Chanukkah

Chanukkah: (n) a lesser Jewish festival, lasting eight days

America is apparently doped up, and the drug of choice is freedom. Yes, it is possible to have so much freedom that there is no restraint.

We need to learn the difference between giving respect and giving attention.

For instance, anyone who is struggling with gender identification should be given the respect and space to make that journey. But when such
a group of people is less than one percent of our country, giving them too much attention is flat-out ridiculous.

The same thing is true with Christmas and Chanukkah. At last count, there were eight million Jews in the world. God bless them. (Or Jehovah bless them, depending on which one is more appropriate.) They have a celebration which falls near Christmas. It should be given respect.

But it cannot be given equal attention to Christmas.

It is absolutely ludicrous. You do not make things fair by making everything equally as important. Chanukkah is a holiday for fewer than eight million people. Christmas, on the other hand, is celebrated by three-and-a-half billion.

Numbers do make a difference. Otherwise, we don’t have Democracy. The more votes a candidate gets, the better chance they have of being elected.

So in my opinion, it’s “Merry Christmas to one and all,” and to our Jewish friends, “Happy Chanukkah.” It is NOT “Merry Christmas and Happy Chanukkah.”

They are not equivalent and it is an irrational idea to presume that both should be given equal attention.

I’m glad I live in a country that gives respect to all participants, but I do not want to live in a comical environment, where we attempt to achieve equal attention.

 

 

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Chant

Chant: (n) a repeated rhythmic phrase, typically one shouted or sung in unison by a crowd.

“If a powerful thought is repeated intensely by many people over and over again with greater volume, it has even more impact.”

Lots of people believe that.

It’s like being at a rally and hearing the crowd chant, “Give peace a chance,” or at church, with the congregation repeating with vigor, “God is so good.”

The truth is, we will continue to breed dictators, evil forces, charlatans and murderers as long as we insist that strength lies in the number of chanters.

After all, it was a raucous mob chanting, “Crucify him!” that instigated the assassination of the Light of the World.

Enough said.

 

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Channel

Channel: (v) to take possession of a spirit’s mind for the purpose of communication

Standing in line at the local department store, I was listening to two young women discuss philosophy. Girl 1 said to Girl 2: “No one’s gonna tell me what to do. I’m my own person.”

It gave me pause for thought.

If we have eight billion people on this Earth trying to “be their own person,” we have an emotional explosion which is greater than any
megatons of bombs.

I don’t want to be my own person. I have met him. He is bland, mediocre, nervous, insecure and adds the disgrace of pomposity.

I need to channel greatness.

I would love to channel the spirit of Abraham Lincoln, who uttered, “with malice toward none and charity toward all” just a few days before he was murdered in a theater.

I would like to channel the moment that Thomas Jefferson decided to sheepishly write the phrase, “All men are created equal”–even though he knew he owned slaves.

I would enjoy channeling the fresh, creative, youthful energy of John, Paul, Ringo and George when they brought such singable and danceable music to America.

How about channeling the spirit of Jesus of Nazareth, who in the midst of ignorance and war, told the Earth to “love your neighbor as yourself”?

I would like to channel the spirit of the bear, who has the sense to know when to hibernate, the loyalty of the dog and the devotion of a woman to her man, her children and her cause when she feels that the circumstances are righteous.

And of course, it would be wonderful to channel the moment when God said, “Let us make man in our own image.”

I am not enough and never will be.

When I settle for me,

I end up cheating everyone I see.

 

 

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Changeover

Changeover: (n) a change from one system or situation to another.

Once again, the system we have precariously referred to as democracy has created a changeover from one leader to another.

It happens every four to eight years, but each time it does, there are those among us who foretell of great evil and damnation because a
certain individual is occupying The Chair.

I have all sorts of chairs in my house. They’ve been occupied by a great variety of humans–and also creatures. But the truth of the matter is, the chair still maintains its quality and dignity.

We have selected a form of government that revels in the ridiculous notion of changeover. Businesses do not do this–they search and search until they find a good CEO and they keep that individual in the position until he or she dies or retires.

But not America.

We feel that a “musical chairs” approach to governing will grant us freedom from fascism. It might be true if those who were knocking over other people to get into the chair did not have a bit of fascism in themselves.

So when Eisenhower became President everyone was sure that as a general, he would try to take over the government with the military.

John Kennedy was going to let the Pope rule the country.

Lyndon Johnson would turn the United States over to the control of angry Negroes.

