Ball: (n) a solid or hollow sphere or ovoid, especially one that is kicked, thrown, or hit in a game.Dictionary B

Thirteen years old is such a fussy, giggly time.

I was at church camp and one of the counselors had forgotten to bring balls for us to play.

First of all, being thirteen years of age, when the counselor announced that we didn’t have balls for us to play with, we all had to giggle uncontrollably. (You see, that’s the problem with the word “ball.” It has so many meanings that it’s nearly meaningless.)

But anyway, back to my story.

So when it was announced that we were “balless” (hee-hee) we thought that this adult standing in front of us was going to go out and acquire us … balls. (This article is doubling over with double-entendres…)

Anyway, he didn’t.

I don’t know whether he was lazy, or figured there would be some sort of other entertainment for us that wouldn’t require balls. (Oh, my God…)

So in frustration we began a great search across the campgrounds. After about an hour and a half, in a ditch outside of the cafeteria, we found an old basketball that obviously had been discarded, which was about halfway filled with air.

In other words, it was still round, but did not bounce. When we tried to bounce it, it more or less splatted.

But this became our ball for the week.

Since no other circular objects of play were afforded us, we changed the rules of every sport to use what was provided.

So our basketball game, rather than being a dribbling affair, became more like football, where one would run toward the goal, knocking people over, and then shoot it and try to rebound and catch it before it haplessly squatted to the earth.

So by the end of the week, we had discovered that the most logical way to use our hampered ball was to play game after game of kickball.

I cannot tell you how sad we were on Day Four, when the kicked and abused sphere sported a gash and lost its remaining air of life.

As important as it is to have a ball, it is much more important to have air in it.

Somewhere within, there’s a lesson for life, but since I am desperately trying to get out of this awkward column … I will let you draw your own conclusions.


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Bad: (adj) of poor quality; inferior or defective.Dictionary B

Speaking of bad, Mr. Webster, that is really a bad definition.

Truth is, something can be very high quality and still be bad. And we also have to consider what is generally bad versus what is bad for the human race.

General badness, if you’ll pardon my phrasing, is pretty obvious. Noticing that something is defective usually requires only the cooperation of the eyeballs.

But what is bad for the human race demands that we use wisdom while applying a sense of history.

So I will tell you right now, there are three things that are bad for human beings: anything that kills, steals or destroys.

I don’t care how high its quality may be or how much pedigree it may carry or whether we really enjoy it–it ultimately is bad.

That would include some things we deem to be good.

No one would consider it bad to be religious, but religion has certainly done its share of killing, stealing and destroying.

You would receive great criticism if you suggested that culture is a bad thing, but every day of the week culture is used as a motivation to kill, steal and destroy.

So what does it mean to:

  • Kill: Taking that which is living or is headed for life and terminating it.
  • Steal: Removing from someone’s possession a gift, attribute or portion that belongs to them.
  • Destroy: Eliminating something that has been accomplished and bringing it to nothing.

So I find bad things in religion, politics, entertainment and even in what we consider to be patriotism.

Bad often arrives with a promise of innovation and good quality–but it takes innovative people with a good quality outlook on life to identify the bad … before it kills, steals and destroys.


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Assert: (v) to state a fact or belief confidently and forcefully.dictionary with letter A

People certainly are more assertive than they used to be.

Sitting over a delicious breakfast of cereal this morning, my traveling partner asked me what I thought was different in our country since 2008.

I find that answer to be very simple: we have changed the default position of kindness to one of assertiveness.

We think it’s important to share our point, prove our point, defend our point and walk away from any conversation with our point not dulled.

So because of that, we have developed a rendition of the American culture and gospel of Jesus Christ mingled together which focuses on our own value to the detriment in consideration of others. It has happened so gradually that lots of people would take exception to this accusation.

But being assertive is not only risking being wrong, it is also cornering ourselves in what we have asserted, and makes us continue to stubbornly pursue ideas which may be ineffective.

So the politicians in our country assert that the problem is that people don’t vote, or that they have little concern for real issues, and that therefore, it is up to the politicians to guide the discussion and make the choices for the masses minus their involvement.

Religion spends so much time asserting either the sinfulness of mankind or our innate goodness that it fails to develop the truth which would make us free, which is that we are capable of good as we are also capable of evil.

And entertainment has no sense of responsibility for anything other than delivering a predictable round of art projects, which cause people to participate–unchanged.

I just don’t assert much anymore.

I think it’s important that the default position for dealing with human beings should be kindness, and that the default position for the work we do should be completion. Just those two things being in place would create a better country.

