Decision

Decision: (n) the act of making up one’s mind

The most important question:

Is there a need for a decision?

I think we are so intent on pursuing a life of worry that we turn everything into an event, a curse or a challenge.

It’s just not so.

Not everything demands a decision.

For instance, loving your neighbor as yourself is not a religious maneuver or a gesture of mature human interaction. It is Earth 101.

There’s nothing to decide. We’re not awaiting your contemplation on whether you accept the blending of humanity into one single race instead of color-coated. No decision is required. Follow the path and sing in harmony.

It’s not necessary for you to muse your approach in dealing with others on an emotional basis. Smiling, in its varied forms, is the only facial expression that is acceptable when human beings greet one another.

Having a “game face” or insisting that a neutral expression is safer does nothing but confuse the parties, making those you meet feel they have to make a decision about you long before they actually get to know you.

There are a few things that demand a decision. How about this one?

Would you make a decision on your responsibility to decide? That would be nice.

Don’t pass around the ownership of your life to other people like you’re playing tag. Everything that happens in your three-square feet of humanity belongs to you.

No debate—just a decision to protect your parking space.

I contend that we will grow emotionally, spiritually, mentally and physically when we make a decision to nurture our emotions, our spirits, our minds and our bodies.

D-day

D-day: June 6, 1944, the day of the invasion of western Europe by Allied forces in World War II.

When I was thirteen years old, my dog died in the middle of the night—without warning.

Well, that’s not true.

There was lots of warning. She was a toy dachshund and had put on immense amounts of weight. Her belly scraped the ground when she walked—that is, if she walked.

She was miserable.

Being miserable and being a dog, she felt no compulsion to avoid bouts of grouchy, growly and incontinent.

When we first bought the dog, I spent most of my time petting the animal, but by the end of her life, my encounters were primarily cleaning up her messes and yelling at her for dribbling.

Her name was Yogi Gretta.

It’s not one we gave to her, but rather, the one affixed to the papers, assuring us that she was pure-bred.

We probably should have put her to sleep earlier. It’s difficult to decide to kill something when you’re so emotionally attached.

I know it may seem strange, but that is the thought that crosses my mind—the decision on what to do with my house dog—when I think about President Roosevelt and Winston Churchill contemplating sending tens of thousands of beautiful, intelligent, vibrant Allied soldiers to hit a beach in Normandy, France, to try to take back the European continent from a madman named Adolph Hitler.

One thing was certain—many of these brave human beings would be killed.

They would cease to exist.

They would become memories.

Even though I was skittish and tearful over the demise of my pet pup, what was it like to pick a day in June and decide that it was going to be the end of the line for thousands of mortals?

Was there another way?

Could Hitler be left in power to rule over Europe, terrorizing the lives of the citizens?

Franklin Roosevelt and Winston Churchill asked General Dwight David Eisenhower to plan the landing to free Europe.

Now it’s a piece of history.

Then, it was an agonizing, horrifying proposition to terminate human life, to save other human life.

Neither men nor women were meant to make such selections. It is beyond our comprehension and certainly, overly burdensome to our soul.

May we pray that when we see tyranny—even if it shows up initially just as stupidity—yes, may we confront it and curtail it before we’re forced once again to set aside a D-day, to lose countless brothers, to rescue us all.

 

Cryptic

Cryptic: (adj) mysterious in meaning; puzzling; ambiguous

Some examples of cryptic thoughts.

It certainly was fortunate that there were ignorant black people in Africa so that American slavery could prosper.

President Trump would be a fabulous leader if he knew where he was going.

It is ironic that the Jews would consider it anti-Semitic to be blamed for the crucifixion of Jesus, even though their Council cast the votes.

Men and women are equally talented and intelligent—and there the equality ceases.

I shot an arrow into the air and I sure as hell hope it didn’t kill anybody.

I am happiest when I know some people are sad because there seems to be a limited amount of happiness.

The best Republican President acted like he was a Democrat.

The best Democrat President was probably a secret Republican.

People don’t seem to be able to just enjoy sex without thinking they are the best at it.

The more we envy others, the less the chance of ever possessing what they have.

Religion is about as close to God as politics is to freedom.

You can always tell when a nation is failing—it attacks its poets.

I blame myself for trusting you to have the intelligence to make the decision that has now ruined us both.

These are some examples of cryptic statements.

Such talk is fun.

Such talk is clever.

Such talk can start wars.

 

funny wisdom on words that begin with a C



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Brink

j-r-practix-with-border-2

Brink: (n) a point at which something is about to happen; the verge.

Two pundits. Two opinions.

Contradictions.Dictionary B

One firmly states, “We are on the brink of disaster.”

The other enthusiastically counters, “We are on the brink of great success.”

Each one has a case.

Each one works off of existing facts, trying to convince the listener of the validity of his or her point.

Can they both be right? Or are they both wrong?

It is amazing to realize that most of the time, life continues at a snail’s pace, without disaster or success. Matter of fact, it takes a great intervention to produce either one.

