Brace

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Brace: (v) to get ready for something difficult or unpleasant

“I’m not alone.”

This statement is the essence of human sanity.

Being alone makes us lonely.

Lonely causes us to think we’re insignificant.Dictionary B

A feeling of insignificance makes us believe our contribution is meaningless.

I am not meaningless.

But I must understand that common sense, compassion, tenderness, fellowship and faith are often isolated on islands, separated from the mainland by cynical thinking.

Brace yourself.

  • You need to be prepared to be considered an outsider if you’re going to bring anything of value inside.

Brace yourself.

  • People are not going to naturally be kind, but instead, are motivated in a mob mentality, to pursue such wisdom.

Brace yourself.

  • What is passed off as logic is often, within a few short months, considered to be harmful and rejected for its ridiculous premise.

Brace yourself.

  • Look for things that are everlasting, and pursue them with vigor.

Brace yourself.

  • If you aren’t considered a little weird, then there’s no reason for you to be in the game.

Brace yourself.

  • Loving your neighbor may be considered to be unnecessary, irrelevant and unrealistic.

It is time for people who do not view themselves as good, but who desire to pursue good … to do good things.

 

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Benefactor

Benefactor: (n) a person who gives money or other help to a person or cause.

Dictionary B

  • The problem with autonomy is that it’s lonely.
  • The difficulty with collaboration is that it generally votes itself into a position of doing nothing.

So what is right?

When do we have an idea that is good enough that it needs a benefactor to fund it immediately instead of waiting for the greatness of the idea to bloom?

A good question.

I have had benefactors in my life. Even though each experience has eventually gone astray, I am still grateful for the generosity of those who believed in me for a very special season.

The reason that benefitting others eventually goes afoul is that when we try to control both the creativity of another person and the circumstances of life, we always end up looking foolish.

My benefactors were very excited about my gifts, abilities and talents–until they realized that “all good things come to them who wait.”

When their generosity did not bring forth immediate profit, they became impatient and started pointing fingers–many of which fell in my direction.

They left me too soon.

It’s not their fault.

Patience is where we possess our souls.

Yet most of our spirits are infested with the demon of shortsightedness.

 

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Beleaguered

Beleaguered: (v) beset with difficulties.

Dictionary B

In the midst of the howling horde of hooligans who are posturing for political prowess, two beleaguered words faithfully try to tempt and tantalize, while teaching us.

Honest and calm.

Honesty has been given so much disregard that it almost seems relegated to the naivete or those who have made some sort of holy vow of promise.

However, honest is really just a truthful representation of the facts as we know them.

Calm, on the other hand, has been equated with meek–weak–which has been linked with the word “freak.”

Yes, we consider it to be anti-human to remain gentle and relaxed in the presence of a world of tribulation.

Honest and calm, two beleaguered but necessary attributes, continue to linger in the lobby of life, hoping someone will come up and strike up a conversation.

“Hello, Honest. How are you today? Are things working out? You appear lonely. You seem like you’re going to give up on your mission of honoring the truth.”

“Greetings, Calm. What’s it like trying to stay mellow in a world of rage? Do you feel useless? Do you wish you could just change a letter and become a clam? Of course, then they would say you’re ‘clamming up.'”

It is time for us to welcome back honest and calm.

Without them, we doubt the integrity of each other … and are always prepared to attack.

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Apparition

dictionary with letter A

Apparition (n.) a remarkable thing that makes a sudden appearance, especially a ghost.

I believe in ghosts.

Not the cloudy, smoky spirits of souls who have gone on to their reward or retribution. I’m talking about the ghosts of bad ideas, inclinations and fallacies that possessed our world in the past, and now have come to haunt us in the present.

  • Sometimes I just wish we could come up with new bad ideas.
  • Sometimes I just wish there was something new.

But instead we have the poltergeist of previous ridiculous concepts rising up from the grave, where we thought we buried it, only to spook us once again.

We don’t have new scandals. We have the spirit of Richard Nixon and Watergate infesting the present bodies of our politicians, making them do the same stupid mistakes he tried to pull off, which ended up with his destruction.

We don’t have music born of the spirituality and emotions of our own generation, but rather, grave-robbers who go and dig up the tunes of those who are now decomposing.

We are continually vexed by the apparitions of past failures or the ongoing celebration of victories, where the band has already played and marched away.

We spend too much time celebrating the past, forgetting the prejudice, disease and dumbness that prevailed.

I believe in ghosts because we refuse to inter the past.

So we just keep living this stuff over and over again … like a bunch of tales from the crypt.

