Aura

Aura: (n) the distinctive atmosphere that seems to surround and be generated by a person, thing, or place.

I once had an acquaintance who believed she could perceive “auras” around the people she met.dictionary with letter A

As our friendship grew, I realized that most of these colorations she “divined” were usually determined by whether she liked the person.

So much like humans.

Yet I must tell you, about 6 months ago I became very concerned that the aura around the American people seemed to be dark, dingy and depleted of any of the “red, white and blue” that makes us strong and valuable.

It worried me.

I didn’t want to be “mystical” or strange-minded, but I wanted to say something, do something or be something that would reawaken our gentle side and our willingness to believe in one another.

After all, politics seems to have drug us down to a complete halt and religion is a cantankerous debate among misfits.

A couple of months ago I sat down and wrote a book. You probably haven’t heard about it since neither CNN nor Fox News decided to cover its release.

I entitled the work “Within”–because I deeply believe that what stews around our innards eventually emanates in our actions.

What did I want the book to say? Many things, but three major themes:

  1. We have more in common than difference.
  2. Rather than being complex, we humans are delightfully predictable.
  3. And doing better is actually easier than continuing to falter.

Writing the book was an eye-opening, emotionally fulfilling experience.

I kept it short–matter of fact, the whole book can be read in less than an hour. And even though I don’t have the Madison Avenue publicity machine to make the public aware of this offering, I will continue to share it on as many different avenues as cross my path.

It would be my joy to reach the end of my life and know that I had an effect on the aura of the American people.

Yes. how wonderful to encourage us, building up our spirits again…to flower some color in our cheeks.

 

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Attain

Attain: (v) to succeed in achieving something that one desires and has worked for.dictionary with letter A

About two decades ago, everyone in America was persistent on finding out what my 5-year goal plan was. What did I want to attain?

Matter of fact, it reached almost cult proportions. People felt it was essential to have a vision for one’s life that spanned the next 5 years.

Honestly, I was greatly amused by the concept.

Considering the fact that I was fully aware that what would happen to me in the next 5 months, 5 weeks, 5 days and even 5 minutes was somewhat beyond my control, I found it a bit foolish to presumptuously plan 60 months in advance.

Yet in that time period, I was considered odd–perhaps irresponsible to not mix the Kool-Aid.

There were three things that happened to those individuals who followed the “strait and narrow” of the 5-year goal plan:

  1. Life immediately objected to their format.

(Apparently they didn’t include life in the meeting to draft the proposal, and life was rather gleeful about dashing their dreams.)

  1. 5-year goal plans often contradict other 5-year goal plans, creating conflict and confusion.

Yes, what I want to accomplish in 5 years may rob you of a couple of years of satisfaction.

  1. Those who persisted in this philosophy also found they had to make a choice: do I evolve with life, or do I dig my heels in and insist on requiring my demands?

It was messy business, and I will tell you that fortunately, only a small handful of ardent followers still remain.

But if you run across one, and he or she asks you what your 5-year goal plan is, respond this way:

“I plan on taking the next 5 years to feverishly work on my 10-year goal plan.”

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Appetite

dictionary with letter A

Ap·pe·tite (n): a natural desire to satisfy a bodily need, especially for food.

I stumbled across a conversation on the Internet between two women, arguing with one another about food.

Each of them had posted a picture of herself, so I had a quick visual of the combatants.

The extraordinarily slender woman was piously offering advice on better food choices that her “friend” might want to select to escape the rigors of obesity.

The “friend” in this case, who was a plump lady with a big smile, lamented in her diatribe about people who judge her by her appearance, offering way too much advice on how she could become more attractive and meet their standards.

It fascinated me in this day and age, when people are so convinced that we are “born a certain way,” that we excuse all of our prejudice against one another based on the necessity of consuming food.

For I will tell you this–because I am a fat man, I know more about calories, good food choices and what is healthy than twenty skinny people. I can tell you exactly how much I overeat, and how those particular carbyhydrates or sugars affect not only my plumpness, but also my mood.

There is no chubby person in America who couldn’t apply for a license to become a dietitian.

The sooner we realize that our appetites are primal, if not genetic, the better we will be able to address them, bringing them under our scrutiny if not our control.

I have the metabolism of a sloth, so I also have to fight to escape having the exercise regimen of the same creature. In other words, I would much rather hang from a tree by two claws than fall to the earth and run about hunting bananas.