But we are on the brink of a decision.

Are we going to leave things the way they are and let them play out? Or are we going to intrude on the trend to generate a new possibility?

There are certain ingredients for disaster. Arrogance and ignorance would be the pair which normally precede that devastation.

And there are ingredients for success. Kindness and creativity. For after all, nothing of human quality can be done without kindness, and if we don’t create, we have a tendency to settle.

What are we on the brink of?

It would be the hope of this author that we’re on the brink of a great awakening–a season when we’re no longer afraid to admit our weaknesses, anticipating that they can be forgiven, the door flung open to repentance…and that we can usher in a new life.

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Ballroom

Ballroom: (n) a large room used for dancing.Dictionary B

Every writer, whether aspiring or accomplished, has to make a personal, singular decision:

Am I going to write my articles and thoughts down as they relate to the subject or as they relate to me?

It’s a huge decision.

Well, not huge in the sense of attempting to get funding to cure cancer, but huge as defined as acquiring purpose and having relevance.

I suppose some folks would be interested in an article written on the subject of ballrooms or ballroom dancing which would enlighten them on history by discussing the international traditions.

That’s not what I do.

I am not a reporter; I am a sharer.

So when I think about ballrooms, or ballroom dancing, I relate it to my limited experience with “hoofing.”

I haven’t done a lot of dancing in my life. Considering my size and girth, I’m really quite agile, but have never had the doors of opportunity flung open for me to tap dance my way into people’s hearts.

But I do remember what it was like to be seventeen years old and going to a prom, knowing that I would be holding a woman very close to me, and have to perform some reasonable imitation of flow. Coming from a small town, it was thrilling to arrive at one of the big-city hotels, which had a ballroom with hanging chandeliers.

The lights were dimmed, the 5-piece combo began to play, and it was time to sway.

I was swept away.

Suddenly I felt like every young boy from every generation, who found himself enraptured in the aura of romance and the itch to coagulate and dance.

I wasn’t very good, but I took some risks, we had some good laughs, and for a brief moment, the young lady and I were transcendent in time, wisked away on magical shoes.

I will never forget it.

I never had a desire to duplicate it. I didn’t go to Arthur Murray and try to perfect my steps.

But in that suspended moment, I understood why they made ballrooms, and why they filled them … with dance.

 

 

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Antinomy

dictionary with letter A

Antinomy: (a) a contradiction between two beliefs or conclusions; an oxymoron.

It really doesn’t matter whether someone is intellectual, spiritual or hedonistic.

There is one antinomy that plagues our race with such ambiguity that it causes us to become overly zealous in our certainty or nearly suicidal in our despair.

We just can’t make up our minds whether life is based on freewill or providence.

By “providence” I am speaking of destiny, or a pre-determined course for our life.

Even though we exert great independence about our choices, we also, at the same time, continue to insist that our lives are guided by forces beyond our control.

It’s what causes an atheist to ask, after viewing a horrible disaster, “Why didn’t God do something?”

And at the same time, it motivates a person of faith to proclaim that some irrelevant and maybe even preventable piece of anarchy “must have been God’s will.”

So as different as we may consider ourselves to be, we are trapped in the same flypaper as hapless insects, at the mercy of universal stickiness.

It’s utterly ridiculous.

Yet it is difficult to find anyone who will take a stand and admit they are solely “freewill” in their belief, or that they contend that everything for our lives.has been pre-destined.

When you persist in promoting this oxymoron of “freewill/destiny,” you always end up with a conclusion that nothing could have been done and that the purposes–divine or secular–were just enacted.

So let me be bold:

I am a freewill creature.

99% of my problems are caused by my poor choices, ignorance or stubbornness.

Even those things I deem to be accidents, when later reflected upon, were quite avoidable. For I would much rather take responsibility for the sum total of the additions of my life than superstitiously gaze into a crystal ball, wondering what the gods have devised for me.

Life clears up really quickly when you understand the concept of freewill. You don’t fear devils, you don’t summon angels, and you can alleviate most of your finger-pointing.

For after all, the only way to empower human beings is to let them know that their destiny is forged … one decision at a time.

 

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Annoy

dictionary with letter A

Annoy: (v) to irritate someone; make someone a little angry.

The interesting fact is that “to annoy” or “an annoyance” falls under two categories–the obvious annoy and the unknown annoy.

I am not a novice to the obvious annoy.

There are folks you meet who are fun to tease because they either over-react in a comical sense, or they desperately try to ignore you while sprouting great fits of exasperation.

I cannot say that I’m proud of my occasional penchant for wanting to annoy others. It’s just a sense of curiosity about why some people find certain words, actions or even visuals distasteful, and I am able to practically control them by continuing to share these things in front of them, while getting ticked in my own soul over their frustration. As I said, I’m not proud of that, but have been known to participate.

But when it comes to the unknown annoy which happens, I have to admit that I’m baffled.

