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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Baron

Baron: (n) a member of the lowest order of the British nobility.Dictionary B

In America we call it “middle management.”

It’s a big clump of human laborers who have been promoted to a salaried position with no real power to make executive decisions. They are a little higher than the ground forces, but not worthy to take the boots off the general.

They are also usually very obnoxious.

Because privately, these middle management “barons” are aware that they are powerless and somewhat insignificant, so they choose to usurp great authority over the ones they consider to be “lesser.”

You can always identify them because they tout their status:

  • Assistant Manager
  • Junior Vice President
  • Floor Director
  • Second in Command
  • Project Manager
  • Chief Inspector
  • Shift Representative
  • Deputy Director

They have titles which have no real definition–only letters which fill space.

Because they no longer want to be common laborers but do not have the passion to be uncommon laborers and ascend to true management, they establish turf which they are willing to guard with their very life blood.

They are barons.

And they are barren of thought, they are barren of authority and often they are barren … of any future in the company.

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Barnstorming

Barnstorming: (v) to make a rapid tour of an area, typically as part of a political campaign.Dictionary B

Many years ago, I was in the process of purchasing a house. I remember arriving at one prospective residence, stepping in the door, and immediately having my nostrils attacked by a ferocious amount of stinky.

I immediately knew there was a dead rat in the house. (Maybe it wasn’t actually a rat; maybe it was a cat or dog. But somewhere in that home was a dead creature that was decaying.)

I turned to the real estate agent and asked him if he smelled it, and fearing that he was about to lose a sale, he pretended to be oblivious to the nasal assault.

I just laughed at him.

I feel the same way when I tune into America today during our political season. Even though the barnstorming of rallies is filled with music, cheers, banners and funny-looking hats, I smell a rat.

It stinks.

I turn to people around me to see if they notice the same repellent odor and most of them are wearing the banners, hats and reciting the slogans, so they feel compelled to ignore the putrification.

I have no such loyalty.

I sniff rotting ideas being passed off as acceptable.

I don’t care if you’re Republican, Democrat or Independent–you can barnstorm away but I will be sniffing for the smell. Here are the four things that stink up American democracy:

1. “We have got to get rid of them because…”

If we’re a democracy, we can’t get rid of anybody. We can try to channel, adjust, expand, get creative with approaches or admit that we’re ignorant of what to do, but freedom is freedom.

2. “What they’re doing overseas is so bad that we…”

I don’t know why we’re in such a hurry to pick a fight. I guess it’s because we spent so much money on military toys that we feel like we should at least play with them.

Here’s a clue: the more we stay out of wars, the less people will die. Just a thought.

3. “It’s against the Law of God…”

Well, since God is not here to be His own attorney, we’re relying on your interpretation of His statutes. It’s called “hearsay.” That interpretation needs to be mingled with an understanding of Constitutional American law.

Yes, there is a Caesar we answer to and there is a God we answer to, and you can’t take what was meant for liberty and Caesar and question it by citing God.

4. “That Party doesn’t do anything right, but we…”

In my lifetime I have watched Republicans do stupid things and good things. Likewise, the Democrats have had their share, going both ways.

The difference between complete fiasco and partial fiasco is how cool-headed, practical and willing our leaders are.

  • A reactionary Republican or Democrat always do equal damage.
  • A peace-making Republican or Democrat are a glory to all of us.

Let the barnstorming begin.

I will be sniffing for rats.

When I smell them, I will tell you–and you can either pretend they don’t exist because they’re part of your house … or admit that you smell them, too.

 

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