Chimpanzee

Chimpanzee: (n) a great ape

“Keeping an open mind so I can claim to have one…”

Yes, that’s me.

I don’t think I’m alone. It seems, in our generation, that being decried for having a closed mind is the worst insult we could sling at someone.
We all pretend that we are very willing to learn new things as we strategically place ourselves smack in the middle of repetition.

Being a person of faith, I got tired of those who are not bent in that persuasion, accusing me of being ignorant because of my insistence on valuing creation instead of adhering to evolution. Actually, I agree with evolution–up to a point.

And that point is the chimpanzee.

The chimpanzee is supposed to be our closest cousin, or some sort of relative. So one day I decided to go to the zoo, observe the chimpanzee, and discover what similarities I had with this non-kissing-cousin. I stayed for a full hour–matter of fact, I stayed so long that I think the little monkey became paranoid.

The chimpanzee seemed to have a great preoccupation with its own penis. It frequently reached down to pull on it, as if releasing it from some sort of prison.

The creature also favored scratching its ass, made unintelligible sounds, and hopped around from place to place with no real destination.

It became aggravated when someone took its food or threatened to occupy its space.

It seemed to glare a lot. (It could have been gas.)

It wasn’t particularly friendly. Of course, that could have been due to the fact that it was in a zoo instead of out on the Serengeti.

It didn’t like its fellow-monkeys, and appeared to be a little chippy, looking for a reason to argue.

It was obviously selfish.

It stopped from time to time–appearing to preen. (At least that’s the way I would describe the self-stroking.)

It was very preoccupied, and most of the time, seemed bored.

I realized I was wrong.

It is very human.

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Chastise

Chastise: (v) to rebuke or reprimand severely.

I was thoroughly convinced that my kids were going to remember their childhood by benchmarking the exciting trips, opportunities or gifts I gave them.

But as I sit around with them now, at holidays, and they feel free to open up about their journeys of being my offspring, rarely do they refer
to a camping trip or a special dinner at Chuck E. Cheese’s.

All of them recount the moments when their errors were brought to the forefront, and it was commanded of me, as their parent, to chastise. Sometimes they do object to the severity of my application, but mostly they are extraordinarily grateful that I was able to muster the backbone to stand up against trends of the time and try to tell them the truth to the best of my ability.

It’s actually a very moving experience, when I realize they understand that it is required to chastise those you love.

So even though I have no squabble with the common thought that love, exhortation, hugs, kisses and praise are very important parts of a child’s security, I also know that there comes a moment when time stands still–and it is the mission of the parent to stop the progression of ignorance, and encourage a better solution.

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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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Centipede

Centipede: (n) a small, predatory, long, thin animal with many legs.

Ignorance can be very appealing and humorous–as long as it’s presented as the stupidity it truly is. Matter of fact, humor is often the
exposure of ignorance.

There are times I pull up a word for this daily essay and decide to study a little further, so that the information I impart to you is tinged with accuracy. (God knows I wouldn’t want to give you fake or faulty facts.)

But on this particular day, I chose NOT to look up anything on the centipede because my ignorant understanding of it is so darling.

Over the years I did not know the difference between a centipede and a millipede, except that one creature touts a hundred legs and the other brags a thousand.

What always tickled my funny-bone was the knowledge that the animal with the hundred legs is quite large and dangerous, while the “slitherer” with a thousand legs is small and fairly harmless.

So much like our world.

When in doubt, when feeling insecure, when confronted with competition–over-advertise. Exaggerate.

The millipede was certainly intimidated by the prowess of the centipede, so it picked a name that immediately had legs to it. A thousand, to be exact.

So over the years, whenever I thought about these beings, I always reminded myself that the one who bragged about the most appendages was actually the weaker.

Huh.

Maybe there’s a lesson there.

 

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Celestial

Celestial: (adj) belonging or relating to heaven.

Did you ever realize that all the descriptions we have of eternal life are related to us via ancient manuscripts, from people who lived in the first century A. D.? And then we’re working under the trust that he or she actually had a vision of the supernal location.

Other writers have tried to parallel the existing insights, but we are pretty well stuck with an ancient history about our future history.

Do you find that a bit disheartening?

To me, the celestial realm is already a trifle bizarre. Since my physical body is made up of the same stuff as a bear and moose–flesh, blood, veins, arteries–it does seem a bit presumptuous to think that my wilderness friends turn into dust and I live forever.

It’s because I have a soul. Which means they don’t. Yet there is a certain amount of arrogance mingled with ignorance in the presumption of walking on streets of gold.

So where does that leave me? It certainly places me in the category of believers who yearn for a heaven someday. Yes, I have enough arrogance and ignorance to line up with those masses.

But it does give me pause to appreciate, generate and evaluate my earthly lifespan with greater tenderness and passion.

 

 

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Cajole

Cajole: (v) to persuade someone to do something by sustained coaxing.

Debate is a debacle.

We certainly should have learned that over the past few years. It is permission to insult without embarrassment.

Conversation seems to lend itself to insincerity, mainly because the truth required on the inward parts of the human being to create excellent fellowship is reluctantly provided.

Preaching is preachy.

Teaching is tedious.

Entertainment is crippled with the need to be commercial.

There is much that needs to be said. Deep in our hearts we all know that humility is not an option, yet we continue to tolerate the boastful and proud being given overuse of the stage.

There are many things we know to be true which seem to slink to the rear for fear of being called “old-fashioned.”

So it is the job of sane souls everywhere to use art, puns, humor and silliness to cajole brothers and sisters who walk among us to begin to think and feel again instead of settling for inadequacy.

Cajoling is when we realize we need to be merciful to the ignorant. Ignorance is not a sin unless it persists and gains power.

We need to catch it when it is still in a childish position–to be gently cajoled into repentance.

 

 

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Bullshit

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Bullshit: (n) stupid or untrue talk

Not everything is bullshit.

Matter of fact, one great step toward maturity is realizing that many of the things we believe today will change in the future, and maybe even disappear.

After all, ignorance is not the absence of knowledge, but rather, the refusal to accept it.

All of us are ignorant in the sense that there are things we don’t know, but we will not be deemed ignorant in the future if we’re willing to step away from piles of bullshit and find the truth that has been proven.

Whether it’s our politics, our education, our profession or our faith, each one should be able to endure the evolution of new data, which further clarifies life on Planet Earth.

If your beliefs or your convictions need to ridicule an educated revelation, you are no longer a follower of truth, but a shoveler of bullshit.

Each one of us needs to acknowledge this, or we become either dangerous or obnoxious, or an annoying blending of the pair.

Many good folk in 1491, who were well-schooled and religious, were convinced that the world was flat. Several years later, when it was proven to be round, the truly intelligent rolled with the punches and realized that science was not destroyed by the revelation, nor was God shrunk.

The ones who continued to contend that the Earth was shaped like a cracker had to promote their bullshit ad nauseam.

How can you tell if you’ve become a bullshitter?

There is a tiny little bell that rings in the human soul when we hear something that resounds with the truth.

Stop muffling the bell.

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