Confederacy

Confederacy: (n) the Confederate states

As I sit quietly, my mind sometimes conjures the memory of something really dumb I have done. I am most comfortable when that piece of idiocy is well in my past.

But it is important, when that nasty memory comes to the forefront, that I own it, regret it and establish how ridiculous it was and how it mustfunny wisdom on words that begin with a C
never be done again.

It’s part of being human.

Rationalizing all of our activities and granting them license immediately turns us into assholes.

Assholes, in this instance, are people who think they do not have elements in their past that need to be remembered with shame.

There was a time in this great nation when we denied our creed of the equality of all mankind and decided it was all right to own people as long as their skin was black. So intensely were we deceived that we were willing to go to the battlefield, bleed and die as feuding brothers.

A Confederacy challenged our Union.

It was shameful–a frightening part of our past.Yet it is a chapter of the book we call America.

We have two responsibilities:

  1. Don’t deny it happened
  2. Offer the necessary regret and shame required to eradicate it from happening again by eliminating all the prejudice that brought about such foolishness.

 

 

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Club

Club: (n) an organization dedicated to a particular interest or activity.

It reminds me of Dickie. He was a friend of mine.

Dickie had one thing he was very proud of–he loved to dupe adults. He explained this to me one day. He said the key to tricking grown-ups
was finding out what they wanted, and then discovering a way to do it which was more fun.

For instance, Dickie had a lot of dirt clods in his back yard. We used them to throw at each other, playing war and anticipating what it might be like to be hit with a hand grenade.

Dickie’s mother came out in horror and told us to stop throwing them, saying that we would certainly destroy an eye–or at least sully our pretty shirts.

Dickie waited about thirty minutes, then went in and said to his mother, “Mom, maybe it would be a good idea if we got rid of all that dirt and those dirt clods, and dumped them in the nearby woods.”

She thought it was a grand idea, and even offered some bushel baskets that had recently held apples. So Dickie and I went out, collected dirt clods in the bushel baskets, escaped into the trees–and continued our game.

God, we felt smart.

We had our own little club which we had formed, and was built around the notion that since we were the honorary members, it confirmed that we were more intelligent than others.

From that point on, I have wondered if it is possible to separate oneself off from the mass of humanity into smaller and smaller units and clubs without promoting a sense of superiority and propagating a cloud of bigotry.

Does the Methodist feel superior to the Baptist as he drives by on the way to his church?

Does the white man feel empowered when he passes through the black neighborhood and sticks his nose up at the urban blight, touting that he’s part of the Caucasian Club?

Here’s a frightening and perhaps intimidating thought–we’re all part of one club, and that’s human beings.

Breaking us down any further and insisting that the differences are imperative and unique makes us just about as dumb as a bushel basket of dirt clods.

 

 

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Beseech

Beseech: (v) to ask someone urgently and fervently to do something

Dictionary B

I beseech politicians to answer the question and then offer explanation instead of the other way around.

I beseech women to stop thinking they are smarter by treating men like they’re dumb.

I beseech men to stop acting dumb while secretly relegating women to a secondary position.

I beseech religion to start believing that God is our Father and therefore does not want to hurt us.

I beseech business to perfect the product before inflating the price.

I beseech parents to create a balance of responsibility and blessing for their children.

I beseech the military to be so prepared and so powerful that they don’t ever have to actually prove their worth.

I beseech educators to teach a balance of humility with information, since we are constantly learning things that contradict our arrogance.

I beseech those who are blessed to imagine what it is like to be without such a courtesy before deciding to judge weaker brothers.

I beseech the homeless to organize and simplify their lives to match their financial intake.

I beseech those who offer counsel to do so with an eye on their own weaknesses instead of merely poring over the philosophies of psychologists.

I beseech humanity to step far enough out of the jungle to plant a garden.

I beseech myself to remember all these things that I have beseeched from others.

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Bazaar

Bazaar: (n) a market in a Middle Eastern country.Dictionary B

I often comfort myself with the knowledge that if I didn’t do dumb things, I wouldn’t have great stories to tell.

So a certain amount of imperfection, idiocy and clumsiness is necessary to fall under the classification of “a good writer.” (At least, that’s my take and I’m stickin’ with it.)

Many years ago, I traveled to Haiti, and being a novice at such a journey, I didn’t take enough money. After I paid all the taxes, tariffs and incidentals, I ended up with 72 cents in loose change to last me for two weeks.

My lodging was covered and so were my meals, but I didn’t have any personal money.

One of my guides on suggested that we go to the local street market, or bazaar, to see what the Haitians had put together through their creativity.

I don’t know why, but it didn’t even occur to me that these artisans might just want to sell their wares to hapless Americans. I wasn’t in the bazaar for more than thirty seconds before I was completely surrounded by determined individuals trying to sell me what they had built, cooked or grown.

The stuff was beautiful.

They were great salespeople.

But you see–I only had 72 cents.

