Clone

Clone: (v) to make a duplicate

Some people just like to argue. I’m convinced of that.

You could even tell them you agree with what they’re saying, and they will still comment on how poorly you supported the point.

Thus the argument about cloning.

People are very afraid we’re actually going to attempt to clone human beings. That’s not what bothers me. What troubles me is that we want to clone attractive, intelligent, disease-free human beings.

Will they still be assholes?

You see, that’s the problem. I have met people who are supposed to be very appealing, but after spending ten minutes with them, I was grateful that the eleventh minute arrived so I could leave.

They were just too aware of their positive attributes.

There is something sweet in the human spirit about uncertainty–something appealing about an attractive person wondering if you think they look alright.

Do we really want a clone who is not only structured in perfection, but has a receipt to prove it?

I gain strength through my weaknesses. If people do not know this to be true, they will continue to lie and deceive in order to cover up hidden flubs. Are we going to clone flubbed people so they’ll be more real?

Or is the purpose of cloning an attempt to achieve what God was unable to do–and that is make a perfect Adam and Eve.

 

 

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Civil

Civil: (adj) courteous and polite.

Civil is what you end up with when you can’t convince people to be kind but you’ve talked them out of being assholes.

The possibility of showing mercy seems weak to them, but they would like to escape the “old man” or “old woman” profile of grumpy.

Now, there’s an aspiration.

Stop judging people because they’re not nice.

Stop judging people because they’re not nice enough.

Here’s an idea: stop judging people.

Instead, look for reasonable acts of civility. Don’t demand kindness. Maybe that’s just a profile reserved for saints. What we’re looking for is civility. Civility is the presence of a realization with a threat hanging over it. Simply stated:

“You can have what you want as long as you let everybody else have what they want. The minute you don’t let other people have what they want, you cease to have what you want.”

As long as our “wanter” is not killing people, stealing or destroying, it should be taken into consideration and given equal place with the “wanters” of others.

This is called civil.

It’s a decision to refuse to overlord (since you’re not really a god in the first place.)

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Beckon

Beckon: (v) to make a gesture that summons or bidsDictionary B

“Don’t tell me what to do.”

In the pursuit of granting independence and free will to every person in our society, we may have accidentally created millions and millions of autonomous assholes.

In a season when it seems more important to have made our own decisions rather than to be enlightened and invited to a better conclusion, we are breeding a nursery of bastard ideas.

Here’s reality:

If there are 100 things to know in life–and 100 only–then I am probably acquainted with 15. (Probably true for you, too.)

Of the remaining 85 possibilities, I might have some affinity with 35 others. That leaves 50. With those, I am novice and alien.

So, if 50 percent of the time, I am going to risk my success on my gut “guess,” I am greatly limiting my possibilities for the sake of pride and provincialism.

Sometimes I need to listen to that which beckons me.

  • Maybe it’s a warning sign.
  • It could be overhearing the conversation of someone who’s obviously smarter than me.
  • Or it could be sage wisdom from the ages, written down by a concerned thinker.

But I will guarantee you, my success–and dare I say, yours–is contingent on how well we tune our ears … to the beckoning.

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Bail

Bail: (n) the temporary release of an accused person awaiting trial, guaranteed by a sum of moneyDictionary B

Once upon a time in a delirium far away, I considered myself to be a crusader for good. Matter of fact, I made it known to those around me that I was out to make my community a better place, one human soul at a time.

God, I felt noble. I actually sensed I was infused with supernatural energy and purpose.

In the process of walking through this cloudy-mindedness, I became known in my community as someonoe who would assist those who found themselves in trouble with the law, or even temporarily jammed into a jail cell.

So when Carrie called me at two o’clock in the morning, explaining that she had been falsely arrested for shoplifting and she needed help, I arose from my bed, put on my pants, grabbed my car keys and drove down to the city jail.

They allowed me to talk to her and I discovered that she had been shopping. apparently forgot that she had tried on some garment and was headed out of the store and was detained by security and placed under arrest for stealing.

It’s not so much that I believed her story as the fact that being under the influence of this false bravado of mission, I felt it was wrong of me to be cynical.

Her bail was $75, so I decided to pay it and let her come back to our house, where I intended to help her rehabilitate herself and become a fine citizen of the country that Washington and Lincoln built.

I noticed on the drive back to my house that Carrie had transformed from a repentant, teary-eyed lass of misfortune into a rather mouthy, self-centered and cautious individual, who wasn’t so sure she wanted to stay in our home. Matter of fact, by the next morning, she got itchy after breakfast, went out the door and I didn’t see her again until two weeks later, when I showed up for her court date.

She once again had donned her damsel-in-distress profile and succeeded in getting off with only community service for pinching the garments. Shortly after that, she disappeared.

I learned something through the process: nothing has value to any of us if we don’t have memory of possessing it and losing it.

$75 didn’t mean anything to Carrie, and the fact that I paid her bail was irrelevant. It had been some time since she had seen $75 and she certainly had never paid the bail for someone else.

It’s not that poor people are pernicious assholes–it’s just that they have no point of reference of what you’re giving up to help them, so it’s easy for them to walk away…without a thank-you.

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Avant-garde

Avant-garde: (n) new and unusual or experimental ideas, especially in the arts or the people introducing them.dictionary with letter A

The word is much more fun to pronounce than it is to live.

First of all, you cannot proclaim yourself avant-garde. It’s similar to tacking the qualification of “genius” onto your resume.

If you are actually avant-garde and filled with ingenious concepts which will push human life forward, the title must be bestowed upon you as you humbly bow your head and deny it.

