Commandment

Commandment: (n) a divine rule, especially one of the Ten Commandments

Sometimes it baffles me.

If God is our Creator, and He knows that we have a strong streak of asshole right in the middle of our attitude, why would He think presenting us with Ten Commandments was a cherry idea?

I’m not saying He should have made it “suggestions” or “insights,” but if you tell anybody that sprouts human skin that there’s something they must do to acquire approval, they will not only do the opposite, but will also insist that you applaud them for doing it.

So I’ve never been clear on what a Commandment does.

For instance, I never understood why a bunch of old people in Dixie want to put the Ten Commandments out on the front lawns of courthouses all over the county. What do they expect? Do they think children are going to walk up, read them and say, “My God, if I knew what ‘bear false witness’ meant, I might consider it…”

And also–those Commandments have not done a lot to prevent screwing, stealing and murder.

What is the correct approach?

After all, we have another old saying, which concludes that merely leading a horse to water does not guarantee that it will drink, let alone bathe.

So how do we impact ourselves, other people and the world around us with great ideas?

Everyone knows the answer to this:

Just do them yourself until you start a fad and sell t-shirts.

 

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Civil

Civil: (adj) courteous and polite.

Civil is what you end up with when you can’t convince people to be kind but you’ve talked them out of being assholes.

The possibility of showing mercy seems weak to them, but they would like to escape the “old man” or “old woman” profile of grumpy.

Now, there’s an aspiration.

Stop judging people because they’re not nice.

Stop judging people because they’re not nice enough.

Here’s an idea: stop judging people.

Instead, look for reasonable acts of civility. Don’t demand kindness. Maybe that’s just a profile reserved for saints. What we’re looking for is civility. Civility is the presence of a realization with a threat hanging over it. Simply stated:

“You can have what you want as long as you let everybody else have what they want. The minute you don’t let other people have what they want, you cease to have what you want.”

As long as our “wanter” is not killing people, stealing or destroying, it should be taken into consideration and given equal place with the “wanters” of others.

This is called civil.

It’s a decision to refuse to overlord (since you’re not really a god in the first place.)

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-cide

-cide: (combining form) denoting a person or substance that kills.

Sitting here leisurely in my comfortable chair being allowed the luxury of thought, I am suddenly and completely overwhelmed with the futility of killing.

I don’t know why it struck me that way this morning. I didn’t have any trouble eating my breakfast sausage, which certainly required the life
of a pig (or was it a turkey?)

But overall, I am bewildered.

It seems to me that as long as we live in a world where an insult from our neighbor causes us to close down communication, and further intimidation coming from this newly found enemy pushes us to contemplate violence, won’t we always just be two steps away from murder–especially when those portions of life which are supposed to soften our hearts–moments like spirituality–are mysteriously fueled by feuds and sensations of supremacy? What will ever drag us away from the “killing fields?”

I shall not continue sharing much more because I fear that I’m waxing eloquent instead of relevant.

Are there people, creatures, causes, nations or even religions that deserve to be eliminated?

I don’t know.

I guess, this morning, all I’m telling you is, I sure as hell don’t want to be the one to de-“cide.”

 

 

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Avant-garde

Avant-garde: (n) new and unusual or experimental ideas, especially in the arts or the people introducing them.dictionary with letter A

The word is much more fun to pronounce than it is to live.

First of all, you cannot proclaim yourself avant-garde. It’s similar to tacking the qualification of “genius” onto your resume.

If you are actually avant-garde and filled with ingenious concepts which will push human life forward, the title must be bestowed upon you as you humbly bow your head and deny it.

For some reason, in our society we cannot tell the difference between innovators and well-funded assholes. It may be a little confusing.

But innovators can always be identified as those individuals who seek the common good without trying to empty the common pot. They are interested in an idea going forward instead of having themselves pushed forward because of their ideas.

Much to my amazement, many things that I believe, hold dear and wish to elevate are considered avant-garde, when in my thinking, they’re just practical.

Cases in point:

  1. I don’t think we can continue to promote a culture where men and women are at war with each other.
  2. It’s ridiculous to approach any group of people as an entity instead of allowing each individual to manifest his or her own personal entity.
  3. Killing is bad–whether brought about by war, abortion or capital punishment.
  4. Being grown-up is developing a sense of humor, not a bad attitude.
  5. Music is emotional. That’s it. You can put it into categories, but if it doesn’t touch the human heart, it’s mechanical clatter.
  6. God does not need us to believe in Him. God needs us to believe in each other and in so doing, establish our belief in something beyond ourselves.
  7. The only way to prevent the end of the world is to do something in the present world.
  8. Earth requires that we be conservative when it’s necessary to conserve, and liberal when it’s required to be generous.
  9. Judging people by color is totally against our instincts–since we begin life with a box of 64 Crayolas.
  10. I don’t know enough to be smart. I won’t be smart until I know enough. I must be satisfied with not ever being smart.