Because I can assert two definite truths in your direction:

  1. There is no law against kindness.
  2. And completing your work speaks for itself.


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Ap·pen·dix (n.): a tube-shaped sac attached to and opening into the lower end of the large intestine in humans and some other mammals.

They tell me that no one knows exactly what the appendix does. That got me thinking.

What is the appendix of other things in life?

The appendix of politics is all the negative ads put on the air to try to prove the rottenness of the competition.

The appendix of entertainment is all the remakes which discuss the beauty of the cinematography instead of offering insight, gentleness and possibility to human beings.

The appendix of marriage is the belief that commitment is enough to sustain a relationship between two people without an ongoing lustful affection.

The appendix of weight loss is the notion that fat people want to be fat and therefore should be ridiculed and punished into submission.

The appendix of education lies in the contention that the more you spend for it, the smarter you become.

The appendix of shopping is very similar–the thought that name brands always have more quality than knock-offs.

The appendix of humanity is the belief that we’re “all different” instead of seeking our similarities.

The appendix of the relationship between men and women is the abiding presumption that they are so ill-suited that peaceful co-existence seems unlikely.

The appendix of self-esteem it that it can be achieved by bolstering ego instead of offering opportunity.

The appendix of lying is the misconception that we can actually pull it off.

And the appendix of religion is that it tries to please God by hurting people when God made it clear that loving people is the only way to please Him.


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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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Answer: (n) 1. a response to a question. 2. a solution to a problem or dilemma.

“I want answers.”

I’ve said it. And I have certainly heard it fall from the lips of friends and human beings passing before me.

It sounds noble, doesn’t it?

I’ve even made the mistake of trying to provide some insight or guidance to those who have proclaimed they require wisdom.

Yet I’m careful not to speak on things I haven’t experienced myself. As tempted as we are to pass on stories we have read on the Internet, they could be fostered by fools like me.

But now, since I have a bit of dust on my chaps from the journey, I pause when people ask for answers, and wait to see what follows.

It usually comes in one of three forms:

  1. “We want answers because we sure don’t think this is going to work.”
  2. “We want answers because the ones that have been provided for us are not very pleasant.”
  3. “We want answers because we want to be the first ones to come up with the answer.”

As you can see:

  • #1 is already discouraged.
  • #2 is pissed off.
  • And #3 is driving a huge Cadillac of ego.

So what am I listening for? What would I like to hear in my own inner voice?

“I want answers and I’m willing to be wrong and even learn something new to get them.”

Because let’s be candid with one another–if what we’re doing isn’t working, it probably won’t work any better if we polish it up. Something has to change.

Politics won’t improve until it ceases to be a party contest. Religion must find a balance between the depravity of man and the all-blessed goodness of humans. And entertainment must consider the responsibility to inspire and not just alarm.

So I ask myself, do I want answers?

On some things.

On others … I need time to shed my stupidity.

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dictionary with letter A

Anodyne: (adj) a manner of communicating unlikely to provoke dissent or offense, deliberately uncontentious

I have never used this word before, nor have I heard it. But I certainly have encountered the spirit of it everywhere I go.

Even though I am often invited to speak and share my thoughts in front of audiences, at the very last moment the sponsor often approaches me in a kindly, smiling profile, trying to gently determine if I plan on being offensive or controversial.

Everyone on Earth knows that nothing is ever achieved by spreading the banquet table of the status quo and offering it for general consumption. The status quo has already had a season of being the status, and its quo is so well-known that there’s very little interest in it.

So the goal is to try to find something that has a bit of edge and transition in its nature, but at the same time, is edifying to the human soul.

The other option is to purposely startle people under the guise of entertainment, hiding behind the religion of the First Amendment, which allows for free speech, no matter how stupid and useless it may be.

So what are the guidelines? I can only speak for myself.

1. Don’t share anything you haven’t tried and found to be successful in your own life.

Fad philosophy is just like fad dieting–for a little while it seems to work and then when it falls apart, you end up weighted down worse than before.

2. It should be understandable.

I’m tired of people expressing superiority by complicating life. If you can’t make it easier for folks, shut your damn mouth.

3. The goal should be to edify and exhort other human beings, even if they choose not to receive the benefits.

  • My heart is more important to me than the conclusion.
  • My motivation is more essential than success.

I have no intention of saying things that are safe, because in the long run, our world becomes dangerous when either goodness doesn’t take evil seriously, or when evil can prove that goodness is way too serious.


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