Civilization

Civilization: (n) advanced human development

Sanity is when you discover what is obviously true and stop fighting it.

Too much of our Earth time is spent objecting to things which we know, in the long run, will win out because of their pedigree and posterity.
Civilization is created when any group of people honor this simple principle.

I find there are three immutable precepts. They cannot be changed; if they were, everything falls apart. Once they are accepted, a sense of civility enters the heart, overcomes the animal of our humanity, and beckons our spirit. The human race becomes plausible instead of dangerous.

  1. Human beings were ordained, created and must possess free will.

Any attempt to alter this aggravates the very chemistry of the cosmos.

  1. Judging people leads to trying to change people, which always has lethal consequences.

The reason we are not supposed to evaluate the behavior of another person is because any change that occurs must come from their own burgeoning realization. Otherwise, we become an enemy. Enemies fight.

  1. Retaliation produces retaliation–never retribution or restitution.

“An eye for an eye” just continues to steal the eyeballs of our children.

When these three principles are uplifted, human beings become permissible, the possibility for interaction plausible, and peace more than a sentiment expressed in the poem of an idealistic dreamer.

 

 

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Civil Disobedience

Civil disobedience: (n) peaceful form of political protest.

I often wonder if there’s any truth to the notion that to keep from being an asshole, you sometimes have to be one.

It would be terrific if I could voice my opinion and be heard. But normally, by the time the question arrives on my doorstep, someone’s
already passed a law or determined the answer. They’re just asking my opinion to pad the poll.

Yet I must tell you–sometimes there are things that are so important that we need to stray from the broad path and stumble down the “strait and narrow.”

We may disagree on what the subject matters may be, but they never have anything to do with human morality. By the time I discover what is moral, the opportunity to do anything about it is usually far past, and I am standing on the sidelines, insulting others through my judgments.

Powerful issues always revolve around one central theme: Since God gave humans free will, are you going to take it away? Are you going to infringe upon it? Perhaps put a time limit on it, or the need to buy a license?

Civil disobedience is a decision to stand up for free will.

There are occasions when it makes you very popular–and then there are moments when you’re accused of being damned.

But here’s the truth of the matter: No one is better than anyone else.

I have no right whatsoever to edit that reality.

There should never be a controversy over race, gender, sexual orientation, religion or preferences in music.

But since there is, sometimes we will be compelled to stand up for the rights of humans to be what God intended them to be … human.

 

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Civil

Civil: (adj) courteous and polite.

Civil is what you end up with when you can’t convince people to be kind but you’ve talked them out of being assholes.

The possibility of showing mercy seems weak to them, but they would like to escape the “old man” or “old woman” profile of grumpy.

Now, there’s an aspiration.

Stop judging people because they’re not nice.

Stop judging people because they’re not nice enough.

Here’s an idea: stop judging people.

Instead, look for reasonable acts of civility. Don’t demand kindness. Maybe that’s just a profile reserved for saints. What we’re looking for is civility. Civility is the presence of a realization with a threat hanging over it. Simply stated:

“You can have what you want as long as you let everybody else have what they want. The minute you don’t let other people have what they want, you cease to have what you want.”

As long as our “wanter” is not killing people, stealing or destroying, it should be taken into consideration and given equal place with the “wanters” of others.

This is called civil.

It’s a decision to refuse to overlord (since you’re not really a god in the first place.)

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Civics

Civics: (n) the study of the rights and duties of citizenship.

I was a freshman. At least, I think I was.

The class was called “Civics.” I’m pretty convinced that it doesn’t exist today, or it’s absorbed into some other aspect of social studies.

It was a combination of history, government and propaganda.

History in the sense that it took the time to explain why the founding individuals decided on the choices they pursued.

Government in the sense that it broke down what was referred to as “the balance of power” among the executive, legislative and the judicial.

And propaganda because it strenuously attempted to convince us that this form of representation was the best in the world, and that the balance of power was actually balanced.

But for balance of power to work, requires balanced people. Sometimes we forget that government is just an idea until folks of integrity and single-mindedness honor it.

So referring back to my civics:

  • The legislative branch is supposed to make the laws.
  • The executive branch enforces them.
  • And the judicial branch interprets them.

Well, you might immediately see that the whole system is out of whack.

Perhaps it would be a better idea to interpret the laws before we pass them and enforce them. Otherwise we put ourselves through the agonizing strain of legalizing activities which later have to be found unconstitutional.

By the time I got out of Civics class and looked at the history of the United States–too many wars, too much indecision, too little compassion for all its citizenry–I realized that every system put together by committee is rarely suitable for the individual.

