Attune

Attune: (v) to bring into accord, harmony, or sympathetic relationshipdictionary with letter A

Caught between the onslaught of profane extremism and the threat of eternal damnation, the human race is squeezed by greedy zealots out for the common dollar instead of the common good.

So rather than finding these culprits of foolishness and exposing them as the fanatics they are, we instead surmise that the human race is a doomed and failed species, incapable of self-containment, let alone shepherding the earth.

It’s time to attune with one another.

May I begin?

  1. Most of the time, we’re not evil, we’re just bored. Having no vision, we perish in our frailty.
  2. We are creative but taught to table such ingenious revelations in favor of the remake, which guarantees sales.
  3. We are not sexual deviants, but rather, sensual beings who mysteriously have the unique ability of mingling a committed, divine love with a ferocious, exciting orgasm.
  4. We are not spiritual, but we are emotional. This enables us to touch spiritual matters and enjoy them without thinking we’ve figured out the universe.
  5. We’re not lazy–just unmotivated. We are not uncaring–unfortunately, disconnected.
  6. We know that men and women are supposed to be equals, but we resist the premise, fearing that an even playing field would rob us of our uniqueness.
  7. We are neither afraid to believe in God nor frightened to discover He does not exist. But we do require a reason for our lives which allows us to escape the jaded notion that “it’s all meaningless.”

These are 7 that popped into my mind. There are probably many more, but I wouldn’t want to bore you with too many details…and accidentally drive you into sinful behavior.

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Attribute

Attribute: (n) a quality or feature regarded as a characteristic or inherent part of someone or something.dictionary with letter A

Marley had been dead for 7 years, and the only two things said about him came from Ebenezer Scrooge, who proclaimed him “a good man of business,” and others, who surmised that he was a cheap son-of-a-bitch.

Even though I recognize the value of leaving behind a history of my thoughts and feelings by writing and creating, in 30 years I will be judged by a single attribute.

What did I do to make other people’s lives easier?

That’s it.

If you’re of the mindset which contends that you’re on the planet to defend righteousness, or on the other side of the scales, to “eat, drink and be merry,” you may be sadly disappointed by the legacy you leave behind–because forced righteousness makes humans miserable and a philosophy of open-ended vice creates its own vacuum of angst.

What have I done this week to make people’s lives simpler, more gentle–shoot–more possible?

Being grouchy, picky, anal, selfish, giggly, scatter-brained or invisible really are not attributes, but instead, human vices we wink at, assuming that the person tied to them is basically useless to us.

  • Are you finding problems and solving them or just discussing them, or perhaps making them worse?
  • Are you bringing good cheer to situations of tension, or a can of gasoline to a forest fire?
  • Are you believing for the best, or joining those who chase conspiracies, insisting they’re not theories?

For what will I be known?

When it’s all said and done, and clichés like “when it’s all said and done” have been abandoned, I will probably be known for the silliness I brought to others.

They might actually read some of my works because they desire to possess such a gypsy joy, but it will be my attribute of child-like appreciation which draws them to my compositions.

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Attractive

Attractive: (adj) pleasing or appealing to the senses.dictionary with letter A

As I was getting ready to write this essay to you fine folks, I glanced up and caught a glimpse in the mirror of an aging gent, who apparently had come to sit for a spell and act as an audience for my thoughts.

Yes, there was a brief second when I did not recognize the person in the mirror.

Certainly it is me. I am not in denial.

But there is a different “me” living inside, who is vibrant, young, energetic, playful and probably delightfully naive.

The fellow in the mirror is well-traveled, rugged, worn and definitely showing the effects of the passing years.

Sometimes I forget that he is the face of the project.

Maybe that’s why I like being a writer. It allows the other tenant who occupies my space to pull out his cleverness and “cute” ideas, without having to advertise Grandpa, on the front porch.

I’m not afraid of getting old. I’ve been getting older ever since I was born. It isn’t the first time I’ve been shocked by the process.

So I am fully aware that this is a part of life, and by no means do I resent it–it’s just that occasionally I’m surprised at how it physically manifests itself much more drastically than it does emotionally, mentally or spiritually.

I guess I would be greatly disheartened if my spirit looked the same way as my body does.

What is attractive? Attractive is what causes us to be attracted. So what attracts you to a person and what attracts me will certainly be somewhat different.

I know this to be true:

Anyone who is pleasant to the eye quickly becomes a disappointment if they aren’t able to hold up their end of a conversation.

