Concern

Concern: (n) anxiety; worry.

Concern is the word we use when we want to establish that we are way too mature to be worried. After all, we are mentally balanced, funny wisdom on words that begin with a C
spiritually enhanced and emotionally stabilized to such an extent that we are able to express concern without, shall we say, losing our shit.

But this week, I have taken inventory of what should truly be concerning and what is merely passing rumor, attempting to generate fear.

I am concerned about my apathy.

It causes me to do ill-advised things for my health and also not be sensitive enough to the health and feelings of others.

I have a concern about my ego.

I’m not always certain when it shows up or if it’s the good guy of my motivation is in control.

I don’t have a concern for my family.

I took my best shot. And if that wasn’t good enough, they have had plenty of time to acquire other shots.

I do have a concern for my country.

Historically, every nation that ceases to have a world vision for the human family becomes obstructive to good will and has to be exterminated.

I have no concern for tomorrow.

There is no tomorrow until I make it.

I do have a concern for death.

I am not one of those verbose, fearless individuals who claims he is not afraid to die. If a vote were taken, I think it’s a horrible idea. Death, that is. But since my vote does not count, let me try to scare it away instead of vice versa.

I have no concern about the existence of God.

If He exists, His comprehension is so far beyond my grasp that any attempt on my part to ascertain His will must come across as a roaring farce at the Pearly Gates.

If He doesn’t exist, I will handle those “grave concerns” when they unearth.

 

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Communion

Communion: (n) the service of Christian worship at which bread and wine are consecrated and shared.

I get the same sensation when I go to Red Lobster with a friend and he or she insists, with a giggle, as the cheddar bay biscuits arrive, and they gleefully take one from the basket, that, “This is what Red Lobster is all about!”

I nod (knowing that soon I will probably nod off.)

Red Lobster is not about the cheddar bay biscuits. It’s about the seafood.

Just like baseball games are not about the peanuts and the Cracker Jacks. There’s a ball, a bat and a game.

And marriage is not about starting a family. It’s really about how much you enjoy having sex with this one person and hope you can keep it up for the rest of your life while you have a family.

I find myself going to church from time to time–reluctantly.

I don’t like that about me. It seems jaded. In this season of agnosticism it smacks of the predictable.

But you see, in church there’s just too much emphasis on the cheddar bay biscuits, the Cracker Jacks and the family.

Many of them center their whole agenda around communion–a symbolistic representation of the blood and body of Jesus Christ, which he gave for the sins of mankind.

It’s disconcerting to me.

First there’s the thought that I am such a piece of shit that God had to kill His own kid to try to make up for my buffoonery.

Then there’s the notion that a dynamic spirit which walked in the flesh among us for thirty-three years only gained significance in the last few hours that he hung, as an alleged criminal, on a cross.

What an insult to all things loving and eternal.

Yet if you lodge an objection, somehow or another you become apostate–which, if you don’t know what that means, is the religious system’s way of telling you that you don’t belong.

The truth of the matter is, I admire the hell out of Jesus.

Long before he bled, he led me into an understanding of how we might begin to see God’s will done on Earth as it is in heaven.

 

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Clan

Clan: (n) a close-knit family

If you love them who only love you, you’re no better than a common jackass.

This was a sentiment from a man who lived 2,000 years ago, discerning that loyalty to a single clan, or a family unit, can be despicable if the
same mercy and tenderness is not extended to the world at large.

There are sinister attempts to make our personal families more important than others, glorifying that decision by making it sound noble.

The institution of clans is the beginning of clan warfare.

Clan warfare is the welcoming of national struggles.

And national struggles lead to world wars.

Here’s the truth of the matter:

I love my children but they’re not better than other people’s children.

And even if I get misty in my eyes when sharing affection for my sprouts, this does not make me spiritual or a better daddy. It makes me short-sighted, selfish and possibly bigoted.

So I will talk to you of the glory of my brood, and listen as you extol the beauty of yours. But at the end of our conversation, may we chuckle and admit to one another that it’s all meaningless…if we don’t adore the whole human clan.

 

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Circulate

Circulate: (v) to pass or cause to pass from place to place or person to person.

I have recently been accused of being anti-social.

The diagnosis was offered because I failed to attend a party. It was assumed that anyone who didn’t want to come to this social adventure
had to be out of his or her mind.

I was supposed to come and circulate among people whom I have known for years, and read about ever-too-frequently on my Facebook page. As a matter of fact, I know so much about these folks that I could probably write personal bios for them.

