Chasten

Chasten: (v) to reprove

There are things that work and there are things that don’t.

Perhaps one of the most misleading ideas promoted in our society is the notion that a thousand paths lead to the same singular destination.
This has caused us to believe that we can ignore the wisdom of time and forge our own thoroughfare–and as long as we get “somewhere near it,” we’ve done a good thing by being independent.

Independence is over-rated. More often than not, it’s permission to fail instead of succeed–because leaving the sanctity of good counsel to prove your autonomy usually comes with a bundle of extra problems which have to be explained away later, as you cautiously tout your victory.

But let’s make three things clear:

1. Complaining is not chastening.

Human beings should not have to endure the incessant repetition of a grouchy spirit hounding them over their actions.

2. Assuming is not chastening.

Trying to take on the profile of “the gentle soul” who innocently assumes everyone knows the truth of the matter is often useless and can be vindictive if the silence causes another soul pain.

3. Prejudice is not chastening.

Asking a black man to hold his tongue because he’s “the son of Cain” and therefore not as worthy as white people is not a rebuke granting growth, but instead, instilling inferiority and fear.

Chastening is understanding what needs to be done–seeing that someone has taken a faulty turn and correcting him or her before the misstep turns into a tumble.

It must always be done in love, it must always be done quickly, and it must always be drenched in mercy and grace.

 

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Cessation

Cessation: (n) the process of ending

“All good things come to an end.”

Unfortunately, all bad things don’t.

For some reason we get bored with good things and decide to either evolve them or abandon them. But bad things seem to be granted social
tenure. They get to hang around even if they do stupid stuff.

Why? Because bad things are grouchy and good things smile.

It’s a lot easier to ask someone who’s smiling to go to the back of the bus than it is to approach a grouchy person with such a request.

Yes, it’s true. As long as the black man smiled back at the white bigot, not much happened–which brings me to one of the things that demands cessation in our country:

Racism.

Truthfully it will not leave until we stop talking about the beauty of cultures and the glories of separate ethnic practices. Even though we insist that everybody is different and that it’s a good thing, we work like hell to try to find common conversation and similar ground. Otherwise, parties would just be drinking in silence.

Another thing that demands cessation is genderism.

There are those who think it’s cute to point out the difference between men and women, and in doing so, keep women in a position of scrounging for crumbs of praise, while denied the cake.

And if you don’t mind, I’ll close by saying that we need a cessation on the idea of being tough.

I don’t know how that works. If everyone is tough, isn’t that just a world filled with cranky people instead of toughness?

Someone has to be kind–otherwise, nothing happens.

Nothing breaks.

Nothing changes.

Cessation will occur when we stop being afraid of grouchy people–because we decide we enjoy smiling ones.

 

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Aberration

by J. R. Practix

dictionary with letter A

Aberration: n.  a departure from what is normal, usual or expected, typically one that is unwelcome.

A black man reading a book

A woman voting

A glass bulb which produces light

Removing leeches from the body to assist in healing

The knowledge that tiny bacteria cause disease

The earth is round

People of different races marrying each other

An evolving universe

All men are created equal

For God so loved the world

Jews are not rats

Rock and roll is really great music

Long hair, as it turns out, is not going to destroy human sexuality

God loves everybody

All of these were once aberrations–unwelcome departures from the a “normal thinking.”

If you will excuse me, I must leave now, to discover the next aberration–and do my best to keep from fighting it.