Cavalier

Cavalier: (adj) showing a lack of proper concern; offhand.

If we can laugh at it, we can mock it.

If we can mock it, we can make it seem insignificant.

If we can make it seem insignificant, we can deny its importance.

If we can deny its importance, we can stop doing it.

A nasty little process that’s being practiced every day in the entertainment industry, politics and even religion.

The cavalier approach we take to essential issues is damnable. You cannot take life-giving activities and place them on pedestals and put them in the museum of
“practices of the past” without setting up the destruction of our species.

Every morning I get up and ask myself, “What is important?”

It’s not important that my eggs are over-easy. That’s just nice.

It’s not important that my coffee was made correctly. That would be amazing.

It’s not important that my car did not start. That sets up a possibility for a lasting repair.

It is important that I have enough self-awareness to be aware of the other “selves” I will encounter.

To take the cavalier attitude that certain situations, certain occupations and certain people don’t really matter because they are either impossible to handle or not worth the time is the definition of hell on Earth.

After all, hell is the absence of God.

And God is the presence of “loving your neighbor as yourself.”

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Cajole

Cajole: (v) to persuade someone to do something by sustained coaxing.

Debate is a debacle.

We certainly should have learned that over the past few years. It is permission to insult without embarrassment.

Conversation seems to lend itself to insincerity, mainly because the truth required on the inward parts of the human being to create excellent fellowship is reluctantly provided.

Preaching is preachy.

Teaching is tedious.

Entertainment is crippled with the need to be commercial.

There is much that needs to be said. Deep in our hearts we all know that humility is not an option, yet we continue to tolerate the boastful and proud being given overuse of the stage.

There are many things we know to be true which seem to slink to the rear for fear of being called “old-fashioned.”

So it is the job of sane souls everywhere to use art, puns, humor and silliness to cajole brothers and sisters who walk among us to begin to think and feel again instead of settling for inadequacy.

Cajoling is when we realize we need to be merciful to the ignorant. Ignorance is not a sin unless it persists and gains power.

We need to catch it when it is still in a childish position–to be gently cajoled into repentance.

 

 

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Cable

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Cable: (n) an insulated wire

Life is very reassuring if you’re not stubborn. You’ll find out very quickly that answers are not evasive, just require a moment of patience.

The first time I rented a home and decided to sign up for cable television, I was in awe of the whole process. When the cable man came–three days after his promised arrival–and brought all the boxes, all the instructions and all the drills to do his work, it had the feeling of God arriving to create the universe.

I was infatuated.

I was over-complimentary.

I was perplexed.

I listened carefully and then took notes to make sure that when the magic man departed my home, I would be able to access the universe of channels on my own.

But when he left, it suddenly stopped working.

I tried to remember what he had done, fooled around with it a little, but quickly became convinced that I was a four-year-old in a hospital operating room.

As time passed I became more and more enraged that this mysterious system I had ordered was failing to meet my entertainment needs. So I called the local cable operator and they immediately sent someone over. Two days later.

By that time I had built up a good head of steam and was prepared to ram my emotional freight train into the hapless technician. I ferociously explained how they had cheated me and how they had wasted my time. The young man was rather nice.

He asked me a simple question. “Did you move the TV after the guy left?”

Actually, yes. It was a little distant from the wall, and I had pushed it back. I retorted, “What?? I’m not allowed to move my TV?”

“Sure,” the repairman replied calmly. “But when you did, you knocked the cable loose.”

He reached down and with too much ease, restored my world of wonder.

I was embarrassed. I tried to duplicate in apologies what I had spewed forth in fury.

The repairman smiled and said to me, “Just remember–it usually isn’t something difficult. Just a loose cable.”

 

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Boring

Boring: (adj) not interesting; tedious.

I used to be deathly afraid of being boring.Dictionary B

Because of this phobia, I almost accidentally became friends to my children instead of a good parent, denied my faith rather than creating a backbone for my principles, and attempted ridiculous entertainment projects to prove I was youthful and alive.

I don’t know why “boring” scared me so badly–except in our particular American culture, it is the word that ushers in the “last rites” for misunderstood ideas.

In other words, if something is determined to be boring, it is soon abandoned and left to die in the field of forgetfulness.

But then one day it struck me–every great notion and progressive invention in the history of our race was at one time considered boring.

