Collusion

Collusion: (n) secret or illegal cooperation or conspiracy

It is quite astounding–the number of corporations, politicians and even religionists in this world, who look on the entire scope of humanity as their own personal lab rats. I don’t know what causes someone to become so callous to the emotions and pain of another human being, to view them purely as a means to an end.

But when it happens–when that broach is made–evil appears. I know we like to put evil in a devil’s costume and attribute it to forces beyond our control, but evil always arrives when human beings think themselves superior and collude to hurt other fellow Earthlings.

Sometimes the cause may seem noble, or at least patriotic. Usually it involves the potential of an influx of cash.

But the underlying reason for the collusion is always some sort of great desire to feel more powerful and worthy by denigrating perceived lessers.

Although collusion is very much in the news, we must not tie the word to one investigation or scandal. We must check our own hearts.

Who are we trying to cheat, lie to, leave out, cut off and reject, simply because we want to be able to go into a room with our friends and celebrate our triumph?

 

Donate Button

Subscribe to Jonathan’s Weekly Podcast

Good News and Better News

 

Advertisements

Clump

Clump: (v) to form into a clump or mass.

There is an unwritten command to never challenge contradictions–especially if they are well-populated or in some way garner profit.

Yet it is what maintains the presence of a universal ignorance, which on occasion, rears its head and growls at humanity because we refuse to rectify the obvious.

The objection should be simple.

For instance, we maintain that human beings are individuals unto themselves while insisting that we have a predilection to “clump together.” Our excuse for this anomaly is that there are times when we want to be autonomous, and other occasions when being part of a group is essential to our well-being.

This paradox is supported all over our society, from religion to politics, entertainment to business, simply because there are so many adherents and it allows us to make a lot of money from lifting up one culture above another.

No one stops to ask if clumping is good for people, or under what auspices linking together is positive, and when it is running for the corner of the room to avoid responsibility.

When should I clump?

Should I clump because I’m in a room with people of German descent?

Should I clump because I’m around a congregation of believers who favor my view of the Eternal?

Should I clump because I have a penis instead of a vagina and find those who share that appendage?

Should I clump because I like romantic comedies better than adventure films?

And once I decide on clumps I want to pursue, how do I escape them to gain my own uniqueness and flavor?

Maybe there’s only one clump–the human race. And we escape the human race by temporarily splitting off to our own thoughts, which prepares us to come back and be more gracious to one another.

 

Donate Button

 

Club

Club: (n) an organization dedicated to a particular interest or activity.

It reminds me of Dickie. He was a friend of mine.

Dickie had one thing he was very proud of–he loved to dupe adults. He explained this to me one day. He said the key to tricking grown-ups
was finding out what they wanted, and then discovering a way to do it which was more fun.

For instance, Dickie had a lot of dirt clods in his back yard. We used them to throw at each other, playing war and anticipating what it might be like to be hit with a hand grenade.

Dickie’s mother came out in horror and told us to stop throwing them, saying that we would certainly destroy an eye–or at least sully our pretty shirts.

Dickie waited about thirty minutes, then went in and said to his mother, “Mom, maybe it would be a good idea if we got rid of all that dirt and those dirt clods, and dumped them in the nearby woods.”

She thought it was a grand idea, and even offered some bushel baskets that had recently held apples. So Dickie and I went out, collected dirt clods in the bushel baskets, escaped into the trees–and continued our game.

God, we felt smart.

We had our own little club which we had formed, and was built around the notion that since we were the honorary members, it confirmed that we were more intelligent than others.

From that point on, I have wondered if it is possible to separate oneself off from the mass of humanity into smaller and smaller units and clubs without promoting a sense of superiority and propagating a cloud of bigotry.

Does the Methodist feel superior to the Baptist as he drives by on the way to his church?

Does the white man feel empowered when he passes through the black neighborhood and sticks his nose up at the urban blight, touting that he’s part of the Caucasian Club?

Here’s a frightening and perhaps intimidating thought–we’re all part of one club, and that’s human beings.

Breaking us down any further and insisting that the differences are imperative and unique makes us just about as dumb as a bushel basket of dirt clods.

 

 

Donate Button

 

Classless

Classless: (adj) having no class

If beauty is in the eye of the beholder, then kindness may only dwell in the mind of God.

We seem to have an excuse for every occasion when we resort to crude behavior. At least I do. (Forgive me for speaking for you.)

Being rude is usually a by-product of a reaction which comes quickly. We just don’t train ourselves enough before going out in public.

Oh, yes–we must practice our humanity. It is needful for us to envision scenarios when we are offended, shut out of the moment, so we can have some idea what is going to pour forth from our personality.

We should be saying “I’m sorry” a whole lot less because we have taken into consideration the possibility of affrontation.

