrase must come from another part of the world, perhaps the American’s are more familiar. Bearing in mind, the term denotes something undesirable, it’s safe to assume the namesake, Morton, must have been an unsavoury character in his time.

It turns out that John Morton (1420 – 1500), was once a man of God, the Archbishop of Canterbury (UK), and ironically, he also found time to be tax collector for King Henry VII.

If you lived in luxury back then, the Archbishop ruled you were wealthy enough to pay taxes, but if your lifestyle were meagre, he would also claim you had savings to afford the taxes. Nothing much has changed, either way you were penniless.

Anyway, I digress from the prompt, which is a bit of a no-brainer for me and it ties in with my last post, Blogging for Mental Health.

Here is the link to the Blogging for Mental Health site if you are interested in participating http://blogformentalhealth.com

Keeping a private journal might serve a similar purpose to blogging, but I could never replace the things I’ve learned from other bloggers. So darn you, Archbishop Morton, I hereby sacrifice writing my blog!

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16 thoughts on “Morton’s Fork

        1. Cat Post author

          I had a poor education so my vocabulary isn’t brilliant, anyway. Some of the books I’m reading now should add to my word bank, but then I forget them within 24hrs 😉

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  1. mandy smith

    Very interesting, Cat. I’ve never heard of Morton’s Fork until now. A dilemma I don’t like at all when it comes to the choice you were faced with. I think I might have to give up altogether, as I can’t just write for myself–I want to think someone out there might want/need to hear what I write and maybe even give feedback. And I depend on reading other blogs so I get see how others think, feel, live, and hopefully have a little interaction about it. So there you go. Dang Morton’s Fork! 🙂

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    1. Cat Post author

      Thank you, Mandy, I did mean to ask others if they had ever heard of Morton’s Fork and I would share your dilemma. Heck, I wouldn’t have met you if I could only write 😉

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  2. mirrorgirl

    Now I’ve learnt something new (and that makes me happy). It’s funny with choices, especially when you face dilemmas like these. Research shows that you feel happier if you choose something rather than not choose anything, but would that hold true for choices that give bad outcomes ?

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    1. Cat Post author

      I think in some ways it does hold true even when both outcomes are bad. If you make a decision and act on it, at least you know where you are.. it is no longer the unknown

      Thanks for commenting 😉

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  3. Sharon Alison Butt

    Dear Cat,

    Please take half a minute to read this, as it could literally change your life.

    God said, “I want you to know the truth, because the truth will set you free.”

    I hold no disrespect in my heart for your therapist. I am sure he means well and is trying his best to help you. But if he doesn’t know the truth himself, he can only take you so far. He too, unfortunately could be travelling down a dark path, unable to help himself out, let alone anyone else.

    God with sadness, calls this
    the blind leading the blind.
    He says, “If the blind lead the blind, both shall fall into the ditch.”

    Sadly, that is the case with you and your therapist. Unless he knows Jesus Christ as his Lord, he hasn’t got the real answers to your problems and has no wisdom to assist you effectively.

    That is why your sessions are so frustrating at times.

    The truth is Cat, unforgiveness keeps us bound and can eventually kill us.

    God doesn’t ask us to forgive because he excuses the behaviour of the people who wounded you.

    He asks us to forgive because he wants us to free ourselves to be in a position to be forgiven by him.

    That is the first and most powerful step to your healing whether your therapist agrees or not.

    No disrespect to him, but I don’t care how many letters he has after his name or how many years he’s spent treating patients. God created your mind and emotions so when something goes wrong, he’s the one who knows how to put us back together. And for you, forgiveness is the key.

    Someone once said,

    “Forgiveness is giving up my right to hate you for hurting me.”

    It is not forgetting, or we could get abused again. It is not excusing, as the offender is guilty.

    It is simply acknowleging that you were born a sinner yourself and need Gods forgiveness for doing things that displease him and keeping him out of your life, then asking him to forgive you and accept that Jesus paid the penalty that was ours. He stood in our place and said to the judge, “He’s guilty, but I will take the punishment instead of him.” It’s that simple. People try to complicate it but God made it simple so that even a child could understand.

    Forgiving also does not mean restoring your relationship with your abusers, but setting yourself free to be the person God made you to be without the big heavy chain around your neck.

    Words can sound harsh when you can’t hear the tone of voice. I hope you can hear a soft voice, not someone preaching at you. But hear’s your Mortons Fork: Do you forgive and escape or remain unforgiving and stay bound?

    I pray you will do the right thing. It will set you free.

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    1. Cat Post author

      Hi Sharon… Your words in no way sound harsh and I trust they come with the best intentions, although I cannot agree with all of them. I think I might have given the wrong impression of my Therapist due to his sickness. If he took much more time off sick, I might have a completely different view. I have met many Therapists in my time, but this one is special for too many reasons to go into here. He has two weeks holiday to take before the end of March or he loses them. As an employee, I wouldn’t be giving up my holiday entitlement, so he has my blessings for this holiday and another week sometime in March.

      I do partly agree about forgiveness and the need to forgive ourselves and I like what you wrote, “forgiveness is giving up my right to hate you for hurting me.” However, I do not think my Therapist or I need to know Jesus as Lord before that forgiveness can be complete or any more valid.

      I am more open to persuasion about God than I am about Jesus being the son of God. I follow the teachings of Jesus – or try to – and do believe Jesus died for our sins because he died for his “cause,” that we might know God as love. However, I believe God would forgive those sins, anyway.

      I do not trust the source of the ‘Jesus story’. I have read the New Testament a couple of time. The gospels that bring Jesus’ message of love, forgiveness, and non-judgement, are a pleasure to read, but then you turn the page to Paul’s letters to the Romans and that is where my problems start.

      From my understanding, the moral judgements of the Church are largely based on Paul. I think it suited the early church fathers to interpret and promote his letters as a means of gaining control and power. Many people are the same today, in need of someone or something else to be in control.

      Sorry, I have gone on a bit, but I hope my own words do not sound harsh.

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      1. Sharon Alison Butt

        Of course not! It’s always a pleasure to hear from you. Your words don’t sound harsh at all. We are all entitled to our own opinions and many of them stem from our upbringing and life experiences. I think Paul is great. He went from murdering Christians to becoming one of the greatest followers of Jesus. Sometimes Romans can seem heavy if we read an old fashioned version. But Romans chapter 8 is amazing! I challenge you to read it again but this time, not with intellect but your heart. That is how is is deigned to be read. God bless.

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