Combine

Combine: (v) to unite; merge.

Earth is not a recipe.

Although we often consider it to be some sort of careful, articulate blending of ingredients, forming a broth or stew, it actually is nothing like that.

I think we’re a little frightened by how chaotic life actually is.

When you have a recipe, you gather your ingredients and you put in just the right amount of each one, to create something tasteful.

That’s not life. All life does is combine.

It doesn’t care if things agree and is indifferent to whether the enjoining of elements will end up being palatable.

It throws everything together, provides resources and stands back to see what will happen.

Those who pursue the comical belief that “everything has a purpose” and “God has a wonderful plan,”should go into the jungle, stand there, and just stare in every direction.

Thousands and thousands of forms of life, not to mention vegetation, combine to form what appears to be a huge single view with no apparent connection. Often the most intimacy in the jungle is burping after eating someone.

Although it frustrates the conservatives with how openly things combine, and it enrages the liberals about the inequity of the plan, favoring the fittest, the Universe doesn’t seem to care.

Matter of fact, on the day you’re born, the cosmos peers at you curiously and says, “So you’re here. Good luck. Please understand, it’s nothing personal. But we must get rid of you.”

 

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Bob

Bob: (n) a shortened name for Robert.

We’ve given up on Bob.Dictionary B

In an attempt to include Julius, Keesha, Manuel and Mohammed, we somehow or another felt it was necessary to reject Bob and relegate him to the museum of artifacts.

As much as conservatives suffer under the short-sightedness of failing to see where progress is heading, liberals are often so far-sighted that they stumble over the settled souls of their fellow-countrymen.

It took a lot of Bobs to make America.

They don’t understand everything that is going on–yet they won’t become more tolerant by constantly being told how bigoted they are.

Bob has a heart, which is often encased in a weathered, oaken trunk of tradition. It needs to be opened, tenderly and carefully.

As we try to give freedom and justice to all, we need to remember that this also includes Bob. He may be slower at arriving at necessary conclusions, but he should not be ignored because we find him tedious.

God bless America, with all of its unique names and nationalities.

But also, God bless Bob.

May we travel at a pace where we rest every once in a while … so all the Bobs in our country can catch up. 

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Badlands

Badlands: (n) extensive tracts of heavily eroded, irretrievable land with little vegetation often found in the Southwestern U.S.Dictionary B

As much as I believe that God is a person, during my journey here on Earth, I value Him mostly as a concept.

What I mean is that since I am living in an atmosphere which determines quality by results, I must look for mortal conclusions instead of insisting on eternal ones.

I’ve learned this from dealing with conservatives and liberals.

In both parties there are certain issues, regions or individuals they have deemed “bad”–dare I say, irretrievable?

So sitting in San Francisco, talking to some of my more liberal acquaintances, I will relate to them about my journeys into Mississippi and Alabama as they roll their eyes and wonder what I could possibly hope to achieve by peddling my thoughts to the ignoramus.

In like manner, I have conversed with my conservative friends in Georgia, who heard that I was heading to Southern California, as they told me they would pray for me, hoping I would be able to do something to enlighten those “fruits and nuts” in the Golden State.

The greatest danger in the human experience is accidentally trying to transform one group of humans to divinity while forcing the remnant to live with the apes.

  • There are no badlands–just regions with a lack of vision.
  • There are no good lands–just territory where they use their talents.
  • There are no chosen people–just folks.

We will finally reach a sense of true spirituality when we take a hint from our Creator and stop living our lives peering at the outward appearance, and instead, begin to ascertain what is possible in the heart.

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Androgynous

dictionary with letter A

Androgynous: (adj) Partly male and partly female in appearance; of indeterminate sex.

It’s just one of those issues.

Yes–a contentious idea that causes the liberals and conservatives to hide in the weeds, giggling, waiting to see what stance you might take, so they can proclaim you either friend or enemy.

Such is the term androgynous.

Will I appease the conservatives by acting like I have a semi-sympathetic heart about those who “choose” to have such an appearance, while secretly I’m laughing at them with my friends behind their backs?

Or will I make the liberals rejoice by making a blanket statement of acceptance, while going off with friends and desperately trying not to bring it up again for fear of being judgmental?

Sometimes I grow weary of the battle between clown philosophies–“clown” in the sense that you feel the need to don a costume and exaggerate your features so as to prove your allegiance to the cause.

Concerning this word, I need look no further than myself:

I am a fat, white man of German descent. For some inexplicable reason, I have no hair on my legs or chest. Being overweight, I have pectorals that occasionally could pass for girly, sixteen-year-old breasts. My skin is not rough and I’m not a tumbling sort. Yet I fathered five children and still prefer women instead of men.

If I were walking around a locker room with a bunch of macho individuals, I might appear, in some ways, to be a bit more “ladylike” than they are. Yet some of them would be more comfortable, welcome and visually acceptable in a gorilla cage.

What does it all mean? I don’t know.

