Dead

Dead: (adj) no longer living; deprived of life

This can’t be the definition: “No longer living, deprived of life.”

Simply stated, the definition of “dead” is “not breathing.”

For I will tell you—I meet people all the time who are no longer living and certainly seem to be deprived of life.

But they’re still sucking up air.

And they’re often taking that air to spray the contents of the room with negativity, prejudice or snobbery.

Long before we die, some die.

And if we’re still alive when we stop breathing, there’s very little about us that can truthfully be dead.

If our name evokes a smile, if reading a bit of correspondence we sent brings a tear, and if our picture on the wall hearkens to jubilant times, it’s hard to pronounce us dead.

No tomb exists for brilliance.

So what kills us?

What causes us to give up on living long before we give up on breathing?

On the other hand, what would prompt someone to desire to stay alive to the centennial birthday, just to bitch and complain about living conditions?

So I don’t know whether elongated breathing time is a blessing or a curse. If your life is miserable, it is extending the misery, which may just be simulating spending three days in hell.

And if you’re overjoyed—on your way to make love and change the world—and you get hit by a semi, your breathing is snuffed but your living soars on.

I have no desire to be philosophical in this matter and I’m not trying to root out an existential truth to make you think I’m deep and cerebral.

I just choose to believe that dying happens when we stop breathing.

But we can never truly be dead if we have a grasp of greatness …

… and a sense of the significant.

Coated

Coated: (n) a layer of covering

I, for one, appreciate and enjoy the candy coating on my aspirin.

I know it’s just a brief whiz-by of sweetness, but it keeps me from tasting any of that aspirin flavor that sticks in the back of your throat and makes you cough.

It’s just damned considerate.

This crossed my mind about twenty years ago, but I didn’t really do anything about it until last year. (Sometimes it takes nineteen years to work up the gumption to follow through on one of your own pieces of brilliance.)

But twenty years ago, I thought to myself, the problem with human relationships is that they aren’t candy-coated.

We walk around with some adult, grown-up notion that things should be nasty, and the more bitter they are the better it is–because we’ll end up with such a great, complaining story.

It wasn’t until last year that I realized that this applied to me. I was waiting for somebody else to put it into practice. But then I sat down one afternoon and realized that I am sometimes hard to swallow:

I can be bitter

I can be nasty

I can be sour.

And the truth of the matter is, my responsibilities require that I use candor and truthfulness to get the job done. After all, can there be anything worse than a writer who’s a liar–which may force him to write more lies later?

Yet there are human ingredients of sweetness that can be added to truth, so that we can feel love as we embrace reality.

May we never lose kindness.

May we never forget the power of being gentle.

May we always take into consideration a sense of humor.

And certainly, may our daily lives be blessed by the power of apology and the simplicity of a thank you.

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Bright

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Bright: (adj) giving out or reflecting a lot of light

Incandescence–a word we don’t often use.

We only associate it with light.Dictionary B

But it is essential for all people who are bright–that is, mentally acute–to also be bright–showing forth some brilliance, so that their intelligence can be noticed.

Unfortunately, we live in a world where intelligence gets awards and ignorance gets attention.

You can see that might create problems.

I’m not suggesting that ignorance receive awards, but it would be nice if those who are bright were actually… bright.

I’ve had parents explain to me that their son or daughter is “a bookworm,” and that their miracle child had read several hundred volumes. But the problem is, you see, that the kid was incapable of speaking.

The child cast no shadow–so all the knowledge was locked up in a big, black box–with no key.

On the other hand, I’ve met kids who never touched a book for fear of getting a disease from the cover. But they had personality, leadership–brightness.

If our best and brightest don’t possess the incandescence to illuminate themselves for consideration, then our world is in some serious trouble.

When you’ve been given a message to be “the light of the world,” there is a responsibility to also nurture the function to be human, kind and able to interact with your fellow-travelers.

 

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Are

dictionary with letter A

Are: (v) 2nd person singular present tense of be

Sometimes life, as it comes our way, is decorated with such brilliance that we really have no excuse for ignoring the show.

Even grammar presents intuition to us floundering humans.

For instance, “I am“…but “you are.

“I are” does not exist unless you happen to travel deep into the back woods of American seclusion.

I don’t get to be an “are.” It is my responsibility to constantly be reinventing myself toward the light bulb and away from the cave of darkness.

On the other hand, you are allowed to be an “are.”

And since I have no business attempting to change, reform or translate you into a new being, I must accept what you have proven to be over time rather than what I wish you to become.

If we understood this, we would have much less conflict and fewer family arguments around the dinner table.

  • I am.
  • You are.

You are permitted to be a past tense of yourself.

On the other hand, it is required in those who have been entrusted with life to take responsibility for their own daily growth, to become an “am” instead of settling for their “are.”

So even though it’s a little word, it contains a Renaissance of meaning.

  • I am going to try to do better today.
  • You are going to be who you are.
  • And I am going to accept it.

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