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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Broke

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Broke: (v) past tense of break

“If it ain’t broke…”

Almost everyone in America, down to the youngest lad or lass, could probably finish that idiom.Dictionary B

“If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.”

It’s one of those statements which was hatched decades ago–probably by a lazy husband arguing with his wife over a repair that seemed unnecessary because there were no dangling wires, frayed cords or very much chipped paint.

Truth is, we fix things all the time that aren’t “broke.”

We take precautions when we see wear and tear.

We provide general maintenance on vehicles and appliances.

And if we see a little spot on our clothing that’s beginning to pull a seam or two, we retrieve the needle and thread so as not to be caught in the middle of a social situation with an unsightly rip.

But this particular axiom about “broken and fixing” has permeated our thinking so much that we leave many things undone that could sure use some tender, loving care.

We know what’s involved in carrying on a relationship between a man and a woman, but because no one complains, we ignore kindness and consideration in favor of seeking our own will or avoiding feeling silly.

We know to say “thank you,” but we’d rather insist we already did.

We know to say “I’m sorry,” but are convinced that people would feel awkward if we offered such a trivial piece of consideration.

We certainly are aware that “I love you” makes the world go around, but are equally willing to stop the globe to keep from uttering it.

Long before something is broken, it’s damaged–and if we’re able to catch it in its weakened state, it doesn’t need to break.

If we worked on teaching about marriage and saving relationships, we wouldn’t have such a god-awful custody system in this country, dividing children up with the “sword of visitation.”

If we understood that decisions will always be greeted with unexpected results, we would never choose up teams, wearing red and blue jerseys and thinking that the coloration empowers us.

Some people would say America’s “broke.”

I would say there’s some surface scratches and dents.

But if we don’t tend to it and take care of the little blemishes, in no time at all, we could end up not being what we’re cracked up to be.

 

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Break

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Break: (v) to separate into pieces

“He’s waiting for his big break.”

I’ve heard those words stated over and over again in my presence as I have stood idly by, knowing how errant they are, but remaining silent so as not to rock the boat.Dictionary B

There is actually no such thing as a “big break.” What you have are little victories and tragedies that come into your life, which break you up, segregating true ability from ego.

If every person in America were immediately cast into the role of what they thought they were worthy of doing, we would have nuclear war before the end of the day. Our perceptions are twisted by greed and arrogance.

Most of us have no idea of what we’re capable of performing in the cauldron of difficulty–because that’s where talent thrives or dies. No one gets to use their capacity in a vacuum. It’s always under pressure, criticism, lack or even fear.

So to a certain degree, it is Mother Nature’s job to break us. That is the true definition of our “big break”–when we are finally cracked open and the poison is spilled out, so we can rummage through … to find any gold that remains.

 

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Bob

Bob: (n) a shortened name for Robert.

We’ve given up on Bob.Dictionary B

In an attempt to include Julius, Keesha, Manuel and Mohammed, we somehow or another felt it was necessary to reject Bob and relegate him to the museum of artifacts.

As much as conservatives suffer under the short-sightedness of failing to see where progress is heading, liberals are often so far-sighted that they stumble over the settled souls of their fellow-countrymen.

It took a lot of Bobs to make America.

They don’t understand everything that is going on–yet they won’t become more tolerant by constantly being told how bigoted they are.

Bob has a heart, which is often encased in a weathered, oaken trunk of tradition. It needs to be opened, tenderly and carefully.

As we try to give freedom and justice to all, we need to remember that this also includes Bob. He may be slower at arriving at necessary conclusions, but he should not be ignored because we find him tedious.

God bless America, with all of its unique names and nationalities.

But also, God bless Bob.

May we travel at a pace where we rest every once in a while … so all the Bobs in our country can catch up. 

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Blab

Blab: (v) to reveal secrets by indiscreet talk.

Dictionary B

It has taken me too many years to learn to shut up.

