Boundary

Boundary: (n) a line that marks the limits of an area; a dividing line

You own the property of the boundary of your skin, with a lease for life.Dictionary B

Only under special circumstances am I allowed to come inside–and then with limited access.

Learning boundaries is really that simple.

Any time I cross your property line, I must do so with a courtly request and an adequate delay, to allow you the chance to determine whether you welcome my visitation.

Whether emotionally, spiritually, mentally or physically, you are truly the master of your own contents.

If we would learn this, realizing that even comments which are tossed off in the attitude of jest are little pieces of trespassing on the sovereignty of another human being, we would not only avoid unwarranted conflicts, but would also open the door to be respected by others who recognize our integrity.

I look for the boundary.

I look for lines in the sand people create which are not necessarily common–just personally requested.

I don’t always end up on my side of the fence, but more often than not, because I err on the side of caution and realize the righteous position that each one of us possesses of our own domain … I become the friend instead of the foe.

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Battalion

Battalion: (n) a large body of troops ready for battleDictionary B

Every once in a while I think about my own death.

It makes me cry.

You know why? I start thinking about all the people I know and how devastated they will be with my absence.

It’s very silly.

But you see, the only life that completely matters in my thinking is mine.

I try to be equally as concerned about others. Sometimes I muster some real mourning for their well-being, but nothing on the level of the compassion and care I have for myself.

I suppose I should feel bad about that–but since it’s not going away, and I am certainly not alone, I will choose to guide it by understanding the value of all human life.

When I was sixteen years old, hundreds of young American men were dying in Vietnam every week. We had a death toll number. It wasn’t like the numbers tallied nowadays over mass shootings, earthquakes or explosions. Many of these young fellows had just been in our classrooms, churches and bagging groceries in our supermarkets three months earlier, and now they were returning home draped in flags.

It seemed surreal but became our reality.

We were experiencing battalions of young American males going off to fight in a jungle and coming home dead.

There was a sensitivity that swept the young generation.

It was reflected in the music.

It was being released from our pores as we stood side-by-side, wondering what in the hell could all this mean.

So gradually, we joined together and became battalions of protestors. We went off to a different kind of war. It was a war waged against war, because the war being executed was killing us.

We had a greater awareness. We asked questions like, “Where have all the flowers gone?”–waiting for an intelligent answer.

Nowadays we speak of war in a clinical Ethernet third person. It is something we launch rather than something that strikes back at us, filling up coffins and alarming us to its viciousness.

We have a professional army with people who have made a profession out of arming themselves and going off to wars that have been created by old men who miss John Wayne.

Nowadays our grocery baggers get to go to college without ever feeling the loss of life.

I would not wish the agony of Vietnam and the deaths of friends and loved ones on anyone, but it would be terrific to have battalions of young people who are socially, spiritually and emotionally conscious of our aching world … instead of battalions of soldiers chasing the errors of misguided politicians.

 

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Band

Band: (n) a group joined togetherDictionary B

We can learn a lot from music.

First of all, music admits that it gets better as it includes more elements.

  • Melody welcomes harmony.
  • Harmony is not prejudiced against rhythm.
  • And rhythm doesn’t think it has a beat on everything.

What makes a great band?

  1. Find your heart.

Whatever makes you tingle, feel and think.

  1. Find your voice.

How do you want to say it–in a way that will edify human beings instead of depress them?

  1. Find your mates.

Locate those of like, precious integrity and purpose–and hang onto them.

  1. Find your sound.

Create something which only exists because you do.

  1. Find your audience.

See if your chimes ring anybody’s bells.

If we apply those principles to everything we do–politically, spiritually and emotionally–we will come up with much better solutions.

A band does not believe it’s the only thing on the scene, but it must know that it’s on the scene… because the only thing it brings is another reason to believe.

 

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Angst

dictionary with letter A

Angst: (n) a feeling of deep anxiety or dread, typically unfocused, about the human condition or the state of the world in general.

I don’t want to be one of those people who pursue so much optimistic hopefulness that I fail to recognize what is necessary in order to maintain our present integrity.

Yet I have to wonder if it’s possible for the human race, in this season, to acquire both of the necessary portions that make us worthy of continuation.

For I feel it takes progress and process.

Yes, I think technology is wonderful, and I do not want to go back to a time when we had no computers, racism was extolled as normal, and antibiotics were not available for sickness.

I am not nostalgic for backward times.

However, by the same token, making progress without honoring the process of human character which honors the feelings of others, makes the world a dangerous place and certainly volatile.

It produces angst.

We become afraid that we will lose our progress if we honor the process. Or we preach the process and become “anti-progress,” making ourselves appear Neanderthal.

Is it possible to be a human being who realizes that progress needs to be made emotionally, mentally, spiritually and physically, without ignoring the values which make the process of living so much sweeter, and ripe with goodness?

We always attach the word “angst” to teenagers, but I am not convinced that a fourteen-year-old riding in a Conestoga Wagon with his parents, crossing the Great Plains in 1850, had much time to reflect on his or her misgivings.

If progress gives us too much free time to bitch and complain, robbing from the process of busying ourselves about becoming better people, then are we really moving forward?

Yet if the process of maintaining civility causes us to be suspicious of every facet of progress, then the foolishness we maintain makes our belief system appear to be shortsighted.

What would it take to mingle progress with process?

  1. I will put to use anything at all that makes life easier, as long as it doesn’t hurt anyone else.
  2. I will acknowledge that there is no replacement for personal contact, love and gentleness with my fellow-travelers.
  3. I am ready to go forward if it doesn’t push someone else backward.

I think in considering this trio of principles, we can merge progress and process, to generate a climate of mutual benefit, drenched in compassion.

 

 

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Anger

dictionary with letter A

Anger: (n) : a strong feeling of annoyance, displeasure or hostility.

I don’t think there’s anything that makes people more angry than discussing anger.

It is a bit comical that any debate on the subject of human displeasure, manifesting as spits of rage, actually produces such diametrically opposed opinions that you end up with a personification of the word you originally decided to discuss.

Anger is the most common emotion to human beings. Matter of fact, if you even consider those who claim to be “God in the flesh,” they are described as being angry more often than amiable.

But just because it’s common does not mean that we’re willing to accept it, adopt it, own it or admit that we participate. One of the great bastions of pride are those souls who insist they never get angry.

Let me give you a quick definition for anger which is a little different from Mr. Webster’s.

Very simply, anger is frustrated passion.

If it’s sexual passion and it’s not allowed to come to fruition, it can quickly become ferocious or even violent.

If it’s creative passion which is limited in resources or opportunities, it can descend into depression or even in the case of many unfulfilled artists, suicide.

If it is parental passion which is unable to communicate earth’s ways with its child, rendering the parent seemingly useless, it can quickly turn to tears and accusations.

Without passion, we basically die emotionally, causing us to produce a spiritual numbness that freezes our brain–without further illumination.

Yet when we have passion, we risk frustrating ourselves in a blandness of inactivity which can produce the anger of our undoing.

So what is the value of anger? It tells us that our passion is frustrated.

  • Don’t question the passion.
  • Don’t complain about the anger.
  • Minister to the frustration.

Maybe that’s why the Good Book says we should “be angry and sin not.” Because when the frustration that causes our anger is not addressed, every sin imaginable jumps up and volunteers to destroy us. 

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