Complacent

Complacent: (adj) showing smug or uncritical satisfaction with oneself or one’s achievements

Sometimes we forget the Earth is still evolving.

Because it doesn’t go on television, shout and scream, nor advertise itself unashamedly on the Internet, we believe that the Earth did its Darwin thing and decided to settle down somewhere near Naples, Florida, for a good, well-deserved retirement.

But the truth of the matter is, the Earth may be old in years, but it is constantly going through its “terrible twos.” It is a demanding toddler, requiring our funny wisdom on words that begin with a Cattention–otherwise it starts breaking things.

So even though the word “complacent” is normally considered to represent a negative emotion, connoting that one does not care, a bit of complacency is in order so we don’t come across thinking we are in charge.

I, for one, am complacent on the weather.

I know how to buy gear for the various threats and precipitation, so rather than studying it, cursing it or attempting to pray it away, I allow my emotions and soul to develop a needful numbness with a twinge of gratitude.

I am complacent on race.

Since it doesn’t make any difference and it’s foolish to talk about it, I will play like I’m mentally challenged when it’s brough up in front of me, because I don’t want to accidentally pop off something from my erroneous training, nor foolishly present myself as Mr. Universal.

Other areas where I’m complacent:

  • Gay rights
  • Abortion
  • Heaven
  • Hell
  • Chauvinism
  • And rising prices at the grocery store

Since most of these things do not affect me–and if they do affect me, they are completely beyond my control–any fretting, opinions or stomping on my part will be useless.

There is a wonderful phrase which I often remind myself of whenever I’m tempted to be engaged: “Be still and know that I am God.”

If there is a Being named God, and He has created a Universe, my stirrings are comical at best, and at worst, aggravating.

 

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Caviar

Caviar: (n) the pickled roe of sturgeon or other large fish, eaten as a delicacy.

Fishy, mushy and salty. That’s how I would describe caviar.

I will now pause and consider if any one of those words is appealing.

Fish, themselves, have to be careful not to be too fishy.

We normally fry our mush so it won’t be mushy.

And salty is a lovely taste if it’s bringing out another flavor which takes predominance.

I won’t even mention the abortion of sturgeon babies that’s involved in the process of putting together this little delicacy.

But I did learn a long time ago that part of being opulent is convincing yourself that you like things that other people don’t, simply because they cost a lot of money.

It doesn’t matter if it makes you miserable or if it causes your taste buds to recoil. Learn to enjoy it so when people see you doing it they will place you in a category which is superior to the norm.

It also explains much of fashion, music and politics. If there’s money for it, then there must be a reason for it.

I am hardly a country person–but if offered caviar on a cracker, or sausage gravy on biscuits, I will pull my chair up with those south of the Mason Dixon line.

 

 

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Broken

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Broken: (adj) damaged and no longer in one piece

I walk with heavy hooves.

So recently, when I was passing through a lobby, I felt some of the tiles creak under my feet.Dictionary B

It was a bit embarrassing.

I looked down and there was no evidence of damage. In other words, nothing was broken.

But because I felt that “take from my give,” and heard that sound, I had to believe there was a weakness in those tiles. In other words, somewhere along the line, one of them was going to break because I passed by.

Or maybe not.

Perhaps that particular tile was just too tight or had some unnecessary stiffness which was merely relieved by my passing.

How do you know when something’s broken? How can you be sure that it requires repair?

Because I have been sick and performed at a top-notch rate.

I have sprained my ankle and still gotten around from place to place.

So I guess the definition is pretty simple: something is truly broken when it stops working. It ceases to perform the function it was intended to achieve.

There are many things in our society that have been broken for decades, which we continue to pretend are just fine–free of the need for repair.

  • Religion
  • Politics
  • Marriage
  • Child custody
  • Abortion
  • Murder

Well, I could go on and on.

These are things that are obviously broken, but because we have people hold them in great regard, we promote their strength.

Sometimes it’s good to admit something’s broken.

Because I am often astounded … how quick the fix.

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Broaden

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Broaden: (v) to widen

Searching until one finds a moral certainty.

It used to be the goal of the human race. Obviously, we never achieved it. Otherwise we wouldn’t have burned witches, hated people of different colors or put leeches on sick folk to heal them of pneumonia.Dictionary B

Often moral certainty is an interpretation of a code of ethics printed in a book–whether it’s the Bible or “How to Win Friends and Influence People.” We scour the material to find the commandments that assure us that we are on the high ground.

The difficulty with this procedure is that simultaneously, the inclusion of other lifestyles suggests that we broaden our outlook on morality–often to the detriment or even deterioration of some of our certainties.

When I was a boy divorce was bad. Now it ranges from being painful to necessary, but obviously common.

Things like abortion, homosexuality and marijuana smoking were condemned and even prosecuted. Now we have been asked to broaden our definitions of acceptable behavior to counteract what was once considered to be a certainty, and instead, deem it a transition in our understanding.

Because we are broadening ourselves so much, we are definitely yanking at the seams of the moral conscience.

So what is immoral?

Without doubt, the denigration of another human being for the satisfaction of our pleasure or religious fervor is immoral.

The purposeful bullying or intimidation of an individual or group of souls falls into the spectrum of unseemly.

But are there carnal acts or deeds that we consider immoral?

