Cabaret

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Cabaret: (n) a nightclub or restaurant where entertainment is performed.

Even though life is not a cabaret, it also is not a church service.

It’s not a funeral.

It’s not a long wait at the DMV.

It’s not sitting in a doctor’s office.

It is not watching a second television show because you have nothing else to do.

It is not reading a book and thinking it’s just as good as traveling.

It is not a night out with the boys or one out with the girls.

It is not a political party.

It is not intolerance.

It is not going to your job and being miserable.

It is not going to your job and offering a lackluster performance.

It is not favoring your culture over another.

It is not thinking that you’re better than other people.

It is not owning anything (but a winning smile).

It is not selfishness.

It is not well-advertised bigotry.

It is not…

Well, I could go on. Let me change my original thought:

Life is a cabaret.

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Brew

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Brew: (v) to make beer

The truth of the matter is, whatever I choose not to do becomes suspect.

I don’t like that. Matter of fact, I try very intensely to counteract that through my actions.Dictionary B

But if internally I have made a choice, generally speaking I think it’s a right one, and therefore have a tendency to flirt with intolerance.

Yet maturity is the process of realizing that our thoughts are not supreme.

This has always been my problem with alcohol. I just never jumped on the “rum run.”

I’ve never had more than a few sips of beer.

I’ve choked down a few glasses of wine.

And maybe once or twice I had a mixed drink simply because I thought the inserted umbrellas looked really pretty.

I found all of those experiences to be unfulfilling.

So the prevalence of alcohol in our society–especially since it’s tied to being an adult–leaves me baffled.

Many years ago I did a tour of Lutheran churches in Wisconsin, and discovered that most of the parishioners brewed their own beer.

Please don’t misinterpret my sentiments. I’m not saying that drinking or not drinking makes you a good or bad person.

Or maybe, in some silly, immature way, I am.

I’m not sure.

But I am grateful that I have never carried through to completion a judgment on someone based on whether they partook of the brew.

Over the years, I have tried to adjust my thinking … without actually drinking.

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Breathalyzer

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Breathalyzer: (n) a device used by police for measuring the amount of alcohol in a driver’s breath.

Intolerance always enters our lives when we fail to recognize our own weakness as being equally pathetic to the vices we condemn.

I have never been a drinker. Yet I don’t want to be a self-righteous tee-totaler.Dictionary B

It’s so easy to be critical of those who drink too much, drive, and are prosecuted because of the results of a breathalyzer. Driving while intoxicated is dangerous–often lethal.

Yet by the same token, I find myself somewhat bewitched by food.

They do not have a breathalyzer test for pork chops–but I have driven home from a buffet many times having eaten to the point of nausea, getting sleepy behind the wheel because my blood sugar was soaring to the stars. But no policeman would ever insinuate I was endangering the lives of others.

Please don’t misunderstand my point. Alcohol is dangerous.

Yet there are many people who can eat three-and-a half ounces of meat and be completely satisfied without becoming intoxicated by a caloric binge.

I just want to keep my tolerance available to me when I run across those who fall victim to vice and depravity.

I, too, am weak.

The fact that my consumption does not end up in a courtroom does not alter the situation.

Thank God for breathalyzers because they do keep people off the road who are primed for an accident.

But the piece of humanity we need to always keep in mind is that each one of us has peccadilloes–which if we pick at the wrong moment, can end up being anything from a sin to a crime.

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Bigot

Bigot: (n) a person who is intolerant toward those holding different opinions.

Dictionary B

No sane people would ever admit they were intolerant.

It is easy to tuck and hide intolerance behind the holy pillars of experience, education, religious affiliation, racial discoveries and traditions.

In other words, tolerance cannot be defined by merely claiming that no intolerance exists.

To avoid being a bigot, it may be necessary to accept a universal definition for intolerance. Arriving at this proclamation–or getting any group of individuals to agree on it–may be completely impractical.

So let me just say that I’ve developed my own definition which lets me know when I have slipped into the role of being a bigot.

It is as follows:

Intolerance is a smugness that prods me to change someone’s mind.

Whenever that creeps into my soul and churns with an evangelism to chase down an infidel idea, I know that I am flirting dangerously with, or have even consummated the action of becoming a bigot.

It should be satisfactory to possess a truth that enriches our lives.

There is nothing wrong with living that truth out boldly, allowing the fruit of that tree of knowledge to sprout evidence.

But the minute we begin to judge others by whether they are planting a similar seed is when we literally end up … with bigotry.

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Aureole

Aureole: (n) a circle of light or brightness surrounding something, especially as depicted in art around the head or body of a person represented as holy.

I will freely admit to you that I have no scientific backing for my conclusions. These findings of mine are solely based upon years and years of observation of dictionary with letter Ahuman behavior.

