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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Birthright

Birthright: (n) a particular right of possession or privilege one has from birth

I hate idealism.Dictionary B

It is an idea that we have relegated to the realm of impossibility which we voice anyway, even though we’ve lined up all the excuses in our minds as to why it won’t work.

Tom Jefferson said that “all men are created equal.”

A lovely piece of belligerent idealism–belligerent because our arrogance will not allow us to accept others as our equals without some sort of struggle or cynicism.

Ironically, Mr. Jefferson was probably being served tea and crumpets by one of his slaves as he penned these words about equality. Thus the damn hypocrisy of honoring principles without first finding a way to live them out.

Americans are obsessed with birthright.

We believe in our “manifest destiny” to occupy, control and manipulate. Sometimes we forget that other human souls, also created in the likeness of God, are tempted to feel the same way.

Sooner or later, it is necessary for the human race to surrender to the obvious conclusion that we are barely out of the jungle … and nowhere near Mount Olympus.

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Association

Association: (n) a group of people organized for a joint purpose.dictionary with letter A

“Guilty by association.”

What does that mean?

I guess the definition would be, “because I find myself in the proximity and influence of certain individuals, I am therefore equated to possess the same character.”

Even in the definition afforded us by Mr. Webster, we have two words that immediately seem to be at war with each other: “organized” and “purpose.”

For often, you see, the purity of a purpose is greatly diluted by the process of organizing.

A political party may begin on the premise that “all men are created equal,” only to end up with the evolution of “equal men are all created.” It’s a twist in the phrase which allows us to determine that certain people are not equal because of their intelligence, background or even hue.

It is in the process of organization that we often lose our purpose, and end up in an association with other individuals who share a common name, having abandoned a royal theme.

I am a Christian. Yet I am often hesitant to speak that aloud because it conjures images into the mind of the hearer that are contrary to my true heart and beliefs.

On the other hand, if I don’t claim any association, I can be viewed as a renegade or a heretic, off on my own, trying to create god in my image.

It is tricky business.

So it is my practice to not join associations–especially when they spend more time organizing than pursuing purpose. 

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Aristocracy

dictionary with letter A

Aristocracy: (n) the highest class in certain societies, especially those holding hereditary titles or offices.

“All men are created equal.” (And that would also include women.)

The recent American interpretation of this Jeffersonian precept has become: “All men and women are kings and queens who have birthed little princes and princesses.”

As we continue to foster the notion that “family is everything,” we have begun to establish millions and millions of little castles all across our land, where people drive across the drawbridge, over the moat, and into their domain where they believe they rule and reign.

The trouble with believing that all people are aristocracy, equally worthy of wealth and fame, is that we don’t have any serfs.

In other words, we don’t have anybody who lives outside the castle who understands the nature of the land, can grow a good crop and has the intelligence to fix the plow when it breaks.

In the pursuit of self-esteem, we have completely obliterated self-awareness.

For example, I have a lovely family, but I have also made it clear to them that there are no kings and queens, and therefore no princes and princesses in our little fiefdom.

So because of this, my children have learned that there’s a time to become a serf to everyone.

  • There are occasions when workers are required, not thinkers.
  • There are moments when digging is better than planning.
  • And there are times when self-worth must be laid aside because the task feels like it’s beneath us.

The aristocracy in our country has caused us to cease to be interested in menial jobs, and at the same time, persecute those who are willing to work them.

This is exactly what happened in the Middle Ages, when those who lived in the castles, who survived on the work of the serfs, mistreated and taxed them so heavily that the whole idea fell apart.

Yes, it truly can be said that the feudal system is … a futile system.

 

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Appoint

dictionary with letter A

Ap·point (v): to assign a job or role to someone.

Everyone has stood emotionally naked in a gymnasium and endured the indignity, nervous energy and frantic, sweaty sensation of choosing up sides. It is such a ridiculous practice, pursued by adults so that they are not forced to appoint people to teams, perhaps in doing so, creating greater balance.