Stealing, for instance, is permissible if done on a corporate level instead of a “pauper” one.

Sexuality has to have justification and mutual adult consent to be given license.

And the immorality of indifference to the plight of others can even be disguised as a political maneuver.

I am not a great advocate of moral certainty–but I will tell you that merely broadening our horizons does not guarantee that we see the truth.

 

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Banish

Banish (v): to send someone away from a country or place as an official punishment.Dictionary B

All through my teenage years, I used my arrogance as a means of establishing dominance. And of course, dominance seemed to grant me justification for my arrogance.

I was convinced I was valuable.

I was energized by my obvious ability, and I had no comprehension of anyone disagreeing with my self-assessment.

All the time, I was quietly making enemies.

These enemies were silent out of fear of my intense attitude mingled with some respect for my accomplishments.

  • They were waiting.
  • They were biding their time, looking for me to fall.
  • And I did.

In my era, I committed the worst possible breach of local protocol–I got my girlfriend pregnant in a time when young people were not supposed to have any awareness of their genitalia.

On top of that, I was a good church-going boy who now was the father of a baby out of wedlock.

I needed wisdom.

I needed mercy.

I needed to know what the hell to do next.

But since I had never expressed vulnerability, no one allowed me the courtesy of being wounded. They took all of the pent-up anger and frustration over my self-righteousness, and banished me and my girlfriend to an island by ourselves, where we were viewed as outcasts and a disgrace to the populace.

Now, I’m sure my reflections may seem overwrought, and the testimony of others who lived through the era might render a different tale.

But banishment is not the reality of the action. Instead, it is the sensation of the loneliness.

And I was lonely–so lonely that I considered aborting the very child that made my union with this dear woman viable.

I didn’t.

I survived the banishment and I guess my village got over all of my hypocritical indiscretion.

Life went on.

The amazing thing is that I have found myself many times possessing the same seat of judgment, with the ability to levy punishment against others and banish them from my sight.

I cannot tell you that my record is spotless and that I’ve always been a just judge.

But thank God, often the memory of being solitary and confined to my own iniquity and mistakes has caused me to extend tenderness … instead of shoving the problem-makers away.

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Balance of Power

Balance of power: (n) the proposed equality among the Legislative, Judicial and Executive branches of the U.S. government.Dictionary B

Even though it is the job of a writer to question common thinking or even common sense if it has lost its prudence, it can still be a frightening proposal–to draft an objection.

There are some things we call sacred.

For instance, family.

Even though we know our scope should be larger than our own nuclear conglomeration of people, to propose such a concept to a single-minded community of households can be quite hazardous.

The same thing is true with the balance of power proposed among the Executive, Legislative and Judicial branches of the U. S. government.

I find the whole concept to be fallacious.

There is no true balance of power–just as there is no such thing as complete equality in marriage. There are just times when people are smarter, sharper, more informed, better prepared or suited for a specific task–and if we are intelligent, we allow that individual or group to step forward without interference.

The forefathers were deeply concerned to make sure that no one ever got the same authority over them that King George III usurped. So in an over-reaction, they tried to split the responsibilities among three different branches of government, which almost immediately generated the equality of dropping the ball.

  • Is abortion really a Supreme Court decision?
  • Is gay marriage?
  • Should gun control really be up to the legislature?
  • Should treaties be drafted by the Executive Branch?

It’s all rather erroneous–and seems to be a made-up solution for what may not even be a problem.

But like the Electoral College, we are madly in love with the idea of the “balance of power,” when even in our marriages, we know that we switch back and forth between playing the role of dependent and genius.

After all, a man never feels more helpless than when watching his wife birth their child, and many women have still not learned how to negotiate the opening of a jar of pickles. 

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Await

Await: (v) to wait fordictionary with letter A

There is a contingency of humanity which believes that as long as any issue can receive a majority of approval, then that particular subject in question is proven truthful.

What hogwash.

There are times in our history when chasing witches and killing them, owning slaves, beating women and human sacrifice certainly gained a 51% range of acceptance.

It didn’t make it right.

So I become concerned when religious and secular people agree.

I suppose that sounds odd, but it tells me that the subject matter has some sort of copout, because these two worlds don’t normally coincide.

  • In the religious world, it’s called Calvinism–the contention that our lives are predestined and therefore pretty much out of our control.
  • In the secular community, it is blissfully proclaimed to be destiny. “We were born a certain way, therefore we’re committed to be a certain way, and the more we fight it, the more miserable we become.”

But I happen to be of a school of thought that there is a universal truth from which all founts of blessing pour:

It’s called free will. And when you remove free will, you shake your fist at the sky and insist the Earth is flat.

So I make my decisions about life, spirituality and social change based upon free will.

The removal of free will is the institution of stupidity.

The institution of free will is the only way to fight stupidity.

So even though I am not favorable to abortion, I live in a Republic where a woman has a free-will right to decide that for herself.

Even though I don’t understand all the ins and outs of the gay community, I am thoroughly convinced of their free-will authority to pursue their own path.

So when I saw the word “await” today, it reminded me of a common phrase I’ve always found distasteful: “Await your fate.”

If you don’t mind, I shall not do that.

If it turns out that I was destined to be one way or another, then so be it. But my understanding of God and His universe is that He has granted us the power to will and do … thus opening the door to changing our circumstance.

 

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