And it is amazing how ugly a person can become once stupidity has been unleashed.

So I guess I’ll work on my outer core, to keep it from deteriorating too quickly, and trust that you will give my inner man the chance to show you how attractive he truly can be.

 

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Attorney

Attorney: (n) a person appointed to act for another in business or legal matters.dictionary with letter A

A friend of mine was going through a nasty divorce.

She was desperately in need of getting away from an abusive husband, but unfortunately had limited funds. Also unfortunately, my bank account mirrored hers.

So she combed through the Yellow Pages and found an attorney who advertised reduced rates. She called him up and he optimistically told her of a plan of action to get out of her marriage for a mere $250.

It was the best deal available so my dear friend jumped on the opportunity and signed on the dotted line.

Everything went along fine at first–until the renegade husband decided to contest. Apparently, our attorney had missed some classes on “contesting.” He seemed completely baffled as to what to do when things did not go exactly by the step-by-step plan in his “paint-by-lawyering” kit.

So he failed to file papers on time, creating an absolute mess for the custody of the children, which eventually led to the crazed gentleman abducting the offspring and generating a plot which might have been suitable for a “Law and Order” episode.

When confronted with his inept handling of the situation, the attorney replied, “Yeah. I probably should have done that, but I didn’t.”

That was it.

My friend thought about asking for a refund but then it occurred to her:

When you go seeking for a discount, you may not be able to “discount” the results.

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Attitude

Attitude: (n) a settled way of thinking or feeling about someone or somethingdictionary with letter A

Just last week, my new book, Within, arrived–fully published and ready to go.

When I was holding it in my hands, gently turning the pages in great appreciation, it crossed my mind once again why I wrote it.

I realized that the reason I had penned this particular volume was that I wanted to make the distinction between belief and attitude.

In my journey, I have grown weary of those who have beliefs, yet offer no consolation to either the world around them nor their own sense of well-being.

What difference does it make if you believe in a God who makes you obnoxious?

What possible justification can we have as Americans to preach our gospel of democracy while inequality and racism are still nipping at our heels?

I’m tired of belief. I would rather follow a devil with a smile than a cranky angel.

I’m sorry–that may not be politically correct or spiritually proper. But as I get older, I realize that our time is limited and we should use it wisely.

So when I wrote my book, Within, my goal was to address the attributes, values and the sheer joy that goes into living as a human being–realizing that as I did, I was thrusting to the forefront the beliefs that really matter.

I just don’t think I become a good citizen of Earth by insisting that the world’s about to end.

I don’t think I help folks by criticizing their lifestyle before I benefit their hearts.

I’m tired of belief that offers no relief.

Give me someone who realizes the value of an attitude that is both accepting and challenging, and I will show you a true believer.

If creeds, doctrines, holy books and constitutions are what cause you to find your righteousness, then I must say … perhaps you’re already damned.

 

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Attire

Attire: (n) clothes, especially fine or formal ones.dictionary with letter A

I’ve only owned one house in my life.

It was a big one. The master bedroom had a huge walk-in closet.

Caught up in the vanity of the moment, I felt it was my duty to fill this enclosure with various costumes, clothing choices and attire which I could walk in and choose from daily as “lord of my manor.”

So I purchased garments, and some were given to me as gifts.

It didn’t take long for me to realize that each and every week, I was only wearing about three or four different outfits–repeatedly. The rest of the clothes were dangling from hangers like ugly gargoyles on a medieval castle.

They were fixtures. Matter of fact, some of them collected dust.

In the midst of this comedy of collection, I had a realization.

My mind went back twenty years earlier, when I found myself doing a gig in a small Kentucky town. (I was so grateful for the opportunity to share my talents and to have anyone listen to me that I chose to ignore the fact that the community had fewer than 500 people, and that the building’s foundation was crumbling.)

Arriving at this latest opportunity, I realized I only had two outfits from which to choose. One of them was a powder blue leisure suit which I had worn too often and was certainly a bit grimy. The other outfit was clean, but because I didn’t have a belt, the pants kept sliding down, threatening to disappear, producing disgrace.

So torn between my attire, I first put on the pants without a belt, only to discover that it was very annoying to keep pulling them up. So right before the show began, I slid into a back room and put on my somewhat filthy, powder-blue leisure suit.

In that moment I made a decision about my attire:

Always better to be a little soiled than “unfoiled.”

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