For after all, some of our fellow-travelers do not feel powerful unless we are weakened.

They don’t sense their value unless everyone around them has been put in the bargain bin.

And they don’t wish to be nice because they view it as a definable weakness.

If you don’t practice class, you will be classless. If you hang around with folks who insist that you don’t need to say, “Thank you” or “I appreciate that,” it’s only because they plan on starving you from that warmth coming from them.

My family often thinks I am silly, because in the process of any given evening, I may say, “thank you” a hundred and twenty times. As you consider how excessive that may be, I am musing over how I could do it more.

When I do something good, I make sure I enjoy it thoroughly, because stumbling around waiting for others to express their admiration is a formula for deep depression.

We are a classless society simply because we are waiting for someone else to start it up, and no one has taken the time to put the fuel in their engine to accelerate toward tenderness.

Donate Button

  Announcing Jonathan’s New Podcast

Listen to Stitcher

Class

Class: (adj) showing stylish excellence.

I have selected the class of my identification.

It isn’t being white. I’m too blotchy for that.

It isn’t being young. I’ve eaten too much birthday cake.

It isn’t being old. My brain and spirit refuse to make that concession.

I’m not in a class with the intelligentsia. Matter of fact, I feel silly writing the word “intelligentsia.”

I’m not in the class of the ignorant. I try to avoid ignoring things.

I simply want to possess “who I am” as simply as possible and show class. What is class?

I suppose people would give many examples of class, but my definition is: the ability to expose arrogance without hurting anyone.

Life is filled with arrogant people who think they are a class above everyone else. Being able to welcome them back into the family of humanity without infuriating them or making them defensive is called classy.

Arrogance kills the human spirit because it forbids humility. Humility is the only thing that makes us tolerable to one another.

Join me in hoping for more class in our world.

And the best way to guarantee an answer to that wish is to sport a little bit more of the stuff yourself.

 

 

Listen to Stitcher

Donate Button

Chuck

Chuck: (informal) another name for Charles

I guess his real name was Charles, but by the time he matriculated in my direction, he was “Chuck.”

He liked music and I played music, and I offered some opportunities to gig–which in the world of the common street musician, translates as
gold.

He had a heart for people, a love for God and a thirst for music.

I liked Chuck.

He was just about the age of my two oldest sons, so they befriended him, started a band together and played a lot of different music–covers and even some of my original tunes.

He was always around, but it was pleasant. There are people who are sometimes around, unpleasantly. Not Chuck. He was helpful, he was kind, but he was burdened by internal demons which seemed unlikely for him to possess, but certainly did possess him.

But he talked about it. He was worried about it. He wanted to be different than he was.

This is the only redeemable part of humanity–when we realize who we are and instead of making excuses for it, we make a plan to improve it.

After a while Chuck floated off, got married and had a beautiful little daughter.

I do see him from time to time. It is amazing how we are able to restore the exact same creative chemistry from when we plodded together for a season.

But I guess friendship never dies–it just sits around, patiently waiting for the day it will once again be uncorked and celebrated.

 

 

Donate Button

Chosen

Chosen: (adj) having been selected as the best or most appropriate.

Without spraying dark, sticky thoughts into the air, I must admit that if I knew what I know now, I might not have chosen to be born.

I don’t think I would have chosen Mary and Russell as my parents. Considering my youthful antics, they might not have chosen me.

I certainly would not have chosen to be raised in the Midwest of the United States during a season when prejudice, bigotry and self-righteousness were considered to be “American values.”

I wouldn’t have chosen to be fat. Even though some people try to gain their self-esteem while encased in blubber, the excess poundage does take its toll.

I don’t know exactly what I would have chosen–I mean, I could continue this list and probably offend everyone I know.

But I certainly would have chosen Jesus.

This is not because I’m a religious person. Matter of fact, I have been known to doze off immediately at the mention of prayer.

It’s the practicality.

It’s the humanity.

It’s the responsibility that Jesus of Nazareth placed on himself and his followers that lets me understand that he “gets it.”

He gets what it means to be a human being on this planet called Earth. I don’t know if his manifesto would work on other planets. I don’t know anything about habitation in other galaxies.

But Earth requires a certain payload to launch your rocket.

I’ve chosen that.

I fail at it, and as long as I realize it’s a failure on my part and not a master plot against my happiness, I’m usually just fine.

I don’t know what else specifically I would have chosen.

I would not have chosen a career as a writer, because criticism and obscurity are your only friends.

Would I have chosen to pen this essay? Probably not.

I got up in a rather relaxed, lazy mood, and your interest just didn’t interest me that much.

So I’ve chosen, at times, to persevere–even though the immediate benefit does not scream its worth.

 

Donate Button