Curate

Curate: (v) to take charge, organize or select content for presentation or publication

You don’t have to wait for spring cleaning.

Any good sunny afternoon will do.

Drive down a residential street and you will find things that people have pushed, shoved and even carried from their houses, sitting next to the road—as trash, ready to be toted away.

Some of it has earned its relegation to the Kingdom of Trash. But other items are just portions of the household that aren’t used anymore—discarded as junk.

You can pick up some treasures. I have found myself doing that.

I curate.

It doesn’t make me a curator, but in this throw-away generation, I find myself cruising the neighborhoods of Facebook, Snapchat, Instagram and the like, finding huge piles of values and ideas that used to be regarded as beautiful, or at least workable, sitting in the Out Box, declared spam.

Civility used to be applauded. But now it seems anemic in the presence of the onslaught of aggressive accusation.

You can go anywhere on Facebook and find a trashed version of the Golden Rule: Do unto others as you would have them do unto you—and find that it still polishes up quite nicely.

One by one, we have taken institutions and ideas that have lasted for millennia and made sure they were gone from memory—by next Tuesday.

Things like sympathy, empathy, poetry, sentiment, reflection, journaling.

Even record albums and CDs are disappearing.

Books look like dinosaurs marching to the mark-down bins.

Part of this is being done in ignorance, but most of it is the influence of negativity, wishing to wipe out sensitivity by deeming it weak and stupid.

I suppose you can join the crowd and stack your shit for flushing.

Or you might want to take a second to wonder if simply enjoying something for its feeling–which has existed since Eden and now is considered passé on Instagram—would be worth tucking it away like an old sweater that is ready to give warmth on the next very chilly morning.

funny wisdom on words that begin with a C

Crude

Crude: (adj) lacking culture, refinement, tact

The reason the Golden Rule is so glimmering is that it involves us in each situation by requesting that we consider how we would feel if we were placed in the dilemma. Of course, you don’t have to do that.

No one is being executed for breaking the Golden Rule.

(Dare I say, there are some folks who would applaud you for ignoring it.)

But it reminds me of when I was a teenager in search of adventure in a community that may once have been a one-horse town but ended up selling the nag.

I usually got the car on Saturday nights.

Gasoline was cheap. So I drove around for a long time until I picked up a friend or two. Then we went out and tried to get in just enough trouble that we could escape at the last moment, giving us the exhilaration of danger without the repercussions.

There was a lake right outside the town. I discovered a small, unpaved road that went right alongside the bank of this body of water for about a mile—with bumps, foliage and a sense of “what’s going to happen next?” in every direction.

The road was precarious and scary

After a mile it opened up to gravel, climbing an embankment and placed me onto a well-traveled highway.

We were so thrilled with our adventure that night, we decided to bring along a couple of girls the next Saturday night and do it again. Being adolescents and not having well-formed brains, we failed to recognize the ramifications of the huge rainstorm that occurred in the middle of the week.

So on Saturday night, all four of us, in my Impala, headed down toward this deserted path, only to discover that once we were about a quarter of a mile into the excursion, the region that had once been bumpy, with holes, was now flooded.

There was no way to back up, so stupidly, I decided to go forward into the watery muck.

And, you guessed it—got stuck.

This incident happened long before Triple A and cell phones existed. We realized that unless somebody was going to walk back to civilization, which was about five miles, we were going to have to get out of this predicament on our own. (This included the young ladies who had come along for a lark, and now were on the deck of the Titanic.)

It took an hour of pushing, rocking, splashing, our clothes completely mud-splattered, to get free, but finally we escaped and were safely on the highway again.

It was crude.

For you see, crude is often that pursuit of adventure or comedy that soon must go too far to provide entertainment.

Crude is failing to use your sensibility and sensitivity to provide a safe haven for your friends to come and enjoy your fellowship.

Crude is forgetting the better parts of being a human and settling for jungle fever.

Crude is when, for some reason or another, we just decide to be a rude dude.

funny wisdom on words that begin with a C


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Compliant

Compliant: (adj) inclined to agree with others or obey rules

Historically, it’s been proven that the rule is golden.funny wisdom on words that begin with a C

“Love your neighbor as yourself.”

You can actually judge the sanity of our planet and the people who inhabit it by whether they consider this rule to be essential and have chosen to be compliant to it; or if they have concluded that it’s a whimsical idea of a Nazarene poet who didn’t live in dangerous times, and therefore could postulate on peaceful coexistence.

Yes–when you see society begin to ignore, set aside or even mock the Golden Rule and take a non-compliant position, you realize how desperately we’ve slipped from the only strand of rope that can save us from stumbling off the cliff of common sense into our own free fall to insanity.

 

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Collect

Collect: (v) to bring or gather things

I collect.

I grab my basket and step into life, picking up things that suit my fancy, meet my needs or stir my soul.

From democracy I collect the value of personal freedom.

