Cohesion

Cohesion: (n) the action or fact of forming a united whole.

The power of a premise is that it gives you some place to sit down, kick off your shoes and relax, or some standard which is going to remain as truth, no matter what the circumstances.

The premise of America is “we, the people:”

  • We, the people, in order to form a more perfect union…
  • A government of the people, for the people and by the people…
  • Self-evident truth, that we all are created equal…

Cohesion is threatened when we invent stand-ins for “we, the people.”

Is a representative form of government an acceptable replacement for the will of the people?

Is a charismatic-driven president a superb substitute for the will of the people?

Do the courts, deciding over legal ramifications, grant us an equal eye as does the vision offered by “we, the people?”

Because of this slipping, sliding, replacing, retrieving and taking for granted instead of questioning, we often find ourselves at the mercy of an “emotional coup” in our nation, as the needs and hearts of the citizens are displaced by what is deemed to be political necessity.

Flatly, there is no equal to “we, the people.” And it should never be switched out by those who disrespect the intelligence of the citizens, feeling they are incapable of making adequate choices.

The cohesion is simple: “we, the people” creates the mind-set for “us, the nation.”

 

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Claptrap

Claptrap: (n) absurd or nonsensical talk or ideas.

“Come, let us reason together.”

If we’re going to accept the idea that politicians lie, how will we know when they’re telling the truth?

If women want to be equal but still think it’s “kind of cool” when guys open doors for them, how will they ever gain equal footing?

Our generation is filled with the claptrap of contradictions. We want to insist that we’re not bigoted as we awkwardly use a phrase like “African American.”

We want to appear intelligent as we negate the value of studying history to learn what to avoid in our past.

We think if we say something stupid enough times, it becomes smart. Silliness is silliness, whether it’s promoted or not.

There is a lot of claptrap–a lot of concession that things are rotten but perhaps they’re meant to be that way.

There is angst in our souls because we are weary of hypocrisy, yet unwilling to cease being hypocritical.

Claptrap is when we speak things that seem to be popular in the moment even though in our hearts they ring untrue.

It fills the air with fake helium, causing all of us to talk funny.

We are a country which has accepted claptrap as being inevitable instead of squinting at it and offering a quizzical, “Pardon me??”

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Chivalry

Chivalry: (n) readiness to help the weak, associated with knights

Leave it to America to take a tradition of kindness to the poor and those less fortunate and attribute it solely to caring for and even wooing the female of the species.

The first insult comes in assuming that women are weaker. Of course, there are plenty of ladies who are more than prepared to carry a lesser
load. And some gentlemen who are duped into thinking that opening car doors is the prerequisite to opening vaginas.

So it becomes a game of cat and mouse, which, as I recall, is not really a game at all, but rather, a duel to the death, with the mouse always victimized.

It just seems to me that you cannot insist on using chivalry on women without also promoting the idea that they are desperately in need of attention.

I like the original definition. Candidly, there are times I am weak. I welcome a little chivalry–even if it comes from the opposite sex.

But our country is very cluttered by its own tangled web of misconceptions:

  • Women are not weaker–just promoted to be that way so men can feel stronger.
  • Men are not chivalrous when they condescend to women, but rather, chauvinists.

If you’re not sure if you should give a lady your assistance, then just ask. She will let you know.

And then you will actually have an experience in equality.

 

 

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Chasm

Chasm: (n) a deep fissure in the earth, rock, or another surface

The three-step process is as follows:

  1. It’s a problem.
  2. It seems unfixable.
  3. Therefore it’s normal.

This is the present way our society handles difficulties. In doing this, we’ve opened the door of our home to many a stray racoon, thinking the creature is not that
different from our domesticated pets. When the racoon ends up being wild, untamed and unwilling to accept human domination of the household, we have to make a decision.

Do we shoo it out the door? Do we kill it? Or do we find a way to live in the home with a racoon, pretending we’re equals?

I know it sounds silly. Thus the point.

Nearly fifty years ago, our country was concerned about a generation gap–a chasm that existed between parents and teenagers, causing conflict and a lack of communication.

Move ahead fifty years and the same chasm still exists. We have just decided it’s normal. In deciding it’s normal, the racoon of rebellion wanders the hallways, throwing its attitude and therefore dominating the climate of our American Dream.