There are some of my avant-garde views. Perhaps you share in some of my convictions, and perhaps not.

But the beauty of an ongoing discussion is that while we’re still having it … life jumps in with the final word.

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Armaments

dictionary with letter A

Armament: (n) Military weapons and equipment. 

Do you realize that there are people in the world who get up every morning and go to work to try to come up with new ideas for weapons that are bigger and meaner than the ones we’ve already manufactured?

I don’t want to be self-righteous, but it’s certainly not a job I would want to pursue.

After all, once you’ve discovered an implement that’s capable of killing someone, doing it more effectively or with double power seems to be…well, over-kill.

There was a point in the 1960’s when both the U.S. and the Soviet Union touted that each was able to destroy the world ten times over through nuclear weapons.

Did they really intend on procuring nine other planets?

Or was this just little boys on the playground boasting on how far they could spit?

As long as we have a military budget which is built on discovering more creative ways to be destructive rather than maintaining an existing prowess that encourages peace, I think we may be guilty of some misappropriation of funds.

Armaments scare me. It’s not because I’m afraid to die.

It’s just because I don’t like to discuss modes of death… before I get there.

 

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Arena

dictionary with letter A

Arena: (n) a place or scene of activity, debate or conflict.

I grew up hearing stories about Christians being killed in various arenas of the Roman Empire. Recently, I’ve discovered that some of these reports are erroneous and that the Romans didn’t really deem such uncontested murder to be entertaining enough to bump the gladiators off the sports line-up.

I was always curious about it.

I know the Romans were quite brutal, but what would be so harmful about the Christian philosophy, requiring it to be condemned in a public arena?

It is a message that attempts to be inclusive, and blend in to the mixture like yeast in dough, allowing for expansion without destroying the surroundings.

But of course, there are certain things that need to be placed into the arena of public debate, which are too often taken for granted. Perhaps I should remove the phrase “public debate.” We certainly have enough of that. There are people who make a living by stirring up trouble and never hanging around to clean up afterwards.

Perhaps I should say there are certain ideas which should be taken into the arena of our hearts, where they can be battled through to a conclusion which causes us to be non-harmful to ourselves and others.

1. Drug use.

Even though we’ve tried to make it an issue of freedom, in the long run, it is a medical dilemma.

  • What happens when any drug goes into our bodies?
  • How does it alter us?
  • Does it improve us?
  • Is the improvement worth the alteration?

2. Killing.

The trouble with killing is that it’s very permanent. There is no such thing as a temporary murder. Since it tends to hang around forever, we might want to think a bit more about enacting it–whether it’s war, guns or abortion, would it (pardon the expression) kill us to consider, in the arena of our thoughts, the ramifications of our deeds?

3. Intolerance.

First, I don’t like the word. It has an arrogance about it which connotes that I reluctantly “tolerate” something or someone. I actually prefer the word “indifference.” There are many things I disagree with, but since I don’t have to participate, why should I care?

Do I really think God in heaven is sitting around musing over color, culture, sexual orientation or preferences? If He is, He’s a real nudge and a brat.

Since He made us inconsistent, He might just want to be patient with our inconsistencies.

Every single day of my life, I try to go into the arena of my heart and think about these three monsters that have basically been welcomed into our midst and devour parts of humanity without our permission as we allow them to lumber about.

I don’t like drugs.

I’m against killing.

And it’s not hard for me to be indifferent about things that aren’t my business.

 

 

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Anthropogeny

dictionary with letter A

 

Anthropogeny: (n)  the study of the origin of humankind.

I guess it doesn’t matter much whether you believe in Darwinian evolution, all the way up through the human, or if you believe in a Creator who spoke everything into existence in seven God-ordained days.

Still, somewhere along the line, if it’s evolution, some monkey looked around the jungle and said, “Enough of this banana farm! I’m launchin’ on my own.”

Or some Adam, in a Garden with Eve, said, “Enough of the rules. I’m gonna eat what I want.”

For at the core of humanity, there is a willingness to learn and a strong unwillingness to apply the knowledge.

This has caused many people to be self-loathing, with disparaging thoughts such as, “I’m only human” or “human beings are crap” or “people are no damn good.”

But I think the true essence of the history and the progression of the human race is found in the simple statement, “The spirit is willing but the flesh is weak.”

And those who focus on their flesh often find that they gain only temporary pleasure because there’s no spirit, and those who tighten the spiritual belt become critical of other folks because they’re jealous over unattained pleasure.

So what’s the best way to be a human being?

Clean–unafraid to admit who you are, what you’re feeling and what you desire, realizing that tomorrow it may change. So since you know that it may change tomorrow, you aren’t intent on stealing, killing and destroying to acquire the moment’s whim.

In the process you can try to become a bit more effective at taking what you’ve learned and using it to improve your situation.

So as it pertains to the raging debate between the evolutionist and the creationist, we still end up with today, in which we’re human beings in need of some direction … and are desperately required to be more honest.

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