Commend: (v) to praise formally or officially.

A face that is not tired of still trying to offer a smile.

A childlike silliness, even when you aren’t with children.

A hope that opportunity will provide finance.

A notion that even though people try to be different, it’s more fun to discover how we’re the same.

Being satisfied with beans and wieners.

Trying a new recipe, blowing it, but still eating a little.

Having it cross your mind to say “I love you” and doing it instead of choking it back.

Noticing someone who’s lonely and simply touching their shoulder as you go by.

Giving a dollar–or maybe two–to the homeless without wondering what they’re going to do with it.

Choosing to take action instead of just praying.

Listening instead of quoting a scripture.

Laughing when it’s time to stop crying.

Giving without thinking.

Caring without worrying.

Living fully without requiring a heavenly reward.

These are some things I commend.


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Choose: (v) to pick out, select or decide on a course of action

I could be kind or I could be mean. I can choose.

Being mean is touted. Being kind is lifted up as virtuous, as it is also mocked as valueless. Is there something in between? How about “keen?”

I could be alert, or I could be dull. It’s for me to choose. Alert is what we applaud and dull is what we observe.

I can be selfish, or look for opportunities to be giving. Is it true that if I give I actually get more, or is that just promotional talk from those who desperately need me to give?

I can choose to enjoy the holidays, or complain about how hectic they are. I do seem to be more grown-up when I bitch. Isn’t that ironic?

I can choose to believe in God, or don the garments of the intelligentsia and sneer at the notion. Do I really want to tie myself into a bunch of hillbilly religionists? Yet do I want to choose to be part of the obnoxiously over-educated?

I can insist I’m a man with no knowledge of women, or scream like a woman who says she is unfairly treated by a man. I suppose I could choose to be a man who understands that a woman is just a human. But it would be a very unpopular position.

That’s the problem. The things I feel I need to choose, which are full of spirit and life, are often relegated to being “buddied up” with the ridiculous and superstitious.

How will I choose?

Can I keep my choice to myself, or must my light shine before all men?

How will we choose?

How can we choose and satisfy the disgruntled masses, while pursuing the glory and advantage of simply believing there’s more?




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Words from Dic(tionary)

dictionary with letter AAffluent: (adj.) having a great deal of wealth or money

For ten years of my life I was affluent.

I lived in a big house, had extra finance, drove really neat cars and spent money on expensive lunches which I dubbed “business.”

Most of the money I utilized was not of my own making. It was inherited. It still spent the same.

I built a swimming pool in my back yard, had a gazebo in my front, and even constructed artistic decking to get from my house to the pool

What can I tell you about being affluent?

  • It’s like being poor except you only worry about money half the time.
  • You spend less of your thought process wondering if you should buy the T-bone steaks that are on sale, but you still get a bit of indigestion when you realize how much cash you extracted from your bank account–just to eat grilled cow.
  • There is a greater sense of loss, and much more pressure to reimburse what you’re spending because otherwise, you cannot continue the absolute facade of affluence.

I will not tell you that it was absent charm. I certainly will not tell you it was devoid of excitement. AND I will not be so pretentious as to lead you to believe that if it were offered to me again as an option for my ongoing existence, that I would not leap, in a stumbling way, in that direction.

But I can say that it really doesn’t matter.

Because of the money that I had, the thing I rejoice over more than anything else is that much of it was given away to others to produce lasting glee. There is something wonderful about knowing that twenty dollars does not mean much to you personally, but to another individual who is working minimum wage, it is a heavenly gift floated down on gossamer wings.

Pretty damn fantastic.

So I continue to work hard–not to build another swimming pool or purchase another gazebo hand-built by the Amish–but to make sure that I have enough coinage in my purse to surprise those souls who worked harder than they should have for less than what they’re worth.

I have maintained the best part of being affluent: I still get a gas out of giving.