And since we are a country of individuals, trying to work in union, the greatest civics that we can institute is a pair of ears with a mind to cooperation.

 

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City

City: (n) a large town.

The fear of the unknown is the beginning of bigotry. (I just came up with that. What do you think??)

This was clearly expressed to me growing up as a boy. (I started out as a lad and decided to stick with it.)

I lived in a Village of 1,500 people. This is the crowd size for a medium-famous rock band.

It’s small enough that you can eyeball everybody, size them up and make ridiculously quick decisions on who they are and who they aren’t. It’s not so much that everybody knows everybody–it’s the fact that nobody really knows anybody, but because we’re so close together, we draw conclusions anyway.

You had to drive ten miles to get to the Town. We hated them. They were our arch-rivals–because they had about 25,000 people. They beat our high school teams in every sport, and we were convinced they were all brats, strutting around their houses smirking at each other and sneering at our little Village.

Sometimes the boys from our Village would go down to the Dairy Queen and pick fights with the Town guys. We always lost. But at least we tried, right?

Now–another twelve miles from the Town was the City. Even though the Village was only twenty miles away, the City was the “Dark Side of the Moon.”

There were only certain reasons to go there.

Movies. There was only one theater in the Town, and it usually just showed Disney flicks. If you wanted to see a movie, you had to go to the City, which meant you had to listen to a fifteen-minute lecture from your mom and dad about the dangers lurking in the metropolis, which had several hundred thousand folks.

They also had restaurants instead of “Mom and Pop food.” When I went to the City, I always thought I was going to be robbed, raped or killed–maybe all three.

As a youngster, it caused me to believe that the smaller things are, the more pure they stay–that it was impossible to live in the Town and do good works, and certainly beyond imagination to dwell in the City and find favor with God.

The fear of big things caused the young people of our Village to pick up on the vices of the City without ever receiving the benefits of culture, convenience and camaraderie.

It took me years to overcome the little box that lived in my head, which was supposed to contain everything I needed–yes, a long time to go into the City, bringing what I had learned in the Town, while maintaining the heart and soul of my Village.

 

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Citrus

Citrus: (n) a fruit from a citrus tree

Ignorance is the life of the party, bringing a full keg of beer, until knowledge shows up with pizza.

Most of us are completely satisfied to sip on the beer of ignorance. Why? Because the initial explanation is very satisfying to us.

To push beyond that would mean we might discover something that is less fulfilling–which we have to consider because it’s right.

Some years back I got a cold. I was doing a concert in 72 hours, so I needed a quick remedy to get rid of my common malady. This was during the phase in our society when we believed that Vitamin C was the secret to overcoming the “snoots.”

I decided I was going to be very aggressive in my treatment. I went out and bought nearly a bushel of citrus: oranges, tangerines, grapefruit, tangeloes–everything that had an orange or yellow peel on it. I ate one of these things after another, insisting to myself that I was treating my condition and improving my situation.

After several hours of consuming citrus, I started feeling more sick and logy. I couldn’t figure out what was wrong. I thought perhaps I wasn’t eating enough citrus, so I chomped more.

My limited understanding of Vitamin C prompted me to eat so much citrus that I just didn’t want to get out of bed.

Now, years later, I understand that all the sweet from the citrus raised my blood sugar, and in the process actually made me feel more ill. (You see, cold germs like sweet things, too.)

It actually took me longer to get over that cold because I aggravated it with a sugar rush. A little knowledge arriving at the right time might have convinced me to change my diet, limit my sugar intake and thereby increase my possibility of recuperating.

But honest to God, if the truth had walked in the door wearing a crown of righteousness, I just might have chased it away.

 

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Citizen

Citizen: (n) a legal personage of a country

He loves his country but not to the exclusion of others.

She salutes the flag but well knows the weaknesses of her government.

He is offended but doesn’t become offensive by dishonoring the nation.

She works very hard to overcome her prejudiced training, to welcome those from all colors and walks of life.

He learns from the past, to bless the present, to set in motion a better future.

She weeps over those who have been wounded by history and joins them hand-in-hand to make sure it never happens that way again.

He doesn’t demand that everybody do things his way, but instead, tries to understand their journey, their perspective and their patriotism.

She stops complaining about inequality and every day proves through her life that she is equal to the challenge.

He freely admits where his homeland has failed.

She celebrates the times when common sense overcame political patronage.

They joined together to believe in a country that has heart and soul, and not just mind and strength.

They are citizens.

They make us great.

They make our country possible.

They are the currency of this nation’s wealth.

 

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