Dark

Dark: (adj) having very little or no light

The human emotions need to believe everything will be alright.

Our spirits require alternatives that allow us to make intelligent choices.

The mind of a human being is in search of fresh ways to do things better.

And our bodies need to be exercised so that our respiration grants us the oxygen to be optimistic.

Anything that intrudes on these processes may seem entertaining, but ultimately will defile us.

For after all, “dark” is not the presence of anything.

Unfortunately, it is just the absence of light.

Chicanery

Chicanery: (n) the use of trickery

I keep finding closets.

Little tiny storage places inside my soul where I’ve tucked away mistakes, vices and little lies–so therefore I don’t feel the need to confess
them.

I was struck recently by the fact that a lie is the absence of the truth, or an evasion. That’s tricky business.

As I’ve traveled across the country putting together press releases, I have adopted some “promo talk.”

What is promo talk?

It is the truth being adorned by a very attractive, but sometimes flamboyant hat.

It is a face which is beginning to wrinkle, disguised by heavy makeup.

It is that little piece of elaboration that makes a story seem more powerful, but may not exactly be the completely factual.

Even though this kind of promo talk is considered normal human banter, it has begun to bother me.

Because once you join into the practice of chicanery–the pursuit of deception–it is very difficult to insist that your chicanery is better than other chicanery.

It’s not so much that the truth is hard to tell; it’s just that the truth just never makes us look as good as we want to look.

If we will cure ourselves of the ridiculous notion that status can be acquired through lies, and we cease to be ashamed of our own journey, we can become liberated from the need to expand our story, in order to impress.

 

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Battalion

Battalion: (n) a large body of troops ready for battleDictionary B

Every once in a while I think about my own death.

It makes me cry.

You know why? I start thinking about all the people I know and how devastated they will be with my absence.

It’s very silly.

But you see, the only life that completely matters in my thinking is mine.

I try to be equally as concerned about others. Sometimes I muster some real mourning for their well-being, but nothing on the level of the compassion and care I have for myself.

I suppose I should feel bad about that–but since it’s not going away, and I am certainly not alone, I will choose to guide it by understanding the value of all human life.

When I was sixteen years old, hundreds of young American men were dying in Vietnam every week. We had a death toll number. It wasn’t like the numbers tallied nowadays over mass shootings, earthquakes or explosions. Many of these young fellows had just been in our classrooms, churches and bagging groceries in our supermarkets three months earlier, and now they were returning home draped in flags.

It seemed surreal but became our reality.

We were experiencing battalions of young American males going off to fight in a jungle and coming home dead.

There was a sensitivity that swept the young generation.

It was reflected in the music.

It was being released from our pores as we stood side-by-side, wondering what in the hell could all this mean.

So gradually, we joined together and became battalions of protestors. We went off to a different kind of war. It was a war waged against war, because the war being executed was killing us.

We had a greater awareness. We asked questions like, “Where have all the flowers gone?”–waiting for an intelligent answer.

Nowadays we speak of war in a clinical Ethernet third person. It is something we launch rather than something that strikes back at us, filling up coffins and alarming us to its viciousness.

We have a professional army with people who have made a profession out of arming themselves and going off to wars that have been created by old men who miss John Wayne.

Nowadays our grocery baggers get to go to college without ever feeling the loss of life.

I would not wish the agony of Vietnam and the deaths of friends and loved ones on anyone, but it would be terrific to have battalions of young people who are socially, spiritually and emotionally conscious of our aching world … instead of battalions of soldiers chasing the errors of misguided politicians.

 

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Aren’t

dictionary with letter A

Aren’t: (contraction) are not.

Tricky business, this game of words.

One wise men said by them we are justified, or on occasion, condemned.

Aren’t is one of those words which has caused more trouble than we can imagine. It is the favorite contraction, and verb, of prejudice and bigotry. For after all, it has no personal application. I can’t turn to you and say, “I aren’t.”

The word is only applied to others, to limit their capabilities:

  • You aren’t pretty.
  • They aren’t talented.
  • We aren’t as dumb as they are.

It is a word without a mirror, peering at other planet-dwellers with a jaundiced eye and dipping into the well of our experience to determine their value.

It is always ambiguous and never leads to a sense of understanding. Even when we say something like, “They aren’t coming to the party,” hanging in the air is a sense of uncertainty about the reason for their absence.

Beware of words that are geared to attack others and have no function in revealing oneself.

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