Can you imagine Thomas Edison explaining to all the people who deeply loved candles and gas light lamps how his incandescent bulb might be able to work better, and ultimately even be cheaper?

Boring.

Or how about Abraham Lincoln, stumping to his Cabinet and Congress, how the addition of the freed slaves to our everyday life would give us a great brotherhood to exemplify the idea of liberty?

Really boring.

Or the guy named Salk, who came along and said that just weeping over children with polio was not enough–that maybe we could come up with some sort of vaccination to protect them from the disease instead of just praying for them and telling stories about their hideous struggles.

No thanks, Jonas.

Boring is not what is truly misplaced or ill-timed. It is the piece of truth that we do not yet understand, which we decide is meaningless because it mystifies our limited reasoning.

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Bodily

Bodily: (adj) of or concerning the body.

Dictionary B

Every piece of contradiction is held in place with a reverence to a little scrap of silliness that we’re frightened to abandon.

So in politics we accept lying because it is the silliness we believe holds the process together.

In entertainment, we talk about the “bottom line,” preaching the notion that the pieces of art we foster must make huge profits–otherwise they are not worthy of production.

Likewise, we lift high the silliness of “blind faith,” when it is our doubt that makes our spiritual experience rich with discovery and hope.

And finally, this certainly is true when we talk about bodily functions.

Everybody craps, pisses, farts, screws, sweats, stinks and has aches and pains.

But rather than finding the great commonality which might remove a lion’s share of foolish bigotry, we whisper about these bodily similarities for fear of offending those who somehow believe that the One who created us would find such talk “nasty.”

I have nothing against appropriate dialogue in given surroundings.

But as long as we are afraid of our bodies, we will generate a cloud of deceit to hide our human essence.

 

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Bleed

Bleed: (v) to lose blood from the body

Dictionary B

Seventeen.

In the course of watching one evening of television–with a lot of channel flipping–I counted seventeen people who were shot.

All of them started to bleed.

I watched with interest.

It seemed to stain their clothing.

They appeared to be in pain, though I felt no empathy.

In one particular gun scene, ten of the seventeen were wounded with blood loss.

I watched intently.

Turning my television set off, I went into my bathroom to prepare for bed and realized I had not shaved that morning. So for some inexplicable reason, I thought it was a good idea to do so before I went to bed.

Call it clumsiness, stupidity or just a bit of “sleepy eyes,” I cut my lip with the razor.

Blood poured forth.

Not as much as you would expect to come out of a gunshot wound, but it struck terror in my soul and nearly made me frantic.

It was my blood coming out of my face with no immediate prospect for cessation.

It took me five minutes to stop the bleeding.

I looked down at discarded toilet paper covered with my red fluid and the sink stained. It was gruesome.

In actuality, I probably didn’t lose more than a tablespoon of blood–but it terrified me to see my life dribble away.

One of the things that disturbs me about entertainment is what we now consider to be entertaining.

Bleeding is bad.

Things that cause bleeding are equally as sinister.

And losing our sensitivity about a single drop of blood may be the definition of evil.

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Benchmark

Benchmark: (n) a standard against which things may be compared or assessed

Dictionary B

At the risk of barking out some dogmatic standards, I shall attempt to offer some concerns.

As I view the climate of politics, religion and entertainment, which are meant to be foundations in our American society, I realize that the benchmark for each one of these offerings has shifted over the years, unconsciously accepted by the masses.

Religion should have only one function: to teach us to love each other.

Anything else ranges from superfluous to dangerous. Nowadays we ask religion to afford us a heritage, a style, a uniqueness, or even a guarantee of eternal life.

The benchmark we have set for religion is careless.

On the other hand, the only benchmark for politics is honesty.

Without it, we fail to recognize what the true problems are, and therefore we end up working on the insignificant and overlooking the necessary.

Nowadays, politics is the symbol of deception, dissension, gridlock and even a certain amount of ridicule.

We’ve lost our benchmark on politics.

And finally, entertainment should have the benchmark of entertaining us, but also enlightening us.

Without these stipulations, entertainment starts to be sensationalistic, desiring a plumper and plumper bottom line.

When we lose our benchmarks, we start to stray, which makes us appear lost ... even as we insist we are following the cultural GPS.

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