For some reason, in our society we cannot tell the difference between innovators and well-funded assholes. It may be a little confusing.

But innovators can always be identified as those individuals who seek the common good without trying to empty the common pot. They are interested in an idea going forward instead of having themselves pushed forward because of their ideas.

Much to my amazement, many things that I believe, hold dear and wish to elevate are considered avant-garde, when in my thinking, they’re just practical.

Cases in point:

  1. I don’t think we can continue to promote a culture where men and women are at war with each other.
  2. It’s ridiculous to approach any group of people as an entity instead of allowing each individual to manifest his or her own personal entity.
  3. Killing is bad–whether brought about by war, abortion or capital punishment.
  4. Being grown-up is developing a sense of humor, not a bad attitude.
  5. Music is emotional. That’s it. You can put it into categories, but if it doesn’t touch the human heart, it’s mechanical clatter.
  6. God does not need us to believe in Him. God needs us to believe in each other and in so doing, establish our belief in something beyond ourselves.
  7. The only way to prevent the end of the world is to do something in the present world.
  8. Earth requires that we be conservative when it’s necessary to conserve, and liberal when it’s required to be generous.
  9. Judging people by color is totally against our instincts–since we begin life with a box of 64 Crayolas.
  10. I don’t know enough to be smart. I won’t be smart until I know enough. I must be satisfied with not ever being smart.

There are some of my avant-garde views. Perhaps you share in some of my convictions, and perhaps not.

But the beauty of an ongoing discussion is that while we’re still having it … life jumps in with the final word.

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Apropos

dictionary with letter A

Apropos (adj): very appropriate to a particular situation.

Mr.Torrence had an aggravating mannerism which put people off and made them eventually despise him for his short-sightedness.

He was one of my eighth-grade teachers and the faculty advisor for our student council.

Every time we gathered, got into the midst of what we considered to be a fruitful discussion about some things that needed to be changed in the school, or about various projects we wanted to pursue, which seemed to be in line with the wishes of our friends, he would interrupt and say, “That’s not apropos.”

The first couple of times he said the word, we were all chilled to silence, because no one wanted to admit that we were unfamiliar with the idea. But finally, one of the braver members piped up, “What do you mean by apropos?”

He chucked at our ignorance and replied, “It’s off-point.”

Well, I’ve never been one to accept the authority of a figure simply because he’s had more birthdays and wears a tie, so I piped back, “It’s not off-point if we don’t think it’s off-point.”

He furrowed his brow in disapproval and sternly warned, “I am the adult here and I know what’s apropos and what’s not.”

Once again we all cowered in fear.

No one said anything else, and truthfully, our little organization was completely unable to back any idea or complete a project.

I had this abiding belief in my soul that eventually I would get old enough that I would escape the “Mr. Torrences” and be able to make my own decisions. But no matter how many bites of birthday cake I consume, marking the passing of my years, there continue to be these creatures, like Mr. Torrence, who want to decide for everybody else what is apropos.

Some do it claiming a reverence for God or a moral code; others do it because they have an inherent fear of change. And then, a vast majority put forth this profile simply to be controlling assholes.

Our entire country is stymied by a “spirit of apropos.”

We are stalled on the entrance ramp of the highway of life.

We are inundated by individuals who want us all to shiver in silence, never able to build up the speed to enter the stream of traffic.

Throughout the march of humankind, people have tried to chloroform new life by making us all afraid that what we’re about to do is out of line–and certainly not apropos.

Without the souls who are rebellious to the “Mr. Torrences” who come along, we still would be owning slaves, raising cattle, treating women like donkeys…and eating our dinner in the darkness of a cave.

 

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Anthracite

dictionary with letter A

 

Anthracite: (n) coal of the hard variety that contains relatively pure carbon

 

Occasionally I find myself waxing philosophical, for which I truly apologize.

It’s not that opinions are like assholes, it’s more that opinions make assholes.

At least that’s my opinion.

So I pre-apologize for what I’m about to share, even though I think there’s much validity to the idea. Sometimes I think we forget that for “everything there truly is a season.”

For instance, for one time in our existence as a planet, we needed coal.

Brave workers went into the heart of the earth to extract this treasure so that we could fuel our lives and progress the human race beyond the escapades of mere fire.

Many of them gave their lives.

It was a season of coal.

But the truth of the matter is, as we learn to be more expansive, we as people might stumble upon ideas that are improvements, and rather than being sentimental to concepts that have “aged out,” we cling with a maudlin sense of loyalty.

I have this abiding belief that everything in life has been placed on this planet with two purposes. Often the first function is very obvious, but when that viability wears out, we should be prepared to find the additional goal intended for the object.

There are so many examples of this that I shall not bore you. Matter of fact I would encourage you to take this simple notion and study it for yourself rather than having me expound upon it in an attempt to convince.

But this is what I feel about coal: in the 21st century, to have men and women don hard hats and go into the core of the earth to extract this rock of interest seems both antiquated and unnecessary.

Yet for it to become completely unnecessary, we must do two things that the human race pursues with reluctance:

  1. Actually stop mining coal and find a less destructive and debilitating alternative.
  2. In the meantime, let our scientists find that second anointed purpose for this valuable substance.

Without this kind of wisdom, we generally work an idea until it’s exhausted and falls apart or we prematurely abandon a good gift and cast it aside.

Can we learn?

Can we realize that oil lamps were once the rage and very valuable for lighting up our streets, but when we took the time to allow Thomas Edison to illuminate our minds, we found a better way?

We also found other uses for oil.

I am optimistic.

For truthfully, my dear friends–I would rather end up being a fool who believes in human beings instead of a cynic, trying to explain my sarcasm to God.

 

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