Cigarette

Cigarette: (n) a thin cylinder of finely cut tobacco rolled in paper for smoking.

If you live long enough you will see nearly everything in your life go through the natural Earth cycle.

It begins with “interesting.”

Then it becomes “cool.”

It passes through a phase of being “plagued with some difficulty.”

Following that comes “seems dangerous.”

And of course, the final step is “lethal.”

It doesn’t matter what you’re talking about. Why don’t we take something that would seem unlikely to apply to this category–like politics?

When the idea of starting a democracy in the New World was tossed on the table for discussion, it was deemed very interesting–so much so that we wrote several documents and put together a club.

After the club got together for a few meetings over some “brews and snuff,” we were enamored with the possibility–just jazzed with its coolness.

So we started political parties. The consensus was there should be at least two so there could be discussion. But immediately each party desired to be the predominant one, which led to some nasty exchanges, false accusations, and the introduction of cheating. Election after election began to prove out that winning was more important than truth, justice and the American Way. Difficulty arrived like a “plague of congress.”

So laws had to be passed because we were in danger of losing the freedom we had hoped to achieve because we allowed the politics to steer policy.

And then, all at once, with one cracky voice, the people proclaimed, “Politics is damn lethal.”

I bring this up because the same thing happened in my lifetime–and yours–with cigarettes.

At first they were interesting. Then cool. Next, plagued with some difficulty, proclaimed dangerous, and now seen as a nasty piece of our social sappiness, murdering people with tar and nicotine.

I often wonder if it’s possible to stop, while musing over something being interesting–and jump ahead to find out if it’s deadly.

 

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Ballot

Ballot: (n) a process of voting, in writing and typically in secret.Dictionary B

It’s not important unless it’s honored.

Simply believing something is valuable does not grant it worth unless it has proven itself to have integrity and brings progress to humanity.

So even though many people consider the ballot to be the symbol of our freedom, the true symbol of our individuality is the liberty to speak out.

Until we reach a time when everybody in America over the age of eighteen is able to vote in whatever framework is comfortable to them, the elections can be manipulated and twisted to the advantage of the most devious candidate.

We also cannot insist that the ballot has great power when electing a President comes down to the electoral votes of a half-dozen states. When a vote in Rhode Island has the same weight as a vote in California, then we will truly have unleashed the power of the ballot.

Until then, we’re allowing pernicious, well-educated pundits to find evil ways to limit the authority of one group while promoting the predominance of another.

I think voting is a beautiful idea–if it is allowed to be purely a head count.

But when we divide it into districts, states, and then place restrictions on citizens, we are lying to ourselves and the world around us.

Let the ballot be the ballot.

Then count the votes, and from that tally … derive a leader.

 

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Thank you for enjoying Words from Dic(tionary) —  J.R. Practix

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