Club

Club: (n) an organization dedicated to a particular interest or activity.

It reminds me of Dickie. He was a friend of mine.

Dickie had one thing he was very proud of–he loved to dupe adults. He explained this to me one day. He said the key to tricking grown-ups
was finding out what they wanted, and then discovering a way to do it which was more fun.

For instance, Dickie had a lot of dirt clods in his back yard. We used them to throw at each other, playing war and anticipating what it might be like to be hit with a hand grenade.

Dickie’s mother came out in horror and told us to stop throwing them, saying that we would certainly destroy an eye–or at least sully our pretty shirts.

Dickie waited about thirty minutes, then went in and said to his mother, “Mom, maybe it would be a good idea if we got rid of all that dirt and those dirt clods, and dumped them in the nearby woods.”

She thought it was a grand idea, and even offered some bushel baskets that had recently held apples. So Dickie and I went out, collected dirt clods in the bushel baskets, escaped into the trees–and continued our game.

God, we felt smart.

We had our own little club which we had formed, and was built around the notion that since we were the honorary members, it confirmed that we were more intelligent than others.

From that point on, I have wondered if it is possible to separate oneself off from the mass of humanity into smaller and smaller units and clubs without promoting a sense of superiority and propagating a cloud of bigotry.

Does the Methodist feel superior to the Baptist as he drives by on the way to his church?

Does the white man feel empowered when he passes through the black neighborhood and sticks his nose up at the urban blight, touting that he’s part of the Caucasian Club?

Here’s a frightening and perhaps intimidating thought–we’re all part of one club, and that’s human beings.

Breaking us down any further and insisting that the differences are imperative and unique makes us just about as dumb as a bushel basket of dirt clods.

 

 

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Alike

Words from Dic(tionary)

dictionary with letter A

Alike: 1. (adj) similar to each other: e.g. the brothers were very much alike. 2. (adv) in the same or similar way: e.g. the girls dressed alike

It scares the crap out of me.

And of course, anybody who would suggest that we, as human beings, are more alike than different would be pummeled by the masses and scurried away in an unmarked car, to oblivion by Madison Avenue.

For after all, if we cannot establish that we are different, how can we make ourselves special?

I don’t know when it happened for me. I think pretty early on, I discovered that the only true value in being a human being was finding other kindred and realizing how much we were alike.

  • I didn’t want to live on a desert island.
  • I didn’t want to crack my coconuts all alone.
  • I didn’t want to believe I was a snowflake and God made me unique.

No, I wanted to be part of a blizzard, falling to the earth in unison, creating a beautiful, sparkling horizon.

I’m not so sure we will make progress when we continue to tout reasons for differences among us. Our more noble adventures expel this idea as being “out of school.” Over and over again, in our more enlightened moments, we discover truth.

I’m talking about the Jeffersonian revelation of “all men being created equal.” The Good Book, establishing that there is “no temptation that is not common to us all.” We seem to stumble on the brotherhood and sisterhood of humankind, and in so doing, create such a commonality that it warrants a planet-wide “group hug.”

But then, just as quickly, we become prickly. We’re not satisfied to be followers of Jesus–we need another sub-division. Lutheran. Methodist. Baptist. And that still isn’t enough. We specialize that name with a more refined tradition, until eventually we convince ourselves that our ideas have germinated solely from our uniquely inspired brain.

If it were not so dangerous, we could just leave it alone. Yet after all, Hitlers are not birthed and promoted from the ranks of “joiners.” They are alienated, bitter, frustrated individualists who keep shrinking the planet down to a tiny few who have a vendetta against the remaining plurality.

I am odd. I keep looking for reasons to be alike with my fellow travelers.

When I see a homeless person on the street, I do not view him as an alien, but rather, a possible projection of myself years earlier, had I missed one or two paychecks.

When I see a woman, I do not consider her to be inferior or even separate from my own Eden spirit. She is flesh of my flesh and bone of my bone.

I fear for America because we believe in the excellence of our pursuits due to our superiority over others less fortunate. But since we are only the beneficiaries of such a blessed land because of freedom, and every person who is given freedom is free indeed, we should start trying to find reasons where we are alike with the world around us … or else we may find ourselves abandoned, cuddling up to our own conceit.

 

Agenda

Words from Dic(tionary)

dictionary with letter AAgenda: (n) 1. a list of items or subjects to be considered at a meeting 2. determination of a program of action

  • Republicans want less government.
  • Democrats want more government.
  • Conservatives want to conserve.
  • Liberals want to be more liberal in their choices.
  • Baptists want to baptize.
  • Catholics want to take care of their religious obligation.
  • Buddhists want to meditate.
  • Bankers want to make money.
  • Wall Street wants to make money and also take it away from others.
  • Women want equal rights.
  • Men want sex rights.
  • Children want to play.
  • Drug dealers want to sell their product.
  • Politicians want your vote.
  • Actors want a job and praise.
  • Singers want applause and to sing.
  • Old people want more health care.
  • Young people want more fun.
  • Sailors want a boat.
  • Pilots want a plane.
  • Soldiers want action and their pay.
  • Hippies want peace.
  • Jews want Jerusalem.
  • Muslims want Jerusalem–without Jews.
  • Terrorists want their demands.
  • Dogs want a bone.
  • Cats want to do whatever they want to do.
  • Football players want a touchdown.
  • Baseball players want a homer.
  • A hockey player wants his teeth.

In a world where everybody has an agenda, we must understand that we are at the mercy of the ploys of society–UNLESS we are aware of the aspirations of others and try our best to arrive on the scene without too many pre-conceived ideas.

Is it possible to have an agenda to not have an agenda?

Doesn’t that just make you a contradiction in terms?