And it does generate a natural inclination for those who are selected early on in the process as being preferable, to cheat and lie in order to maintain the status of their prowess.

We just love to vote in this country.

  • We can’t sit and enjoy music. We have to pit singers against each other.
  • We can’t even allow a chef to make a meal on television without having a food fight.
  • And we certainly manufacture awards for our children, to extol their macaroni and glue picture.

Although we insist that “all men are created equal,” we privately want to be supreme.

This is why I sometimes believe it would be better to appoint a President. Maybe we would consider things like qualifications, intelligence, resolve and willingness to work with others in the process instead of just how well he fills out a suit or can devise a cute tweet.

I often wonder if I would be further along if I campaigned instead of just created.

What if I promoted myself more than projecting my ideas?

What if I insisted on being given place instead of taking the place I’ve been given, and become insistent on great notions?

I don’t trust the vote. It is debilitated by human preference, the presence of ego and the chicanery of tricksters.

The very best jobs I have seen accomplished happened when people with a mature outlook on life admitted their weaknesses and appointed the right person to the right job.

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Anti-American

dictionary with letter A

Anti-American (adj): hostile to the interests of the United States; opposed to Americans.

If you will allow me to characterize an entire nation in the context of the growth spurt of an average human being, I would put forth that our country is presently in the midst of a seventeen-year-old, bratty, rebellious snit.

Anyone who’s had children and endured the pangs of adolescence will be familiar with the sneering comment coming from your teenage child: “It’s my life. It’s a free country. And if you love me, you’ll support me in my decisions.”

Honestly, we did not become a great country through finding a contortionist’s trickery to kiss our own ass. Our greatness is punctuated by the times we have discovered the fallacy of our own practices and pursued avenues to build a highway to better understanding.

To arrogantly insist that every suggestion that America might need to make some sort of constructive course correction is an attack against our nation is nothing short of high school insolence.

Here are three things I know about my country, I love about my country, and therefore insist that my country continue:

1. We believe in giving.

The minute we start thinking that we are too generous and therefore should take more, we will become the latest dinosaur.

2. We are a free country and therefore capable of changing our mind to better solutions.

I am sick and tired of having the Constitution presented as a docile, stagnant document. It has so far been amended twenty-seven times, and certainly shall be again.

3. We have stated on paper that we believe “all men are created equal” and that no one is better than anyone else.

Even though we’re catching up with our own high-sounding ideas through a bit of painful implementation, we have taken the bold step of declaring an eternal truth.

As long as these three principles are pursued by my nation, I will applaud and sprout a tear or two when Old Glory comes marching by.

When we retreat from them through cowardice or lethargy, I will be in the front of the protest, demanding we return to our standards … and risk being called anti-American by the lazy and ignorant riff-raff.  

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Anaconda

dictionary with letter A

Anaconda: (n) a semiaquatic snake of the boa family that may grow to a great size, native to tropical South America.

You can see the problem immediately as you read the definition.

After all, the wording is that it may grow to a great size. It sets up the scenario of what we might refer to as “anaconda envy.”

Could there be anything worse than being a tiny anaconda? Especially if you found yourself in water, swimming with those who had been birthed in the blacker parts of the jungle?

I guess you could always claim that the water you were swimming in was chilly. But wouldn’t that shrink your brother’s size also? It must be difficult to be an anaconda who is just normal snake size.

Consider this: the definition did not establish a “normal”, so it is easy to assume that the humongous snakes around you are the average, and you were just born a “little worm.”

So I imagine there is some anaconda competition–snakes sitting around the jungle (well, I guess they don’t sit)–but slithering about, measuring themselves and snickering at their unfortunate friends who were not so blessed by genetics.

Yes, even though all of us, as humans, may be terrified to be in a locker room, surrounded by the misrepresentation of “all men being created equal,” it certainly must be more frustrating … to be the victim of anaconda envy.

 

 

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