Cadre

Cadre: (n) a small group of people specially trained for a particular purpose or profession.

“I’ve gotta be me.”

It’s a sentiment I’ve never found particularly worthy of my attention. I’ve never been so certain of myself that I did not yearn to have the
fellowship and input of others.

I have found that the word “solo” is a great synonym for “alone.” I don’t like to be alone.

I don’t need other folks to make me feel valuable, or to surround me with a sense of inclusion. It’s just divinely remarkable to encounter individuals who share common anything with one another.

  • Common taste.
  • Common talent.
  • Common faith.
  • Common appetites.
  • Or even common foibles.

Human beings were never intended to be perfect and can be quite obnoxious when pursuing it. We’re at our best when we hang around with each other, admit our weaknesses and garner energy off the cadre of souls huddled in our corner.

When I have attempted to be autonomous, it was like I found myself standing naked in a room full of doctors. It was inevitable they would find something wrong with me.

Am I hiding? Perhaps.

Am I weak? Most certainly.

Am I benefitting from interaction with others?

Always.

 

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Apostasy

dictionary with letter A

Apostasy (n.): abandonment of a belief or principle.

Fascinating.

In actuality, I have abandoned many beliefs in order to embrace principles.

For when reality takes hold in your life, you realize that any notion of God which is not in synchronization with nature is superstition rather than truth.

And in like manner, any reverence for a natural order that does not in some way include a creative force is believing that life occurs in adulthood with no reverence for the birthing egg.

I guess in many ways I practice apostasy all the time–because I am equally as disillusioned with religion as I am with the secular world. I am perpetually unimpressed with the presence of a practice that ignores reason and the appearance of a reasonability that denies faith.

So on the occasions that I sit around with my brothers and sisters and listen to the common conversation proffered, I often find myself internally asking more questions than actually receiving enlightenment.

Many years ago I decided to abandon an agenda.

  • I am not a promoter of the Republican or the Democratic party.
  • I do not particularly find the Judeo-Christian form of governing spirituality to be edifying.
  • And I certainly cannot go along with the populist view that my family is “more special than anyone else in the world” simply because it was conjugated from my sperm.

Sooner or later what we call apostasy becomes a gentle move of common sense towards inclusion.

Often it’s just including good information.

Usually it involves including others without prejudice.

But honestly, mostly it includes the possibility that since knowledge has expanded, there is the chance that it will continue to do so.

Locking ourselves into a prison of platitudes is the best way to end up looking foolish to our grandchildren.

I guess I’m apostate–because I’m not satisfied with what I’ve discovered.

What I have uncovered has only made me hunger and thirst for more.

 

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Alternative

dictionary with letter A

Alternative: (adj.) available as another possibility: e.g. the various alternative methods for resolving disputes

Webster’s dictionary definition is very generous.

In a world where the status quo is extolled as not only being common, but nearly godly in its significance, a concept like “alternative” is almost always associated with being out of the flow.

  • Alternative rock: another name for “your rock band has no chance of being played on Top 40 Radio.”
  • Alternative lifestyle: a warning shouted by Middle America to discourage you from moving into their neighborhood.
  • Alternative political party: a guarantee that you will only receive votes from family members.
  • Alternative worship experience: the real one is happening at eleven o’clock, but we’re going to let the kids play around at nine.

Here’s what I know about alternative: if I’m in a room discussing an issue with friends, family, acquaintances and by-standers, and somebody offers an idea that may be contrary to the norm but addresses a need that no one has yet considered, it is no longer an alternative view, but rather, a necessary inclusion.

Bluntly, just because people don’t agree with me does not mean they don’t possess smart ideas that are required to form the solution.

It doesn’t matter what issue we are trying to finagle–from gun control to abortion to immigration to war to homosexuality–well, the list goes on and on. What is required to make the requirement is to listen to others tell you what they require.

What we are calling alternative opinions are often pieces of the puzzle which must be kept in readiness, so when we get to the end and find out we’re incomplete, they can be placed in their needful position to form the picture.

It reminds me of the story of the feeding of the five thousand from the Good Book. After the initial miracle of providing grub for a large crowd with limited funds for the menu, Jesus tells the disciples to “gather up the leftovers, that nothing be lost.” I am sure they thought it was stupid. Everybody was stuffed; they had gorged themselves on food. What was the purpose of carrying around twelve baskets of extras?

Simple. He was telling these fellows that somewhere along the line they were going to need them.

If we throw away every idea that is not part of our own philosophy, when our reasoning breaks down, we will not have the available knowledge to know how to address the issue.

In 1961 in Birmingham, Alabama, there were many white persons who were fully aware that segregation was not only filled with error, but useless. Yet because alternative views were not allowed on the subject matter, we were forced to produce a bloody conclusion instead of an intelligent one.

I know what I think. But I also know I need to think.

In order for that to work, I must realize that the alternative values of today may very well become the mainstream thinking of tomorrow.


Alliance

Words from Dic(tionary)

dictionary with letter A

Alliance: (n) a union or association formed for mutual benefit, esp. between countries or organizations. 2. a relationship based on an affinity in interests, nature or qualities

Sometimes I get a little worried about myself.

I’m not talking about being a hypochondriac or a conspiracy theory advocate. I just don’t trust systems. Let me rephrase that. Systems have not historically proven themselves to be worthy of my trust.

I think that’s accurate.

And as I look at the word “alliance” today, I realize that a sense of ill-will came into my soul over the whole notion of “uniting.”

It’s not that I believe in anarchy, it’s just that I don’t embrace the notion that the opposite of anarchy is a good thing. Here’s why.