Add to that the fact that I do not eat because I’m hungry. I tend to eat because the refrigerator has not yet been emptied. It seems to be my mission.

I don’t expect someone who’s thin and burns calories by looking at a book to comprehend this dilemma. But I do think one of the more cruel aspects of human prejudice is to squint at the weaknesses in others as we smirk at our own.

Appetites are what confirm that somewhere along the line we had a merger with the jungle. Addressing them, acknowledging a problem and controlling them is what confirms that we have a divine lineage.

 

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Anti-static

dictionary with letter A

Anti-static: (adj) of preventing the presence of static electricity or reducing its effect.

I will ask you in the forefront to please forgive this pensman for taking liberties with this word in order to climb up on my soapbox and postulate.

I know the word “anti-static” refers to electrical currents and the elimination of such activity, but I would like to transfer that notion to the general climate of static which is aggravating the potential sweet hum of peacefulness in our world today.

The Middle East is bound and determined to draw us into a premature Armageddon, so like little brats, we can once and for all prove there is a God by throwing such a severe tantrum that He must come and punish all of His children.

Not for me.

My message to President Obama, Congress and all those who would feel that they can live by the sword without suffering the curse of its blade, is very simple:

We should create a giant box for the Middle East and let them fight it out amongst each other until they grow tired of burying their children.

If we do not do this, the allure of war to please what can only be considered a damnable god, will prompt them, season upon season, to skirmish and hatch new rumors of mayhem.

For after all, we don’t discipline our children by entering into the scuffle and punching it out alongside them. And since we are all children of Earth, it stands to reason that it is ridiculous to try to correct our brothers and sisters by rolling in the dirt with them and trying to lay a haymaker.

So let me present this to you very succinctly:

Since we Americans have the military might and power to bomb the Middle East, might we have the same capability to surround them, refusing anything to go in or come out, and squeeze them with a gigantic world-wide siege, forcing them to the bargaining table, or causing them to no longer to provide food for their dinner table?

That’s right.

Nothing in or out.

Let them fight.

After all, they won’t kill any more than they already have, and if they do, let us realize that their motivation is not nearly as strong to destroy America and Europe as it is to punish their own religious families who don’t submit to every single precept of Koran law.

To do this, of course, we must quickly and intelligently wean ourselves off of the dastardly need for oil which trickles from such scoundrel surroundings.

I cannot honor my country for joining a war that is prophesied to be at the center of the end of the world. Even if you have no interest in the Bible, just consider it bad luck to pursue a faulty logic that places us anywhere near the epicenter of the superstitious conclusion of our planet.

Don’t go there.

We are not going to be able to stop the senseless slaughter because that execution is willed by the leadership of the people we are trying to save.

It is not in our best interest.

Dammit, it’s not in any interest, other than the spiritual ego of maniacs who have forgotten that God looks like people.

The best anti-static for this world is to refuse to leap, hop and jump in the direction of everything that goes bump in the night.

 

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Antipsychotic

dictionary with letter A

Antipsychotic: (n) a type of drug used to treat psychotic disorders.

I believe the old saying is that “fools rush in where angels fear to tread.”

I don’t know if that means that fools are careless, or angels are chicken shit.

But I do know that ever once in a while, it’s important to risk appearing foolish in an attempt to focus on something that’s important.

So playing the part of the fool, let me state bluntly that America is nuts.

I know that’s not a clinical word normally used by psychiatrists, but it does describe the mishap of activity that is being presently performed under adult supervision.

Religion, politics, entertainment and corporations have lost all sense of morality and even any compass for productivity, chasing down either imaginary dragons or unicorns in the enchanted forest.

There seems to be a national sense of neurotic.

Now, what is the difference between being neurotic and psychotic?

  • Neurotic is when you’re afraid that you’re going to go out on the street and get robbed, so you end up staying at home.
  • Psychotic is when you stay at home and have a visceral experience of being robbed by imaginary thieves named Imogene and Darnell.

Here’s my concern: neurotic people can become psychotic if their neurosis is not talked out.

I believe we’re already on the verge of finding imaginary enemies that are chasing us down instead of having the good cheer and wisdom to tackle simple problems in our everyday lives. So more than ever, people are being prescribed medication for conditions that should be handled among our peers with comedy and conversation.

Yes, if we stop talking to each other, only texting and posting on Facebook, the little demons will start crawling out of the closet and begin to gnaw on our ankles.

