Autocrat

Autocrat: (n) a ruler who has absolute power.dictionary with letter A

I enjoy attempting to understand, even though unfortunately, I feel the possibility for comprehension is sometimes snatched away from me by the ambiguity of our times.

Let’s see if I can piece this together:

  • It’s good to have friends. Am I right?
  • Friends are supposed to be friendly. Got it.
  • Friends should encourage us.
  • But friends are also intended to awaken us to our mistakes.

Yet we live in a time when friends dare not contradict us, or they become classified as “haters.”

For you see, in a quest to make everyone more self-confident, we’ve actually succeeded in insulating ourselves from any form of criticism or input that might improve our status. We therefore find ourselves on a bumpy road, incapable of achieving comfort or ease because we’re always bouncing up and down or tossing from side to side.

Yes, the word autocrat used to refer to some sort of dictator who lorded over an entire province of helpless victims. But now I must extend the definition to a mindset which causes too many of us to contend that we rule a domain which needs to be revered, but never scrutinized.

That domain is our personal ego.

So what has transpired in politics, with nation rising against nation and kingdom against kingdom, is now equally being acted out in individuals–building personal little forts of protection for their idiosyncracies, refusing to let anyone offer a counter-view.

Here’s a question I must ask myself: am I prepared to make choices which can be challenged, both for authenticity and practicality? In other words, am I truly sincere and do I understand the end results of my actions?

Without this kind of submission to the common good, we will end up with a planet of billions of little dictators declaring war on the latest person to cross their border without permission.

There are three things necessary to maintain a quality human life:

  1. I find what I want to do.
  2. I do it.
  3. I learn from the blow-back.

If there is no learning from what we do, merely a stubborn determination to continue to do that which is ridiculous, we will bring our earth to a crumbling mass of rubble … by simply refusing to admit our need for repentance.

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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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Attenuate

Attenuate: (v) to reduce the force, effect or value of dictionary with letter A

It does plague my thoughts.

Three years ago, my knees, which have always given me a little trouble, basically gave up on the notion of carrying around my weight and allowing me to be a normal “stroller.”

I considered my plight.

I could go to a doctor and check out knee replacements or treatments. Honestly, this would lay me up for several months and take me away from a mission which I feel compelled to pursue with, may I say, some sense of urgency.

So although I’m still able to get around to some degree, for any distance I utilize a wheel chair.

This was difficult for me. All my life I’ve been busy, active, traveling around the country sharing my talents. I didn’t like the sensation of being weak.

But worse than my feelings about the issue was my fear that I was limiting my impact because of the visual of my impairment. It bothered the hell out of me, and honestly, to some degree still does.

When do we cease to be powerful, disappointing in our delivery?

In other words, am I asking people to look past my fragility to accept my viability?

For after all, politics is attenuated by lies, religion is attenuated by intolerance and youthfulness is attenuated by foolishness.

When are we diluting ourselves, and therefore ending up deluded?

I’m not sure.

But as the weeks passed, I realized that in a strange sense, people admired me for continuing through the struggle.

Honestly, it’s not that big a deal.

But as long as it doesn’t attenuate my heart and soul … I guess I’ll just keep rolling along.

 

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Arduous

dictionary with letter A

Arduous: (adj) involving or requiring strenuous effort.

Are you ready?

I’m gonna pitch you a movie idea.

Fade in:

Man wakes up in the morning, discovers he doesn’t have a razor to shave his beard. Rather than complain to his wife or go out into the world unshorn, he gingerly reaches into the shower, removing his wife’s Lady Bic, peering around the room cautiously to make sure he’s not observed.

He slathers his face with shaving cream and carefully runs the precious object across his face, freeing himself of jungle fuzz. He rinses the borrowed object with great intensity, placing it back into the shower, smiling into the mirror as he splashes his face with his favorite cologne, turning and heading out the door with a smile.

What do you think? Are you ready to invest?

Of course not.

No one would make this movie, because it is a tale of a human being finding a way to work things out without becoming exasperated, frenzied or completely debilitated by circumstance.