But they were convinced that I had sunk into some sort of despair because I wasn’t going to come and hear the same old stories while partaking of a dip with only subtle new inclusions.

I do need to circulate–but I need to do it among people who are not necessarily related to me or benefit from me personally or financially.

A great man once said that if you only love those who love you, what in the hell is so special about that?

For instance, I just came back from the grocery store. I encountered at least twenty-five people I have never met before.

I circulated.

I conversed.

I opened up my heart to the possibility that these were good folks and I would benefit from the exchanges. I suspect about half of them thought I was crazy for being so talkative. But the other half took a risk, jumped in and, well…circulated.

We do not circulate when we only hang around those who resemble us or are friends because we buy presents for them on birthdays or Christmas.

We circulate when we allow the blood of human relationship to mingle among castes, races, genders and ideologies.

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Brotherhood

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Brotherhood: (n) a community of people linked by a common interest, religion, or trade

She crinkled her twenty-four-year-old nose, frowning, and said to me, “I don’t know about that. It was before I was born.”Dictionary B

Somewhere along the line, people have decided to trace the history of our race beginning with the date of their birth. Nothing before–or, I assume, after–really matters at all.

So in the process of pursuing this arrogant practice, we discarded a lot of powerful ideas.

One of them is the concept of brotherhood.

When I was a boy, there were many songs that talked about brotherhood, the human family and the common spirit of mankind.

They have disappeared.

Matter of fact, if you sang one of these songs, people would think it was maudlin.

Because in the process of establishing individuality, we have eliminated similarity. Also, while trying to convince ourselves that we are unique “snowflakes,” we have allowed an avalanche to sweep away much of our commonality.

We’ve replaced the entire Earth tribe with allegiance to our own domestic family. We are convinced that if we love our kin, we need do nothing more–even though a great teacher once warned us that if we only love those who love us, we’re stinking slobs.

What am I looking for?

Reasons to love everyone I meet.

If I don’t, I will eventually notice that their particular birth certificate frees me of the responsibility to give a shit.

 

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Brethren

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Brethren: (n) archaic plural form of brother.

“I’m doin’ it so my family can have a better life,” he said, being interviewed on one of the singing competitions so prevalent over the airwaves.Dictionary B

I was supposed to be moved by his sentiment. I guess the goal was to get me in his corner by realizing what a fine damn fellow he was for loving his wife and children.

But is that really special?

How basic is it for us to just express affection to those we marry or procreate?

Isn’t the music more important?

Isn’t communicating with others through melody and harmony the greatest aspiration?

I just think I would be very disappointed if Beethoven wrote his symphonies for “a gal and his young’uns.”

Somewhere along the line, we need people to step out of the box of family life, and begin to refer to those around them, who do not share DNA, as “brethren.”

You are my brothers and sisters.

The fact that you look different and come from unique regions only makes you more intriguing.

When we settle for our clan, our cloister and our clump, we are admitting that we have second thoughts about loving the stranger.

Since most of us are strangers to the rest of the world … we might want to reconsider our position.

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Breadwinner

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Breadwinner: (n) a person who earns money to support a family.

After much deliberation, I will tell you that the world and its systems boil down to money and people.Dictionary B

It may sound a bit over-simplistic, but when you consider all the various aspects of struggle and conflict, people are often set aside in favor of money–or money has to be put in a second position to give honor to people.

Blessed is the man or woman who can find a way to have money and still love Homo sapiens.

Since rumor has it that “the love of money is the root of all evil,” we might want to agree that this iniquity is perpetuated by shafting people.

So even in a household where a man is working a job and a woman is taking care of the kids, nothing good is ever achieved by the male being the breadwinner if the female feels oppressed, negated and disrespected.

However, we would point to this situation as a traditional marriage or an ideal setup.

Simultaneously, we still look on a scenario where the woman is the breadwinner and the man is the “house-husband” as being improper.

We try to act as if it is a normal situation, but deep in our hearts, we either want a man breadwinner or two breadwinners.

This falls under the realm of whether we think money and its manipulation is primal, or if we seriously consider giving people the right to be human beings, granted grace under a loving God as the directive.

Honestly, I’ve never been that concerned about the breadwinner.

I’m more interested in how the baloney is handled. 

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Mr. Kringle’s Tales …26 Stories ‘Til Christmas

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An advent calendar of stories, designed to enchant readers of all ages

“Quite literally the best Christmas stories I have ever read.” — Arthur Holland, Shelby, North Carolina

Only $5.99 plus $1.25 shipping and handling.

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