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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Beyond

Beyond: (prep) to the further side of.

Dictionary B

I find myself taking some time off from touring to visit family.

I am told that this is meant to be a pleasant excursion, and there are pleasurable interludes within the available experience.

But I think America’s obsession with family is a ploy to avoid dealing with the world as our brothers and sisters, attempting to limit life to a much smaller Christmas list.

When I arrived in town, I curtailed my expectation–knowing that my children are all grown, have lives of their own, and are not constantly wondering what I might be feeling or thinking about any given situation.

I used to be Lord of the Manor, and now I am basically the gardener.

It’s not really a demotion–just an honorary position given to the retiring parent who is still permitted to be the groundskeeper.

So I’ve spent the week thinking about the word “beyond.”

  • What is beyond my scope?
  • What is beyond my ability?
  • What is beyond my interest?
  • What is beyond my business?

It is a fascinating series of questions which avail me of great understanding–as long as I don’t accidentally become too introspective or trip over my pouty lip.

The best thing to do as you get older is focus on your own life and let your children do the same. Every once in a while, they’ll pull out a photo album, remember a former time, become nostalgic and call you on the phone.

The key is to make sure you’re available.

Beyond that is beyond reason.

 

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Belong

Belong: (v) to fit in a specified place or environment.

Dictionary B

Shortly after my arrival, I was told that I belonged to a family.

I was also informed that this collection of people was supposed to be supreme in my mind, and I should defer to them in all cases.

It didn’t take long before I was required to belong to a school.

  • We had a mascot.
  • We had teams.
  • We had jerseys.
  • Our school was better than your school. At least, purported.

I also belonged to a church. It was not the only church in town, but in many ways, I was instructed that it was the only church in town. To belong to this institution, I had to believe in their ideas, doctrines which granted them a sense of importance, uniqueness and preference.

My genealogy told me that I was of German descent. So apparently, I belonged in the white race, the offspring of Germanic tribes. That seemed to carry some significance which I never totally fathomed.

I met a woman. Actually, I met several women. But I had to pick one so we could belong together. Picking more than one was considered scandalous.

I graduated from school and was told I needed to belong to a corporation and have a job. I found that limiting and tried to launch out on my own, only to be scolded for failing to belong to the good working folk of America.

It did not take long to realize that other people belonged to different things than I belonged to, and because of that, it would be impossible for us to achieve high levels of interaction or fellowship.

It seemed to me that belonging was just a well-organized way of clumping–and once clumped, a certain amount of defensiveness was necessary in order to maintain the integrity of our particular heap.

I grew weary of such foolishness.

I belong to the human race.

That’s it.

I am not in the mood to join any other faction. 

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Became

Became: (v) past tense of begin to beDictionary B

5:52 A. M.

Groggy, but awake.

In no particular hurry to start the day nor motivated to grab my pillow and embrace additional slumber.

So I think.

I think about what I became.

Because if we don’t stop every once in a while and review the journey, we will fail to acknowledge the value of the miles.

There was never anything special about me. Growing up in a very small town, quality was measured in tiny increments so as to give everybody a chance to be honored.

But especially when I found myself moving into larger villages and then cities, my talent was often weighed in the balances and found wanting.

At that point I had a choice: I could give up, or I could give out.

Giving up was finding a perch suitably small enough to make my offering seem valuable.

Giving out, on the other hand, was admitting lack and trying to find how much grit and mortar I had inside, to build a better possibility.

On those mornings when I awake early, without need of leaping into action, I like to look at what I became:

  • Overweight
  • Under-educated
  • Moderately attractive
  • And sufficiently disguised

Still, I have mustered a life complete with family, fundamentals and a future.

It’s pretty remarkable.

So if any young person would ask me what the key is to success, I would reply very simply, “Stop looking for it. Start doing a daily evaluation … and celebrate what you became.”

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