But I am certain of one immutable fact: the more we try to identify each other visually, by outward appearance, the less we have the eyesight of God.

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Amid

dictionary with letter A

Amid: (adj) surrounded by, in the middle of

I don’t care.

I once attended a party in Nashville, Tennessee, back in the era when cocaine was the “dandy candy” and never participated, but instead, indulged in conversations with people until they were too stoned to speak, and made sure that folks got home safely.

I’ve been amid conservatives and found myself offering a counterpoint or perhaps an insight that was contrary to the party line.

Likewise, I’ve sat in a room of liberals who sipped their tea and giggled over the ignorance of the right-wingers, and shared with them that many of the folks they were condemning were solid human beings–the salt of the earth.

I’ve had the pleasure of being amid a crisis and remaining calm.

I’ve had the honor of being invited to a special event and discovering that there was no room for me, started to walk away quietly, only to be championed by someone who apparently admired my willingness to avoid fussing.

I’ve been amid a culture for the past twenty years which brags about its technology which only works part of the time, screams the word “exceptional” when mediocre results come tumbling in and argues for self-preservation, when the only way to inherit the earth is to choose a well-intentioned season of meekness.

I have been amid turmoil and proffered humor.

I have been amid misogyny and insisted on equality for all sexes.

I have been amid those who were rejected by society and had the humble privilege of offering a bed, a meal and a bit of hope.

It doesn’t matter what you’re amid.

What matters is what you bring to the midst.

 

Agenda

Words from Dic(tionary)

dictionary with letter AAgenda: (n) 1. a list of items or subjects to be considered at a meeting 2. determination of a program of action

  • Republicans want less government.
  • Democrats want more government.
  • Conservatives want to conserve.
  • Liberals want to be more liberal in their choices.
  • Baptists want to baptize.
  • Catholics want to take care of their religious obligation.
  • Buddhists want to meditate.
  • Bankers want to make money.
  • Wall Street wants to make money and also take it away from others.
  • Women want equal rights.
  • Men want sex rights.
  • Children want to play.
  • Drug dealers want to sell their product.
  • Politicians want your vote.
  • Actors want a job and praise.
  • Singers want applause and to sing.
  • Old people want more health care.
  • Young people want more fun.
  • Sailors want a boat.
  • Pilots want a plane.
  • Soldiers want action and their pay.
  • Hippies want peace.
  • Jews want Jerusalem.
  • Muslims want Jerusalem–without Jews.
  • Terrorists want their demands.
  • Dogs want a bone.
  • Cats want to do whatever they want to do.
  • Football players want a touchdown.
  • Baseball players want a homer.
  • A hockey player wants his teeth.

In a world where everybody has an agenda, we must understand that we are at the mercy of the ploys of society–UNLESS we are aware of the aspirations of others and try our best to arrive on the scene without too many pre-conceived ideas.

Is it possible to have an agenda to not have an agenda?

Doesn’t that just make you a contradiction in terms?

Accord

by J. R. Practix

dictionary with letter A

Accord: (v.)1.give or grant someone (power, status, or recognition):the powers accorded to the head of state [with two objects]:the young man had accorded her little notice 2. (accord with) (of a concept or fact) be harmonious or consistent with.

A meeting of the minds does assume that intelligence exists. So what happens when we proclaim that we’re going to have such a conclave–but knowledge, progress and wisdom have vacated the participants?

There is something wonderful about doing things in accord. It is a dynamic blending of granting one another individuality while simultaneously trusting our friend to use it for unity.

It’s a great thing to tell people that they are empowered–IF they use the energy to find reasons to get along with others. But if life boils down to a basic battle between Republicans, Democrats, conservatives, liberals, Protestants, Catholics, Crips and Bloods, we do no benefit whatsoever for the welfare of humankind by proclaiming that each one of us is uniquely “packaged.”

How do I know when folks are intelligent?

1. They seem to know it less than others do. Call it humility, refer to it as simplicity or just dub it the true essence of “smart.” People with intellectual bearing are never overbearing.

2. Intelligent people are looking for reasons to agree. You can always identify a troublemaker who has some blackness in the gray matter by the chip on the shoulder and the determination to alienate from the world.

3. Intelligent people know that human thinking is greatly affected by the emotions. Therefore they use humor, pathos and examples to explain their position rather than charts, stats and facts.

4. And finally, people who are intelligent enough to seek “accord” always walk away from the table of discussion having learned something. You don’t get smarter by holding on to what you know and ignoring what you could know.

It will take these four steps for us to solve many of the problems in our society:

  • It will take a Republican recognizing the validity of a Democrat’s position.
  • It will take a liberal acknowledging the value of a conservative’s principles.
  • It will take a Protestant appreciating the devotion expressed by a Catholic.
  • And it will take a Blood being willing to wear blue without fear of retribution from a Crip.

Intelligence is accord. For after all, when people are at war, their brains have obviously gone on vacation.