There are three things that people will not accept from other folks:

  1. Arrogance.

We may even temporarily concede that certain people are “talented enough” that they have the right to be prideful, but we are simultaneously privately hoping they stumble and fall.

  1. Intolerance.

Even though we accept a certain amount of this nasty stuff in ourselves, we will not permit others to express this kind of fussiness and closed-minded approach with the world around them.

  1. Making the same dumb mistakes over and over again.

How many times can you say “I’m sorry” before people start hearing, “I’m pathetic”?

I bring these up to you because the Medieval artists began to place halos and aureoles around the heads of saints and angels–and especially Jesus of Nazareth.

I assume they felt this was an offering of respect for their good deeds or divinity.

But in the process they have taken a God who purposely became human and insisted that He be a human who was perfect–and a God.

It’s like turning to the Almighty and saying, “Your idea about becoming human like us was really stupid. We like people who wear hats that look like lightbulbs.”

I will tell you this–Jesus has no appeal to anybody when he’s proclaimed to be perfect.

  • We hate perfect people,
  • We plot their destruction.
  • We come up with pranks to make them look inept.

Likewise, Jesus does not have market when you insist he was a Jewish prophet for the Jewish people who was intolerant of Gentiles.

And Jesus does not have the ability to reach the world if his religion makes the same dumb mistakes over and over again that every religion has made.

So if you don’t mind, I would rather you remove the aureole from Jesus’ crown and have a more realistic representation.

How about a fly buzzing his head?

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Aspersions

Aspersions: (n) an attack on the reputation or integrity of someone or somethingdictionary with letter A

“He’s just a kid.”

I remember how I used to hate that statement, popped off by careless adults when they didn’t particularly favor some suggestion I made when I was much younger.

Such a cheap shot.

Even though holier books promote the notion that “out of the mouth of babes” come words of wisdom, we still contend that some accumulation of years is necessary to guarantee the validity of a thought.

It’s become the way we debate: we don’t consider an opinion. We don’t weigh the ideas based upon history and practicality.

  • We attack people.
  • We limit them by education.
  • We condemn them by age.
  • And we most certainly cubby-hole them by gender.

I remember one day, I was having a conversation with a couple of colleagues, and my young son, Jerrod, who was seven at the time, interrupted and voiced an insight. I could tell by looking at the faces of my friends that they not only were perturbed with the intrusion, but had already decided to ignore the little fella’s questioning.

They were further surprised when I stopped our dialogue, leaned down to him and said, “Now, what did you say?”

The fact was, his particular inquiry into what we were talking about was very powerful and important. But it was just easier for them to cast aspersions on him of immaturity because he was short and hadn’t had enough birthdays.

Let me say it out loud:

I don’t care if you’re conservative; I don’t care if you’re liberal.

If you’re Muslim, Christian, Jew, Hindu or any other faith, it is not significant to me.

I am not going to condemn you by association to organizations or cliques that are targets for my nasty tongue.

I will hear you out.

I will tell you where I agree.

I will tell you what I find curious.

And I also will inform you where I think your presentation is insensitive to history and impractical for humans.

Aspersions are the subterfuge we use to promote our prejudice and bigotry … while seeming to do it with wit instead of the whip.

 

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Armed

dictionary with letter A

Armed: 1. (adj) equipped with or carrying a weapon or weapons.

I shot a gun seven times in my life.

Now, there’s an odd sentence.

What do I remember about the experience? I recall it as being fun.

I pointed a gun at a tin can and shot five times before I finally hit the thing. There was a real sense of satisfaction upon knocking over the former bean container.

I wanted to do it again.

If I really believed that being armed was a choice of recreation, I could completely comprehend the desire.

What I have trouble with is when people tell me they want to be armed so they can prepare to be dangerous.

After many years of dealing with human beings, I can tell you–we were never meant to be dangerous. Matter of fact, there is a real danger in us being dangerous, Why?

1. We are impetuous.

We do many things and are sorry later. It’s just hard to apologize for shooting someone.

2. We feel powerful about the wrong things.

The best gift we have is our ability to negotiate life and get along with others. Feeling the power of being armed sometimes makes us unwilling to be pliable.

3. We need good thoughts.

As long as we feel protected by a weapon, we will not use our better angels to fly in and solve our problems. And if we do, it may be in the back of our minds that we are still armed.

I know the classic saying is, “Guns don’t kill people; people kill people.”

I can’t argue with that.

But long before we actually kill one another, we can develop an attitude of intolerance because we feel endorsed by our weaponry.

  • It makes us nasty when we could be gentle.
  • It makes us pushy when we might achieve compromise.
  • And it makes us confident in implements of anger instead of instruments of peace.

 

 

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