Complacent

Complacent: (adj) showing smug or uncritical satisfaction with oneself or one’s achievements

Sometimes we forget the Earth is still evolving.

Because it doesn’t go on television, shout and scream, nor advertise itself unashamedly on the Internet, we believe that the Earth did its Darwin thing and decided to settle down somewhere near Naples, Florida, for a good, well-deserved retirement.

But the truth of the matter is, the Earth may be old in years, but it is constantly going through its “terrible twos.” It is a demanding toddler, requiring our funny wisdom on words that begin with a Cattention–otherwise it starts breaking things.

So even though the word “complacent” is normally considered to represent a negative emotion, connoting that one does not care, a bit of complacency is in order so we don’t come across thinking we are in charge.

I, for one, am complacent on the weather.

I know how to buy gear for the various threats and precipitation, so rather than studying it, cursing it or attempting to pray it away, I allow my emotions and soul to develop a needful numbness with a twinge of gratitude.

I am complacent on race.

Since it doesn’t make any difference and it’s foolish to talk about it, I will play like I’m mentally challenged when it’s brough up in front of me, because I don’t want to accidentally pop off something from my erroneous training, nor foolishly present myself as Mr. Universal.

Other areas where I’m complacent:

  • Gay rights
  • Abortion
  • Heaven
  • Hell
  • Chauvinism
  • And rising prices at the grocery store

Since most of these things do not affect me–and if they do affect me, they are completely beyond my control–any fretting, opinions or stomping on my part will be useless.

There is a wonderful phrase which I often remind myself of whenever I’m tempted to be engaged: “Be still and know that I am God.”

If there is a Being named God, and He has created a Universe, my stirrings are comical at best, and at worst, aggravating.

 

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Chartreuse

Chartreuse: (n) a color between yellow and green

Tolerance is a good thing.

Acceptance–admirable.

Inclusion, divine.

There’s no doubt about it.

But by the same token, if you happen to be heterosexual, you don’t want to be gay. And I would assume those who are gay might be slightly offended at the notion
of being heterosexual.

Maybe it’s the remnants of prejudice–the ignorance of the masses being played out–but certain actions, choices, mannerisms and even speech patterns hint toward effeminacy.

We are still sensitive. Oh, we may march in the Gay Pride Parade, openly spouting that we don’t care if anyone thinks we’re part of the gang. But then–if someone actually does assume that we are of that persuasion, we are quick to whisper, “I’m just here to be supportive.”

With that in mind, I have been tempted from time to time to refer to something as “chartreuse.” The word nearly fell from my lips in a room filled with blue jeans, t-shirts and five o’clock shadows. Just in the nick of time, I pulled back and said, in my deepest basal tone, “You know. Kind of between yellow and green.”

In doing so, I removed any suspicion from the testosterone-driven gathering that I might be … well, gay.

You see, I don’t want to be gay. Honestly, I don’t like to think about being gay. I think it is possible to be tolerant without possessing total understanding of a situation.

So even though it may not be politically correct, I will tell you that I occasionally catch my hands on my hips and quickly remove them, am very careful at how I glance down at my fingernails, and certainly would not call a football jersey “chartreuse.”

 

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Anthony, Susan B.

dictionary with letter A

Anthony, Susan B. : U.S. social reformer and leader of the woman suffragette movement.

It puts a chill down my spine.

Often I just think about who I would be, what I would do and where I would place myself in the thinking of a particular era, when some miscarriage of justice was all the rage.

Would I have had the courage to sign the Declaration of Independence, or would I be a loyal Tory to King George?

Would I have treated the Native Americans with respect, honoring their lands, or just rolled over the prairie in my Conestoga wagon, assuming that God was my co-pilot?

What would have been my stance on slavery?

And certainly, as I read the name Susan B. Anthony, I am curious if I would have seen the wisdom, practicality and right for women to be participating citizens with the vote, or if my fear of rocking the boat would have caused me to surrender to the social doldrums.

I think about it a lot, because other things come up every day which are the fresh, new subject lines for the story of history–whether it’s abortion, nation building, gay rights, legalized marijuana, immigration or any number of conflicts which “boil, boil, toil and trouble” in our society.

  • Where are the parallels?
  • Where are the similarities?
  • Where are the differences?

Because even though some causes appear to have a righteous basis, like Prohibition, when they’re placed within the context of a democratic society, they end up being miserable failures.

Would I have marched with Ms. Anthony to lobby for women to have their natural authority to cast a ballot?

I like to think about this.

I don’t ever want to become comfortable in my beliefs and convictions simply because they have paid rent inside of me for a long time. I am prepared to evict all tenets which fail to prove their solvency.

Would I fight for women? The only way to be sure of that is to place myself on the battlefield today, as my sisters continue to struggle to gain equal footing in a society which is much too dominated by macho ruffians. 

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Accommodate

by J. R. Practix

dictionary with letter A

Accommodate: (v) 1. of physical space, esp. a building, provide lodging or sufficient space for 2. to fit in with the wishes or needs of.

Yes, I am susceptible to being sucked up by the vacuum cleaner of publicity.

So when HBO announced that it was doing a movie on Liberace, I felt somehow compelled to tune in to see how the subject matter was handled, especially when the performances by Michael Douglas and Matt Damon were touted as awe-inspiring.

I even know this morning that I am supposed to appear to be “intellectual” and part of the flow of our entertainment-minded society by accommodating to everybody’s wishes and making favorable remarks about this offering.

Here’s the basic premise: a guy who can play the piano and not much of anything else, who dressed like a drag queen and lied his entire life about his true personality and sexuality, while simultaneously going through a whole series of obtuse relationships, with the main one being quite emotionally abusive, ends up contracting AIDS and dies in the midst of a cover-up to still convey that he is heterosexual.

Is there anything redeemable here? In the midst of all the discussion about gay marriage and gay rights, this movie flops across the screen, essentially warning us of many of the dangers of sexual promiscuity.

It’s difficult for me to accommodate a society that does not need any traffic to involve itself in an accident. Socially, spiritually and culturally, we keep running our cars into the wall and getting out angry because our vehicles are dented, but having no one to yell at but ourselves.

Of course, we won’t do THAT.

Here I go. At the risk of coming across as out-of-step, failing to accommodate the general hum and drum of our present-day thinking:

People aren’t interesting to me unless they overcome difficulties and find a way to help others.

Creating difficulties for yourself and expanding those problems throughout your life, while displaying a single talent which garnered some sort of notoriety, is not what I call an inspirational tale.

It’s not even a cautionary tale, because it leads people to believe that you can be a successful asshole. I just think that’s an oxymoron. I think if you’re an asshole, we have good reason to question your concept of success.

I do not begrudge the talent of the actors, nor the quality of the scenes. I just think that if the movie, It’s a Wonderful Life would have had a 2013 ending, with George Bailey gunning down Mr. Potter in the street, it might not have had nearly as much lasting effect.

And I will guarantee you, even though I am tempted to accommodate my present surroundings with nods of approval, the present flow of thinking and what we deem to be enriching will be a source of mockery within two decades.

I do not wish Liberace nor his family any ill will. I think he was a very disturbed man, living in a cautious time, who chose insincerity as a protective blanket for his bewilderment.

I just don’t know why it’s a movie.

If you’re going to accommodate all of the fits and fancies of the world around you, you will always find yourself the joke of the next inspired movement that uncovers the present stupidity.