Chinese

Chinese: (adj) relating to China or its language, culture, or people.

My daughter-in-law is from China.

She is the wife of my godson. They have two beautiful children. I don’t see them much because they live in China.

My first encounters with this dear lady were enlightening. We struck up an immediate friendship, and I was deeply impressed by her work
ethic, her respect and her honoring of those who have more age then herself.

But she is Chinese. She was raised under an absolute totalitarian form of government, which discourages people from being inventive. Now, the Chinese diplomats would probably take issue with that, but the danger of trying to make everyone the same is that they take you up on it. And once sameness has been achieved, the desire to excel, be different or discover an original path seems pointless.

In our capitalistic system, discouragement comes from a different arena. We are constantly pumped full of the helium of hope–that anyone can be wealthy and successful, while simultaneously closing doors of finance and opportunity on ideas coming from ingenious folks who weren’t born with any spoon in their mouth.

I suppose the controversy rages over which system hampers the human spirit the most. Is it more vindictive to quell creativity, or much more punishing to be creative and unable to find the means to your end?

I suppose my daughter-in-law and I could talk about this for hours. But the real issue is free will. Although many religionists and politicians would persist in trying to steal it from the human condition, God is intensely committed to free will.

So where the Spirit of God exists, there is liberty.

I have the choice to be lazy, productive, genuine, fake, kind or mean. Then I also have the responsibility to rise and fall on my choice.

It would be amazing if the Chinese people, with their great traditions and immense passion for excellence, could be unleashed with creativity and complete freedom, to choose their own path. Would they maintain the quality of their passion, or become complainers like many capitalists?

I don’t know.

True spirituality is feeling responsible without being confined, and being creative without insisting you’re entitled.

 

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Adjunct

Words from Dic(tionary)

dictionary with letter A

Adjunct (n): a thing added to something else as a supplement rather than an essential part

I think it’s misspelled. It would be so much easier to understand if the word was “addjunk.”

Really, that’s what we all do. We add a bunch of junk to our lives as we journey, convincing ourselves that it’s priceless, only to spend most of our time shuffling it around from place to place, even though it is inconvenient and infrequently used.

About ten years ago I came to the realization that the only power in getting older was in being smart enough to travel lighter. I had so much unusable, often unrecognizable material hanging around me, like unwanted relatives stopping in for a loan, that I was often baffled as to whether there was enough space for me to live and breathe.

It was stupid. I had added so much junk to my human trailer that I was beginning to resemble white trash on my way to NASCAR. (This is not to say that ALL people who go to NASCAR are white trash. I speak by permission, putting into practice comedy, and quite bluntly, the law of averages.)

So what did I do? I started giving away everything I had not used in the previous sixty days. It was astounding–because things that I did not view as worthy of a two-month connection were valuable to others around me–sometimes even a life saver. I looked generous.

Now, I wasn’t really generous. It was a practical move to make sure there was enough oxygen in the room for me and my necessaries. In no time at all, I had grown lean and mean, and at my fingertips were all the goodies that I preferred, which by the way, were much easier to locate since they weren’t hiding under the freeloaders.

The second thing I did was I decided to live. Now I’m not talking about sucking in air or planning a shaving and bathing schedule.

If I wanted to do it, if it was practical, fruitful and in the spectrum of my abilities–I just did it.

Is there anything worse than people who are aging, who both lament getting older and also constantly offer regrets about their lack of accomplishment?

Shut up. It’s addjunk.

It seems that many people over fifty have only used their time and energy to practice becoming professional complainers. Here’s the key: give and live.

Give away everything you don’t need and live out what you want to do, and in the process find out if it was worth tackling.

I realize that to some degree this essay has nothing to do with the definition, but you can take that up with my boss.

(Ha, ha. I don’t HAVE a boss. I gave him away … so I could live.)