I collect a wisp of meditation from the Buddhists.

I collect tenderness, mercy and endurance from my sisters.

I collect devotion to country from communist China.

I realize the danger of eating too much pork from my Muslim brethren.

I collect the value of play from the children encircling me.

I collect my thoughts by rejecting my prejudices.

I collect the true history of my life by quieting the ideas I wish to promote.

I collect fruits and vegetables at a good price at Aldi.

I collect the power of the Golden Rule from my friend, Jesus.

I collect a searching, inquiring and probing mind from my atheist friends.

I collect a respect of science from God.

And I collect a respect for God from science.

I collect things that other people think are meaningless so I can have a personal treasure in my heart.

I collect a respect for things old, current and even those things which sniff of the future.

I stand in awe of Earth as I collect my trash and throw it in the garbage instead of allowing it to go “blowin’ in the wind.”

I collect my anger and force it into a small box, where it doesn’t think it is bigger than it actually is.

I collect those little boxes of anger and open them up in my private times to address the concerns.

I collect passion for my dreams.

And I collect dreams to welcome passion.

I am a collector.

Not much of what I collect has a dollar value.

Yet all of what I collect is valuable.

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Century

Century: (n) a period of one hundred years.

I have lived in two centuries.

Matter of fact, most of what we hold dear, precious, valuable and true has occurred in my lifespan.

For instance:

From my birth to the present day, we have transported our emotions from bigotry to “Oh, my God. We’re bigots.”

We have gone from cars using gasoline to cars using gasoline but us feeling kind of guilty about it.

We have traveled from medicine believing it has the answer to some things to medicine being quite certain it has the answer to everything.

We have spanned the generation gap by explaining that psychologically, such a chasm is necessary.

We have gone to the moon, but can’t really get back there so we insist “we’re not really interested in space.”

We have flown from an era when women were treated as inferiors, encouraged to stay in the home, to a time when women insist they’re not inferior because they stay in the home.

We have progressed our technology to the point of inefficiency.

We have improved our diplomacy by continuing the threat of nuclear war.

We have addressed racism by giving it an abundance of names.

We have handled the Golden Rule by simply refusing to go to church.

And we have defined tolerance by secretly alienating humans instead of publicly insisting on separated bathrooms.

Progress is made when the human heart is tapped, confirming that we have a soul. Once we feel that our soul has some eternal journey, our brain can be trained to be more generous.

Then acts of kindness seem logical instead of magnanimous.

 

 

 

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Black and White

Black and white: (adj) clearly defined opposing principles or issues.

Dictionary B

You can always stimulate a debate by posing the question of whether there actually are things that are black and white–in other words, ideas which are either solely good or massively evil.

The general consensus of our present society is that such defined positions do not really exist, but rather, mingle into shades of gray.

But I contend there is one–yes, one–white, pure notion: Treat other people the way you want to be treated.

Sometimes we think we can compromise that particular pearl of great price.

  • Matter of fact, a politician will say that if an opponent hits him, he must hit back.
  • A school counselor suggests that the only way to defeat a bully is to figuratively hit him or her in the nose.

We have decided it is unnatural to turn the other cheek for fear of sporting double bruises.

So we’ve created a dreary gray. The Golden Rule has no chance to shine.

So are there black and white issues?

I think there is only one white issue: no one is better than anyone else.

And when you deny that, you darken the skies of mankind’s future.

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Atonement

Atonement: (n) reparation for a wrong or injury.dictionary with letter A

If I save somebody’s life, how important will I be to them after a couple of weeks?

They could always make reference to the fact that they value my gift of salvaging them from death. But we really wouldn’t be able to hang out together. It would be awkward, wouldn’t it?

But if we became friends, then the sphere of influence would be greater. He or she could come over to my house, barbecue, watch a movie, laugh, talk about family or commiserate about the job.

But somewhere along the line, this new friend would have to go home. He or she would not be allowed into my inner sanctum of privacy and thoughts.

This is why we get married–so we can have someone who saves us from our loneliness, becomes our best friend, but also becomes entwined with us emotionally and helps us make decisions which steer our mission.

I know it is the great jubilation of the Christian faith to continually discuss the atonement from sin by Jesus dying on the cross.

But once the realization hits you and you’ve achieved salvation, to have it constantly brought to your remembrance and hung over your head is…well, as I said, rather awkward.

Somewhere along the line this savior needs to become a friend. Then he can hang out.

He can become part of the everyday life that forms the blood and tissue of your being.

And if you take the time to learn the philosophy of this savior–the impetus that caused him to want to be your redeemer–then you can actually marry yourself to his principles and create a lifestyle rather than just an atoning event.

I think church fails because it tries to turn an atonement into a friendship.

  • Atonement is beautiful.
  • But friendship is better.

And allowing yourself to come into covenant with the Golden Rule is what is truly life-changing.

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