So let me be foolhardy and tell you that social networking, the Internet and cynicism are tempting us as a nation to leap from neurotic to psychotic. Then we scratch our heads and wonder why somebody would ever go into a school and shoot a couple dozen little kids.

I know we’re concerned about tragedies like this, but I’m much more worried about the loss of humanity, the missing link in our species that creates brotherhood instead of culture wars, and the rejection of a gregarious nature, forcing us back into our caves, where we scrawl on the walls, admiring only our own artwork.

We will become psychotic, and then will probably become so alarmed that we’ll prescribe a national antipsychotic for the water system if we don’t learn to deal with the neurotic notions that make us feel superior to each other and afraid to merely use our abilities the best we can.

 

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Antietam

dictionary with letter AAntietam: historic site in northwestern Maryland, known as Antietam Creek, the scene of a major Civil War battle in September of 1862.

It was a lost cause.

Unless you’re a careful student of history, you may fail to realize that Abraham Lincoln was probably the most hated man in America.

Not only had he been elected President, causing the South to secede from the Union, but he had also made a decision to surround himself, in his cabinet, with competitors and critics.

When the war began, it was a fiasco. At the First Battle of Bull Run, the South nearly ended the entire conflict with one day’s murder and mayhem. But Lincoln continued, searching for a means to keep the country together, and possibly in the process, heal some old wounds and atone for the sins of slavery.

The problem was, the North couldn’t win a battle. Not even close.

So rather than being considered a great leader or a man of vision, he was viewed by his contemporaries as a clumsy goofball, ill-prepared for the challenge of repairing the breach.

He kept replacing generals in charge of the Army of the Potomac, hoping that someone might grow a backbone or at least field an army.

Lincoln had two goals:

Primary was to keep the Union together, for a reason which he almost singularly held within his breast. Everyone else had varying degrees of indifference on the issue.

But secondly, he realized that emancipating the slaves was not only an important step of contrition, but also would keep England and France out of the war,siding with the Confederacy. But it was certainly difficult to issue any kind of Proclamation in the midst of defeat.

The Battle of Antietam was a standoff, with more soldiers killed on the field than in any war in history, and Lincoln seized on that result, deeming it a moral victory, and set in motion to free the slaves.

Even though the Union became more proficient at war and eventually wore down their Southern brothers, it was the Battle of Antietam that gave Lincoln the doorway to make the Civil War about something other than states’ rights. In doing so, he robbed the countrymen clad in gray of the possibility of gaining international acceptance, therefore stifling their resources to those found within their own borders.

It was enough.

It’s why we still honor Abraham Lincoln today instead of shaking our heads in sadness over another failed Presidency.

Antietam was a bloodbath which ended with no conclusion–except permission for a President to change the rules and certainly, change the world. 

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Anti-choice

dictionary with letter A

 

Anti-choice: (adj) opposed to a woman’s right to choose a medically induced abortion.

Like most amazing opportunities in life, America presents a bewildering blending of responsibility and blessing.

If you stop pursuing the responsibility, the blessing fades away. If you focus on the blessing and ignore the responsibility, a sense of inequality promotes strife.

Even though many people believe that government should be free of spirituality, and others contend that trying to rule people without morals and standards is a fool’s errand, the truth is that every time we ignore the emotional nature of humankind and put forth the idea that we can “think” our way out of a problem, we end up with a quagmire of meaningless arguments.

So when I encounter my more conservative friends who are angry about the choices that other people make, insisting that many of these options are evil, I am reminded of the brilliant words: “Render unto Caesar the things that are Caesar’s and unto God the things that are God’s.”

In other words, freedom for all must stay intact–even if it infringes on the spiritual or moral inclination of the majority.

For after all, there is no such thing as a “Moral Majority”–there is only the liberty which must be afforded to all.

So even though I may not agree with many of the things happening in my society, I would fight for the right for people to have free will. In the plan of God, free will has supremacy over love.

So even though love is most appealing, if human beings choose not to pursue it, they are not struck dead in their tracks or swallowed by the Ark of the Covenant.

So how does America work?

Having granted people the freedom of their own choice, we can now have the freedom to discuss better choices.

There you go.

It does not mean the reasoning should be ignored–it just means that the freedom cannot be held hostage while we grapple with the issue. Many things need to be weighed in the balances.

But the beauty of the United States is that we do grant liberty and justice for all. Did you notice that liberty comes first? It must be that way.

Justice takes a little bit longer.

Justice takes patience.

And quite bluntly, justice will involve an abundance of trial and error.

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