We defend the racoon by saying it has a right to free speech.

Or to own a gun.

Or to be anything it wants to be.

Or to interfere in the lives of others as long as it doesn’t totally destroy.

We’re afraid of chasms, but instead of admitting there’s a gap in understanding, we pretend it’s a cultural difference, an ethnic preference, a doctrinal dispute or a political stumping point.

Somewhere along the line we will have to agree on the three things that will allow the human race to survive:

  • Creativity
  • Tolerance
  • A challenge

We will have to stop being afraid of the chasm, and instead, be prepared to make some giant leaps for mankind.

 

 

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Chaplain

Chaplain: (n) a member of the clergy attached to a private chapel, institution, ship, branch of the armed forces, etc.

One of the major dangers in life is to be overwrought, which means that for some unknown reason we place greater intensity, importance
and value on some matters than others.

We certainly do this with people’s occupations.

If someone says they work at a grocery store, we probably will not launch into a statement of gratitude for providing food for the masses.

But if someone says they’re a chaplain in a prison or the military, we raise our eyebrows, impressed, thinking we’re dealing with a sacrificial individual who is doing really, really valuable work.

The distinctions we make in life cause our prejudice–because there is such a thing as a good chaplain and also a bad chaplain, just like there’s a good grocer and a bad grocer. There are people who do their job well and people who do their job poorly.

So to judge a person who is a doctor as noble and kind is absolutely foolish. Many Dr. Jekylls are actually Mr. Hyde.

I think it would be very difficult to be a chaplain in the military, for the Gospel he or she would preach would not necessarily be in line with either the stars and stripes or the red, white and blue. Jesus had his differences with capitalism, and certainly was not a great advocate of violence.

Yet I respect the chaplain who brings the hope of the Gospel to people who find themselves in the position of making decisions that have far-reaching effects.

So if we can stop our silly bigotry about occupations and start asking ourselves what makes a good person in any situation, then we will be on our way to truly grasping equality and the wisdom of understanding.

 

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Cad

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Cad: (n) a man who behaves dishonorably, especially toward a woman.

Consider the following three statements:

  1. “Women are too emotional to be placed in positions of authority.”
  2. “Happy wife, happy life.”
  3. “I don’t know why women want equality–they’re already better than us.”

All these statements are chauvinistic.

Unfortunately, we don’t have a word like “cad” in our present vernacular to describe such cavalier attitudes. For the truth is, women are not too emotional and they have just as much responsibility to make a happy husband–because they are not better than us, just equal.

Let me give you another three prototypes:

  1. “I always buy my wife presents because she deserves consideration.”
  2. “Women are greedy gold-diggers.”
  3. “All women need from men is respect.”

Once again, all chauvinistic–the dialogue of a cad. Because after all, it’s not exactly what you’re saying that makes you a bigot, but rather, what you’re implying.

And if you think women deserve the best just because they’re female, it’s similar thinking to the guy who considers women to be gold-diggers because they want the best. And that means that women need monetary evidence before they consider themselves respected.

Although the approaches get slicker and the dialogue has a more tender nature to it, cads still roam the earth, eyeing the ladies in the herd, trying to figure out how to woo them … just enough to screw them.

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Burly

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Burly: (adj) large and strong; heavily built.

How strong does a man have to be to attract a woman?

How feminine should a lady be to draw the attention of a male suitor?

We have so many rules and regulations in our society that twist us into believing that if we don’t conform to a certain protocol or image, we are doomed.

For years I’ve been concerned about being masculine. It’s not that I lack the appearance of being burly, but I’ve still been self-conscious about whether my pursuits in music and the arts might make me come off a bit “soft.” And God forbid a man should look soft–we believe that’s reserved for the female of our species. And God curse the woman who comes across as strong. That should be relegated to the male counterparts.

Baloney.

While trying to figure out what makes a man and a woman significantly noticeable, we’ve completely lost sight of what it means to be a human because both the female and the male are unwilling to give up any magical turf to comply and become equitable to one another.

I like strong women. It doesn’t make me weak, just as a woman liking a strong man doesn’t render her submissive.

At my advanced stage in life, would I still suck my gut in and over-rate my muscles when walking around a swimming pool?

I hope to God not.

But I’m greatly comforted that my blubbery body helps me avoid the deception.

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