To the average Haitian, any white man from America is independently wealthy and probably arrived on their shores in a yacht.

So using a word of Creole here and there, I tried to explain that I had no money. This only encouraged them to sell harder, assuming that they were just one catch-phrase away from garnering my business.

They also kept dropping their prices.

Finally, after about five or six arduous minutes of grueling exchange, I pulled out fifty cents and bought a lovely, carved statue. The person who did the work probably took at least four hours to make it, and I felt like a real jerk.

But they were delighted to get the fifty cents, and I intelligently escaped quickly out the back exit from my experience … at the bizarre bazaar,

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Baa

Baa: (n) the cry of a sheep or lamb.

Jesus described human beings as sheep.dictionary with letter A

It really was not a compliment.

Of all the attributes of the common sheep, passivity would have to be the best possible option–and even that is not a chosen peacefulness, but rather, an unwillingness to get involved.

Sheep are easily swayed, controlled, pushed, shorn and devoured by wolves.

They like to play the role of the victim–so often they will cry out, “Baa,” to let you know that they have once again brought upon themselves a situation which has placed them at risk.

Jesus also made the point that they get lost easily. It is unlikely that this is caused by wanderlust or an intrigue for finding new turf.

No, it’s mainly because sheep are dumb. For some reason, they get distracted and fail to follow the tail in front of them.

So even though we characterize Jesus of Nazareth as being the benevolent Savior who loved mankind, he was also fully aware of the nature of our personality–the desire to avoid difficulty and therefore actually stumble into more of it.

Is there any way for us to become more enlightened sheep without ending up being horny goats? It’s an interesting proposal–one that would be well worth discussion.

But certainly, there should be adequate warning that since many of our efforts are sheepish, that we should be very careful… that we’re under the guidance of the right shepherd.

 

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Auspicious

Auspicious (adj): conducive to success; favorable.

“An auspicious occasion.”dictionary with letter A

  1. Dress up
  2. Smell good
  3. Eat an overpriced dinner
  4. Make small talk
  5. Feel important

That would be a breakdown of the auspicious occasions I have participated in during my life.

I scheduled these dates on my calendar and I looked forward to them, because they made me feel that I was successful, part of the gang and moving in the right direction. Yet as I look back on them, they ended up being some of the least important, most boring and useless moments of my life.

I don’t think any of us really grasp what an “auspicious occasion” truly is in relationship to our journey.

This is why we are dumb.

And we become a little less stupid as we begin to realize that the moments which are relegated to insignificance are when we actually define ourselves and our ultimate potential.

  1. A homeless person walks up and asks for help.
  2. My little son wants a book read to him just when my favorite TV show is coming on.
  3. We’re beginning a family vacation and we walk out to a flat tire, and my entire clan looks in my direction to see if I’m going to solve the problem or melt down.
  4. I have a chance to be creative, but it is a brief chance.
  5. I know my wife, my child, my friend or my lover needs to be comforted and I must escape my pride and take the time to put my arms around them

These are the auspicious occasions.

These are the times we either pump in fuel, creating a confidence for our lifestyle, or we drain ourselves of such gusto by self-incrimination.

Here’s a simple thought:

If you have to put a tie on to impress someone, in two weeks it probably won’t matter.

 

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Anagram

dictionary with letter A

Anagram: (n) a word or name formed by rearranging the letters of another word, such as cinema, formed from iceman.

The reason I am reluctant to have anyone refer to me as “smart” is that it is so easy for me to come along and disprove their assertion.

It’s not that I want to be counted amongst the ignorant or ill-informed. I don’t wish to be perceived as a dolt, but by the same token, there is a great pending tragedy in allowing oneself to be considered hyper-intelligent.

There are things I do well. For instance:

  • I can write.
  • I can sing.
  • I can play piano.
  • I can compose.

But there are things that demand thinking, intellect and reasoning which for some reason, totally escape me and thrust me to the back of the pack–to the disappointed glances of those who were once my promoters.

So on those occasions when I’m watching television right before prime time, and Jeopardy! and Wheel of Fortune come on, back to back, I am always humbled by the fact that both of these shows make me feel like an alien to my own species.

Jeopardy!–because there are always questions they call “general knowledge,” which make me look like a major fool in a private arena for dunces.

Wheel of Fortune–because I get so nervous about solving the puzzles but never can beat the people on the show, and end up either making excuses or switching the channel to reruns of Law and Order.

Anagrams are that way with me. Some people can look at them and see words leaping out, forming themselves in mid-air. They have determined the hidden idea within the collection of letters–while I’m still waiting for a “vowel movement.”

I know it’s good to try to learn new things and increase one’s perspective and insight by collective experiences, but I think somewhere along the line you have to determine the aptitude of your own brain, the ability that exists in your gray matter and pursue those adventures with greater zeal–and allow the experts in other fields to surpass you, and hopefully teach and protect you.

It’s not shameful to be dumb sometimes.

The shame only comes when you insist that you really knew the answer … or “somebody cheated.”

 

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