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Apparent

dictionary with letter A

Apparent (adj.)1. clearly seen or understood; obvious. 2. seeming real, but not necessarily so.

All of our eyeballs have been blurred, leaving our vision tainted.

Perhaps it was the disappointment brought on by the tension of adolescence, or some hidden prejudice inserted into our thinking by well-meaning parents.

It might have been high expectation which was dashed and brought crashing to the earth by the flak of reality.

Somewhere along the line we began looking at the world through clouded lenses of bigoted conclusions.

Therefore what is apparent to one person is not equally as apparent to another. Matter of fact, we’ve developed a whole philosophical approach to the issue, insisting that we’re all quite different, and in our difference we find our “special purpose.”

Yet it doesn’t occur to us that if we all have different views of what is necessary, beautiful and spiritual, we’re more likely to collide into each other in the dark than to embrace each other in the light.

I do think it’s important that we come to some common ground on what is apparent, and even if we don’t completely understand it, submit to the wisdom of some very essential precepts:

1. We are not here alone.

In other words, we cannot live our lives as if there are no other human beings, and trying to pursue our goals without a belief in a Creator can be more frustrating than enriching.

2. The truth will make you free.

Lying is a detour which takes you through town, past the beautiful houses, but always ends up at the city dump. No one ever gets away with lying–and truthfully, the longer the deceit is disguised, the worse the retribution.

3. Miracles are God’s business, but talent is mine.

There is no replacement for ability applied with hard work. Those who peddle shortcuts, easy diet plans and get-rich schemes may be the closest thing we will ever see to flesh-and-blood satans.

There are things which are apparent. If we agree, we can begin to pull together instead of pushing and shoving each other. But to get this done, we must stop believing that the Earth is a series of human islands instead of a continent of brothers and sisters.

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Apparel

dictionary with letter A

Apparel: (n) clothing

For most of my life, I have been a vagabond traveler with a bit of gypsy in my soul, who mustered just enough air of sophistication to avoid being deemed “Bohemian.”

But for a very brief season, I bought a piece of land and became “Lord of the Manor,” which along with its title, warranted the purchasing of garments to hang in a closet, since it was available for walking in.

I was a little shocked at how quickly I accumulated apparel. A shopping trip here, a gift there, a sale when someone was convinced I couldn’t live without some sweater handed over to me as a surprise…

It all eventually filled my closet with more turtlenecks than prayer.

And with it came shoes.

In my early years, I had one pair of shoes to my name and when they began to wear out, it would take me several weeks to conclude that they were no longer foot-worthy and needed replaced. But at one point, I think I had almost twenty pairs in my hideaway.

So here’s what I discovered about an abundance of apparel: for most of my garments, it was a very lonely life. Matter of fact, it’s a wonder that some of them didn’t “suit me” for non-support. (I apologize for that one. Sometimes I can’t resist.)

After all was said and done, it boiled down to about four outfits that I universally wore from week to week, and a few extra pieces thrown on as occasional accessories.

I truly learned the importance of the adage, “Take no thought for what ye shall wear.”

Because all a closetful of apparel did for me was make me feel guilty about ignoring my threads.

 

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Again

Words from Dic(tionary)

dictionary with letter A

Again: (adv) another time; once more

It’s all about french fries.

For a very brief season, french fries lost their appeal–they became an afterthought: “Would you like fries with that?”

Having already selected my sandwich of choice and determined my milkshake preference, I had french fries thrust upon me by my server, giving me the sensation that they were trapped in the back, toasted brown, desperately lonely. Matter of fact, in that era, not much care was put into them.

They began to taste like fried sticks.

So you had to decide if you were gonna have french fries AGAIN.

You see, the trouble with the word “again” is that it threatens to become repetitive, bringing sameness to our lives, which causes us to become bored, robbing us of entertainment.

Thus french fries.

Matter of fact, I am not sure they could have survived this season of doldrums if someone had not come along to smear them with cheese, bacon, jalapenos, and I don’t know…maybe even whipped cream. Then french fries gained interest because they brought along friends and a fresh outlook. They were welcome–even flirting with the possibility of bumping the main course.

It’s not that there’s anything WRONG with “again,” but normally when we use the word, our voices trail off into the great pit of despair:

  • “I have to go to school … again.”
  • “It’s Sunday morning church … again.”
  • “I’ve been married for thirty years. I guess it’s time to kiss my wife … again.”

If we don’t do something to spice up the side dishes of our lives with innovation and flavor, having something “again” will never be pleasant. It will become the kind of march to blandness that convinces us that we’ve been cheated rather than blessed.

I’m going to write my essay again …but I’m going to make it cheesy and spicy.