Sometimes I meet people, and even though I try, with all of my tenderness, humility and conversation, to evoke their pleasure, for some reason they find me distasteful.

I don’t know why, and on those occasions when I ask them if I’ve done something to offend, they insist that there’s nothing wrong while getting even more perturbed.

I remember one night, I was told that a girl with anorexia was coming to a party and she was in the midst of counseling and recovery. I immediately excused myself and left.

You see, I’m a fat man–so overweight that my mere appearance might cause a relapse in the young woman.

Yes, she would be annoyed at my sight.

You see, that one I get. But sometimes we remind people of other folks who have hurt them–or maybe it’s a smell. I don’t know.

So here’s a clue: when I choose to annoy, I need to remember to be careful and not overdo it. But when people find me annoying for no particular reason, I need to give them the room to ignore me … without having an opinion on their decision..

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AK-47

Words from Dic(tionary)

dictionary with letter A

AK-47: (n) a type of assault rifle, originally manufactured in the Soviet Union.

It’s a big gun. That’s what I know.

I’ve never fired one of those. I have used a shotgun. That was pretty impressive.

Impressive… What do I mean by that?

I think guns are fascinating. Otherwise we wouldn’t want to play with them as children. After all, nobody wants a squirt-monkey or a squirt-hose. No, it’s a squirt-gun.

Being able to point something at somebody and dispel ammunition–even if it’s just water–is pretty thrilling. But you see, that’s the problem.

Somewhere along the line–at about the age of eleven or twelve–the bullets change from H2O to a helluva lot more deadly.

When would I want a gun?

  • If I were in the wilderness and a bear was getting ready to attack me, I think I would rather have a gun than a bow and arrow.
  • I guess if I was trapped on a desert island and was trying to track down game, using a bullet might be more effective than setting traps or throwing rocks.
  • I think if we’re going to insist on having wars, we should give our soldiers weapons to match the enemy’s, or be prepared to be enslaved by being “out-gunned.”

But I just don’t believe that guns are the answer to everything. It’s like so many other things in our society–the solutions we come up with seem to create their own dilemmas instead of alleviating conflict.

Putting a gun into the hands of a common man who, at this moment, is rational, does not mean that this person will be logical under the influence of alcohol, anger, frustration, or just dumb stupidity.

I guess what bothers me is the idea that law-abiding citizens require guns to protect themselves from non-law-abiding citizens. It begs the questions:

  1. When should I pull a trigger and release a missile of death to terminate the life of another human being?
  2. Should I do it because they have entered my home to steal from me?
  3. Should I shoot them because they are walking on my sidewalk, speaking threats in the direction of my domicile?
  4. In my frivolous and often unpredictable nature, should I be trusted to decide who lives or dies simply because I have a weapon to determine the outcome?
  5. Or are all these questions moot–because we have a Constitution that allows us to be “gun-toting,” so that’s all the justification we need?

There’s no doubt–guns are cool. I would be greatly fascinated to look at someone’s gun collection. I just wonder how we can determine how these weapons are used, or … how we can trust one another to make that decision.

 

Agnostic

Words from Dic(tionary)

dictionary with letter A

Agnostic: (n) a person who believes that nothing is known or can be known of the existence of nature of God and has neither faith nor disbelief in God.

“Can’t decide.”

I’m sorry. I just have a real problem with people who can’t land on a decision. Sometimes you’ll turn to ’em and ask ’em what they want to eat for dinner.

“I don’t care. Anything’s fine.”

Here’s the problem. On the first occasion you believe them. So you make Sloppy Joe with corn chips and apple slices. Then you notice they pick at the food and seem to have little appetite. If you dig deeper, you discover they were disappointed in the choice you made for them–when they refused to make one for themselves.

Alas, we have found the truth, have we not? Everyone does have an opinion, whether they speak it aloud or hold it within.

Those who decide to build a cave in which to harbor their thoughts only choose to do so in order to grumble at you from their dark place.

Thus the agnostic.

Facts are, if the only thing afforded me was organized religion and the existing spiritual circus which collects offerings and possesses land, I would probably be an agnostic or even an atheist. I would place myself in that no-man’s land because I object to the options provided. In a cowardly way, I would hide behind the inefficiency of the organization and pretend it truly represented God,

But that’s not what I do. I have decided to believe.

  • I do not believe in the God of the Jews. Too much wandering in the wilderness.
  • I do not think the God of the Christians has anything to do with real life.
  • The multiplicity of the Hindi gods only perplex me.
  • The absence of a god in Buddhism is a proclamation of self-righteousness that boggles my mind.
  • And the God of the Muslims at times seems to get up on the wrong side of His heavenly bed.

My God is the reality that I need a God.

I need someone to remind me that my humanity is more ingenious than “monkey.” I need a companion who helps to explain why goodness does come, through effort, while evil always tends to be the lazy choice.

Agnosticism is the fear of deciding. It is sloth–one of the seven deadly sinsfatal because it keeps us the victim instead of pursuing the possible victory.