All through my youth, I was enamored with the power of my own speech and the intelligence of the insights I possessed.

I was prepared, at the drop of a hat, to comment on hat dropping.

I felt it was my duty.

I thought it asserted my individuality.

Yet too much talk is a premature revelation of the limit of one’s intelligence.

It also quickly reveals hidden prejudices.

And it fills the room with the fragrance of one’s verbiage–overwhelming those all around with the noxious fumes.

I was guilty of blabbing.

I got too comfortable, shared secrets that were meant to be holy and made them common.

  • I wanted to be smart.
  • I yearned for acceptance.

And then one day, I discovered the power of well-selected silence.

I could still have the thoughts bouncing around.

I could have an inner giggle over a humorous idea that popped into my head.

But I didn’t need to make it public domain.

There’s too much blabbing in America … and unfortunately, all the speaking does not seem to increase the hearing.

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Bison

Bison: (n) a humpbacked shaggy-haired wild ox

Dictionary BWhile driving through Wyoming, I saw a bison standing along the side of the freeway, not more than fifty yards away.

A buffalo.

It was such a strange sensation.

I had seen many pictures of the bison, but to suddenly be in such close proximity with its three-dimensional form translated me back to a time when America was young, settlers were traveling across the prairie in Conestoga wagons, and the Native Americans were struggling to maintain their integrity without becoming belligerent.

These bisons were everywhere. They were sustenance.

I had a sweeping awareness that came over my soul, realizing how hard it was to live when the bison roamed the Earth at will.

Nowadays, we have an interesting dilemma in America: we want to feed the horse, but no one wants to shovel the shit.

Matter of fact, sometimes we try to stop feeding the horse so there’s not as much shit. Or we let the shit fall where it may, insisting it’s just reality.

But on this Memorial Day, what really impresses me about those who have gone before us and have given their lives to a cause is that they completely comprehended that feeding the horse does produce shit that needs to be shoveled.

In other words, for every bison you kill, there’s one less bison.

And for every human being you hurt, there’s one new enemy.

Likewise, for every war you start, there’s a few less sons and daughters who will grow up and live full lives.

And finally, for every prejudice you express, there’s an anger that will come back your way from those who have been oppressed.

Sometimes it’s just good to drive along the freeway, see a bison and appreciate the beauty of life–because the truth of the matter is, all matter demands truth.

And truth comes with a balance of feeding the horse and shoveling the shit

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Bask

Bask: (v) to revel in and make the most of something pleasing.Dictionary B

Intimidation enforced for the purpose of demanding imitation:

In other words, if a flag held by a soldier in uniform comes streaming by, there is a certain protocol that is supposed to be enacted by me–and preferably some emotion to go along with those well-rehearsed actions.

  • Take your hat off
  • Bow your head
  • Sprout some tears
  • Put your hand on your heart
  • Mumble a prayer

Only then will you be convinced that I am are a true patriot.

If you pray for peace or work to keep our soldiers out of harm’s way so they can return to their families after their due diligence, you just might be considered anti-American.

I love to bask–but I find it difficult to bask in the glories of the past.

There is so much beauty available. We don’t need to worship a history book, a symbol, a Bible or a creed which can be cold and leave us chilly.

Why can’t we develop a faith that births new blessings every day, and fills our hearts with such hope that removing a hat, bowing a head and speaking a prayer is spontaneous?

Bask in the glory.

I don’t want to bask anymore in the glory of what America once was, but join with my fellow citizens to keep it glorious, so that the memories of our freedom are fresh instead of arranged in the pages of the history books.

I want to bask in the glory of a God who loves me and have that sensation sweep over my soul instead of listening to how some apostle 2000 years ago was impressed enough by his mission to become a martyr.

Yes, it is the responsibility of those who are living to keep beauty vibrant, so it is not a memory that we have to conjure and thrust into prominence, but instead becomes the showers of blessing and the sunshine of our reality. 

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