Somewhere along the line we’ve convinced ourselves that if our lives are not filled with arduous tasks, then we’re really not grown-up and we haven’t proven our mettle. With that desire to appear mature, we’ve taken things that should be simple and made them as painful as possible, whether politics, business, family life or religion. The more hot coals we can walk over, the more we are convinced of achievement.

If there is a line being formed by those who are looking for less arduous ways to approach life, I would like to get into it.

I’m never proud of myself when I become exasperated. I don’t feel manly swearing at traffic or frustrated because my hammer decided to hit my thumb instead of the nail. Cursing doesn’t strike me as a sign of strength, but rather, evidence of the little child that failed to die sometime after puberty.

There may be arduous tasks. Most of them are not what we perceive them to be.

The greatest gift you can give to yourself, or anyone else, is having a mechanism in your soul which sucks up problems that seem insurmountable … and spits out simplicity.

 

 

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Arcane

dictionary with letter A

Arcane: (adj) understood by few; mysterious or secret

Arcane:

1. War has no purpose other than thinning the herd.

2. Self-esteem never leads to unity of human beings and greater understanding.

3. Women are better than men or men are better than women. Just not so.

4. Politics has no function in governing people.

5. A religion of rules is a prison of morals.

6. It is impossible to watch dark things without becoming darkened.

7. There is no way that studying one’s culture ever aids you in becoming a citizen of the world.

8. All religion is not the same. It must be held to a standard of mutual respect and cooperation with fellow humans.

9. Money does not give happiness, but the lack of money certainly welcomes despair.

10. The pursuit of knowledge without the appreciation of life is owning a race car without fuel.

11. Just as choosing up sides at basketball in gym class was an extraordinarily unsuccessful adventure, so is any attempt to segregate one another.

12. As soon as we stop being known by our skin color, our politics, our religion and our sexual orientation, we can actually begin to be known by the openness and good cheer of our hearts.

These ideas may be arcane, but they will continue to follow us until we turn around and welcome them in.

 

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Arbiter

dictionary with letter A

Arbiter: (n) a person who settles a dispute. 

Compromise is popular.

It has become so accepted that when someone utters the phrase, “We all need to compromise,” there is practically a collective “Amen” spoken in the room.

To achieve compromise, we often require an arbiter.

These are people who feel they are valuable by taking a bit of one side and mingling a little of another side to come up with a whole new rendition, which is only partially accepted by each individual party.

Honestly, this doesn’t work anywhere else in life.

Aside from Tex-Mex food, mixing cuisines is normally a disaster.

An ecumenical philosophy which includes all religions leaves you with precepts that should be written on fortune cookies and have about as much significance.

Congress gathering to mesh their opinions into a bill usually leaves us with a law which attempts to cover the subject like a blanket with our feet sticking out the end.

The times I found myself being an arbiter, I discovered a truth. Since the individuals were already disagreeing, trying to get them to sign off on a diluted format would be unsatisfying to both of them, and probably ignored in the long run.

I don’t believe in compromise. I hold to a philosophy of submission.

If two people are arguing, it’s likely that neither one has the total perspective.

If you can help people land on what has historical value, personal satisfaction and global respect, then asking them to submit to that conclusion creates the climate for a healing situation.

We can do this with anything.

Any issues possesses a core of emotional, spiritual and mental health which can be tapped if we’re not so intent on promoting our own cause.

But to do so, we must submit to ideals and truths which may be different from our own popular cultural outlook.

They say that politics is built on compromise. Actually, politics should be built on common sense. Each amendment to the Constitution should be looked at through the eyes of our generation and interpreted to honor the original freedoms without holding to the letter of the law.

The same thing would be true of corporate by-laws, marital relationships and even our reverence for the Good Book.

Compromise is the belief that there is “right” everywhere, and we just need to blend our “rights” together.

Knowing the nature of human beings, it’s more likely that we’re slightly mistaken in the first place, and we need to find common ground by submitting to more mature wisdom.

 

 

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Appendix

dictionary with letter A

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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