Richard Nixon was determined to bomb Southeast Asia into oblivion.

Jimmy Carter was so peaceful that he would lead us into war.

Ronald Reagan might tax America into poverty with his “trickle-down economics.”

George Bush, Sr., could cripple us with wars in the Middle East.

Bill Clinton was going to legalize every vice in America and have our children offered marijuana cookies in the cafeteria.

George Bush, Jr., would try to finish his Daddy’s war until he bankrupted the country.

Barack Obama–turn the nation over to African-Americans, while white people would be killed in the streets by the anti-Christ.

And now, folks claim that Donald Trump is going to lead us to the brink of destruction and thermonuclear war.

It’s just a changeover, folks.

As always, it is ugly, perhaps foolish and filled with mishaps.

But because we have taught ourselves in this republic to be more critical than helpful, it is virtually impossible for any one human being to devastate the glory of our freedom and the power of our principles.

 

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Changeable

Changeable: (adj) able to change or be changed.

It had all the appearance of being an official meeting.

Everyone was sitting around the table acting adult, and we were following Parliamentary procedure, which made us feel like “big kids.”

A gentleman spoke up and said, “Of course, no one likes change.”

Nearly everyone in the room nodded in agreement. Well, actually everybody but me.

You see, here’s what I have learned. If you work on an asparagus farm, it’s a good idea not to complain about the asparagus. And if you’re going to live on Planet Earth, which is in a constant flux of change, it’s a really good mental health move to stop bitching about transition.

Change is not inevitable–change is essential.

Change is the possibility of carrying the garbage out the door.

Change is being forced to consider the bottom line instead of just falling on your ass.

Change is when the Mother Nature, God, common sense, chaos and love meet together and agree, by some miracle, what direction to head.

Trying to appear “set in your ways” only beckons the concrete removers to come and chisel you out of your opinion.

What should our attitude be? What does it mean to be changeable?

Changeable is knowing that things will change–and if we get ahead of the process, we might actually have the privilege of determining some of the outcome.

 

 

 

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Change

Change: (v) to make or become different

A prototype is required.

Human beings cannot run on ideas, just like lovers fail to subsist on kisses. If something needs to be changed, it needs to be seen so it can be
imitated.

We talk too damn much. We yap and yap and yap and still plan for another talk show.

Seeing is believing.

The faith to believe may come through hearing a good idea, but the human species requires some evidence before rendering its verdict.

If you think the world needs to be a more loving place, then you need to visualize and also make visible a loving life.

If you think the world lacks music, make good music that’s sensitive to the audience’s heart instead of just your finicky taste.

If you think the world needs Jesus, make Jesus human instead of dangling the divine in front of the disappointed.

If you think the Republican Party is going to change our nation, offer some obvious results that can be eyeballed.

If you think the Democrats hold the key, develop a news reel of your plans that make it crystal clear where you wish to head.

Change for change’s sake is rather changeless. It just never catches on.

But if we’re able to see how it benefits our entire being–heart, soul, mind and strength–we just might pick up a tambourine and join the band.

 

 

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Chandler

Chandler: (n) a dealer in supplies and equipment for ships and boats.

Looking back, I realize my oldest brother was a chandler. He was only in his twenties when he decided to open a marina. He sold boats, fixed boats, tied boats, and also sold boating equipment.

I remember as a young man, being very impressed, surprised and intimidated by his success. (My greatest success at that time was getting two A’s in a row in
chemistry–neither of which I deserved.)

My oldest brother was a chandler. I do not know if he loved boats or not. I don’t recall him talking incessantly about watercraft. He did like to fish.

But what prompted him to take the big leap of faith in his youthful years, to establish such a business for the folks who wanted to sail the waters of Hoover Lake, near Columbus, Ohio? (We called it a lake–actually, it was a reservoir.)

My brother ran his business for several years, and then a bigshot came to town with more boats, more equipment, more floor space, more advertising, and more of whatever more will buy. My brother could not keep up. He lost his business.

He was a determined man of discipline and taut feelings. If he was truly devastated, he never let anyone know–at least, not me.

But he never quite found anything to replace his marina. Perhaps it was a chandler he was intended to be–and by intended, I mean desired. Once that was gone, he found himself selecting from Column B.

Yes, perhaps that’s where we all lose our zest for life–wearily thumbing through Column B to try to find something that comes anywhere close to what we once had in Column A.

Yet it feels good, now that my brother has passed on, to write this small article and tout him as the chandler he was.

I think he would like that.

 

 

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