If an alliance occurs because two human beings come together and freely admit that they plan on respecting or submitting to a truth which is greater than either of them, then I think there’s a possibility that such a union could be beneficial, if not holy.

Take marriage, for instance. In the simplicity of its composition, it is a  phenomenal institution–taking two human beings and asking them to commit to the idea of faithfulness and equality. Unfortunately, when implemented, it often deteriorates into less noble alliances, which are merely festering compromises of differing opinions.

Case in point: I don’t see any power in Henry Clay creating the Great Missouri Compromise in the mid-1800’s, which allowed for a temporary peace, but also tolerated the indignity of slavery.

Yes, I believe for an alliance to be of any significance, it must consist of two or more people recognizing a mutual need to acquiesce to an intelligence, a belief, a faith or a system greater than any opinion. When we hammer out back-room agreements, trying to maintain an elixir of varied opinions, we always end up with a hodge-podge of meaningless actions which must be quickly corrected due to their short-sightedness.

It’s why in my life I have come down to one simple principle: “No One is better than anyone else.”

Anything that tries to attack, disintegrate or deteriorate this axiom is not worthy of alliance. On the other hand, new ideas that salute the beauty of such a precious precept are not only welcome, but worthy of inclusion.

I am willing to join in alliance with those who recognize that our feeble opinions are always better when filtered through the sanity of the test of Spirit and Time.

All

Words from Dic(tionary)

dictionary with letter A

All: (adj & pron.) referring to the whole quantity or extent of a particular group or thing

As a writer, it’s a word I don’t get to use very often–because putting it to work immediately conjures an image of inclusion without exception.

In other words: “all the people suck.”

You can imagine, there would be some objection to that sentiment.

Even if you trimmed it down to “most people suck,” you might be accused of being overwrought.

Some of the people suck” is more temperate, but still appears that you think all the people suck and you’re just playing it safe.

So most writers, to protect themselves from the marauding horde of critics, will use the preferable: “a few.”

Yes. A few people suck.

This enables the reader to escape the condemnation of being a sucker, and determine, in his or her own mind, who the rejected few might be.

But there are things I hope really will continue to be believed as applicable to all:

  • How about liberty and justice for all?
  • How about God loving all the world?
  • I like this one: All our possibilities are possible as long as we don’t deem them impossible.
  • All we have to do is love one another.
  • All human beings are equal.

So to me, “all” is a word of aspiration, faith and welcoming. And even though I am careful not to use it when I get in a gruff mood–to rain my verbal fire and brimstone down from my personal heavenly perch–I do greatly enjoy including all my brothers and sisters … when I know blessing is waiting around the bend.

 

Ajar

Words from Dic(tionary)

dictionary with letter A

 

Ajar: (adj and adv) a door or other opening left slightly open

“Keep the door ajar.”

We all know what that means.

It’s our way of communicating that what is happening, beyond that which is inside the enclosure, is not private, segregated or secret.

It is also what we were told to do as teenagers when we were in a room with our girlfriend or boyfriend. It was a reminder that at any time, our seclusion could be interrupted by the inclusion of others.

I made a decision a long time ago to keep my life ajar. To think that any of us can get by with hiding our mistakes or foibles is a ridiculous notion. In an age of super-information available at super-speed, it is doubtful that privacy can be attained, so the only thing open to us is to select speed of revelation.

I’ve been silly about it in the past.

  • At one time I was embarrassed that I didn’t go to college, but began a family immediately due to my rising hormones, which preceded declining grades.
  • I used to be afraid to admit to others how unknown my efforts were and attempted to name-drop to procure respect, which only, in the long run, drew further attention to those mightier than me, whose names I was invoking.
  • I used to avoid questions by changing the subject or offering answers I thought were cleverly ambiguous, but actually just sounded evasive and stupid.

You can feel free to attempt to delude the public, keeping your door tightly shut, in hopes of avoiding interference from strangers. But as the Good Book says, there is nothing “whispered in the ear which is not eventually shouted from the housetops.” (By the way, a statement spoken by a fellow who didn’t even have to deal with the Internetor the NSA.)

So I can sum up my philosophy about “keeping my life ajar” in three quick statements:

  1. If I’m ashamed of it, change it enough to where the shame is gone.
  2. If I’m the first one to bring it up, nobody can act like they “got me.”
  3. Honesty is the best way to keep people off your back, because they relax and then you can actually be more like yourself.

Keep the door ajar. Pretty good philosophy.

Keep your life ajar. Genius.

Add

Words from Dic(tionary)

by J. R. Practix

dictionary with letter A

Add: (v) join something to something else so as to increase the size, number or amount.

“There is something I’d like to add.” Or “there is nothing I have to add.”

I like both of those statements. If truthfully delivered, they mean that you have quietly taken a position a few feet AWAY from the conflict of life and have eyeballed where your available abilities might be of use or might end up useless.

It’s a powerful thing.

Without that kind of consideration, we have a world in which everyone piles on, never considering the value of their contribution; or else folks demurely stand in the shadows for fear of being presumptuous.

Would you allow me to analyze a really significant profile for being valuable?

1. Shut up long enough that you can listen to what is really going on.

2. Don’t respond to your first inkling to leap forward. There still may be one bit of information to be unfolded that you need to consider.

3. Make sure you can deliver what you’re about to offer.

4. Determine that you’re certain that you have nothing that’s worthy of contribution.

5. Speak softly to guarantee that the room becomes silent enough to appreciate your inclusion.

6. Follow through.

There you go.

I wonder what would happen if we actually demanded this venerable process from our leaders. Would it be possible that we could have a coalition … instead of a collision?