Close

Close: (adj) not separated by distance, or a family member

When I am close but fall short, I immediately decide to find the person who is close to me.

Here’s the truth: close is not good enough.

Doing your best rarely fills the need. Attempts to rationalize only bring about comical excuses which generate private laughter from your
critics and too much sympathy from your friends.

If we’re going to live lives where we “come close,” then we need someone to be close to. This person needs to tell us the truth. They need to praise when we achieve our purposes, and point out when our cowardice, laziness or procrastination send us to the end of the line, to try again.

We are part of the human race. “All have fallen short.” So says the patriarch.

Since we are guilty of failing to make the edge, we need someone edgy in our lives, to help us discover how to do it better the next time. Otherwise, we do it again, but with less vigor because of nervous energy, or we develop a reason not to attempt a second effort.

We will be close so we need someone close.

That’s as simple as life is.

And if for some reason, we’re unable to hear the tender suggestions of that friend, then we will spend all of our time wallowing in a self-satisfied nothingness.

Let’s not do that.

Come close? Then draw close.

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Blink

Blink: (v) to shut and open the eyes quickly.

Dictionary B

“Don’t blink or you’ll miss it!”

The standard comedic line to describe a tiny town with only one stoplight. By now, the joke has been worn out, but obviously, the inner-office memo has not reached every outpost.

It’s amazing: a practice which is essential to our well-being and extremely frequent–that of blinking–is considered to be a sign of weakness, lack of attention or cowardice.

“Don’t blink!”

“Don’t be the first to blink!”

So I would like to step in and say, “I blink.”

Yes, there are things that shock me.

I do not want to become so worldly and road-weary that I pretend that my cynicism has freed me from the instinct to blink.

I do blink:

  • I’m still appalled at lying.
  • I find pornography to be a safari into a human zoo.
  • Hearing profanity in public makes me wince along with my blink.

I’m not a prude, but I’m not proud of exaggerating my level of tolerance.

I like gentleness, I like kindness and I blink when I see people abuse each other or curse at one another because the traffic light turned green and no one moved.

I think to be alive, caring and willing to embrace humankind, the natural blinking that the eyes perform numerous times in a minute … should also be duplicated in our souls.

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Battle

Battle: (n) a sustained fight between large, organized armed forces.Dictionary B

I think I have a new favorite stupid statement–even though I must admit that “favorite stupid statement” may be an oxymoron.

Nevertheless, I, for one, am tired of hearing people say, “I pick my battles.”

What an audaciously ridiculous notion. It’s really just an excuse for prefacing our cowardice.

In other words, “I have no intention of displaying a backbone in this situation. I have only a certain number of battles I can wage, and this is not going to be one of them.”

Let me make it clear that throughout my journey, I have never seen the time when I could pick my battles.

My battles are laid out in front of me, and I can either choose to fight them, or run away and pretend like I’m looking for “higher ground.”

“I pick my battles” is the phrase that kept stupidity alive in our country, prejudice in full force, bigotry operating successfully and talent relegated to the back row.

We don’t pick our battles.

The battles exist.

And we can choose to either participate, or be part of the people who pretended to march on the side of righteousness or who insist that if it ever happens again, they will be in the front lines.

 

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Apart

dictionary with letter A

Apart: (adv) two or more people or things separated by a specified distance from each other in time or space (e.g.: his parents are living apart)

  • What separates us defeats us.
  • What we consider unique is really arrogance.
  • Birds of a feather don’t always flock together.
  • Culture is often just a cult of superiority.
  • Fear of each other is instilled and never natural.
  • Yearning to be left alone opens the door to sadness instead of awareness.

All of these statements come from my heart. Yet the entirety of the passage would be questioned by most people in our generation

Why? Because in our cowardice to discover one another, we choose to scatter into our corners.

Is this a problem? Is there a danger in remaining apart?

If each one of us was marooned on a desert island without supplies, with people from all walks of life, the necessity for communication would be required for survival. Yet for some reason, we feel we can stay apart in our world and still survive the prejudice.

This is what I know: Earth was here long before I arrived. Even though my brattiness would like to believe it will stop when I die, it won’t.

So since I’m passing through, I have three choices:

  1. I can fix something that’s broken.
  2. I can break something that’s fixed.
  3. Or I can notice what’s broken and help someone who can fix it.

To achieve all of this, I must interact with my brothers and sisters.

To embrace solution … I will need all of them.

 

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Anti-American

dictionary with letter A

Anti-American (adj): hostile to the interests of the United States; opposed to Americans.

If you will allow me to characterize an entire nation in the context of the growth spurt of an average human being, I would put forth that our country is presently in the midst of a seventeen-year-old, bratty, rebellious snit.

Anyone who’s had children and endured the pangs of adolescence will be familiar with the sneering comment coming from your teenage child: “It’s my life. It’s a free country. And if you love me, you’ll support me in my decisions.”

Honestly, we did not become a great country through finding a contortionist’s trickery to kiss our own ass. Our greatness is punctuated by the times we have discovered the fallacy of our own practices and pursued avenues to build a highway to better understanding.

To arrogantly insist that every suggestion that America might need to make some sort of constructive course correction is an attack against our nation is nothing short of high school insolence.

Here are three things I know about my country, I love about my country, and therefore insist that my country continue:

1. We believe in giving.

The minute we start thinking that we are too generous and therefore should take more, we will become the latest dinosaur.

2. We are a free country and therefore capable of changing our mind to better solutions.

I am sick and tired of having the Constitution presented as a docile, stagnant document. It has so far been amended twenty-seven times, and certainly shall be again.

3. We have stated on paper that we believe “all men are created equal” and that no one is better than anyone else.

Even though we’re catching up with our own high-sounding ideas through a bit of painful implementation, we have taken the bold step of declaring an eternal truth.

As long as these three principles are pursued by my nation, I will applaud and sprout a tear or two when Old Glory comes marching by.

When we retreat from them through cowardice or lethargy, I will be in the front of the protest, demanding we return to our standards … and risk being called anti-American by the lazy and ignorant riff-raff.  

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