Ancient

dictionary with letter A

Ancient: (adj) belonging to the very distant past and no longer in existence.

The basic design of the human being has not changed for thousands of years. Parts be parts.

What makes us call former times “ancient” is the realization that these well-formed beings, possessing a tremendous brain, had a tendency to close down portions of that intellect in order to get along with the superstition and stupidity of their current time.

In other words, those who pursued Greek mythology back in old Athens were made ancient by the fact that they believed in gods and mortals, and sexual relations between the two which created Titans.

I’m sure it crossed the minds of some of them that this rendition of reality was a bit foolish. But to get along, they went along.

I’m sure there were many people during the witch trials in Salem, Massachusetts, who looked at the list of the accused and realized it was just little Sally, who they baby-sat as an infant, and therefore it was highly unlikely that she was the handmaiden of Beelzebub.

But they went along to get along–thus making them ancient instead of contemporary to us.

The truth of the matter is, the only people we respect today are those individuals from the past who stood against the flow of the ridiculous.

So you have to realize that many things we now accept will become ancient very quickly as time progresses and knowledge increases.

So my thanks go out to those historical individuals who are never going to be ancient because their ideas, although contrary to their times, have moved the human clock.

That is why it is my responsibility, as a parent and a grandparent, to continue to grow and expand in my vision, so that my offspring do not have to mumble under their breath ... “God, he’s ancient.”

 

 

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Alabama

Words from Dic(tionary)

dictionary with letter A

Alabama: (n) a state in the southeastern U.S. on the Gulf of Mexico, capital Montgomery, statehood, Dec. 14, 1819.

A state of mind.

Even though I must tell you, having traveled all over this country, that there are nests of belief, custom, culture and theology that persist or flourish in their particular homeland, the hatchet job that has been done to our fifty states to promote causes, newspaper articles and political agendas is abominable.

Nowhere is this more evident to me than in the perception of Alabama.

I would be amiss if I merely portrayed the “sweet home” aspects of this particular state. Like every other principality which has ever existed on earth, it is riddled with mishaps, bad judgments and incoherent ideas being fostered as “normal.”

But to personify Alabama–or any part of the south–as the hotbed for bigotry, ignorance and inequality is not only short-sighted, but comes from a place of arrogance and a desire to limit the qualities that these dear folks can offer to our country in faith and hospitality.

Some of the worst memories I have of my journeys have been in the south–especially Alabama–and also some of the golden treasures of people and discovery have also been found within its borders.

Here’s the truth: people live where they were hatched, take the best parts of their surroundings and mingle them with tolerance and love to form a workable way of being. No matter where they abide, if they accept the portions of their culture which alienate them from the rest of the world, they have gone down a foolish path. But if they set aside childishness, they gain eternal perspective.

Prejudice was not born in the south. Long before slaves were brought to this country, there were slaves in Rome, Greece, Egypt, China and every corner of our globe. Those who were intelligent, historical and also spiritual learn to recognize the limitations of their upbringing in deference to the mercy that the God of our creation requires of His children.

I love Alabama. I love Massachusetts. I love California–not because of the history book or the spouting of their individual Chambers of Commerce. No, it’s because I have met people in each of these locations–and many others–who have overcome their ancestors to be born again … to newness of life.

 

Adams (John)

Words from Dic(tionary)

by J. R. Practix

dictionary with letter A

Adams, John (1735-1826): the 2nd President of the U.S. from 1797-1801. A Massachusetts Federalist, he was a delegate to the Continental Congress from 1774-78 and helped draft the Declaration of Independence in 1776. He negotiated the Treaty of Paris, which ended the American Revolution in 1783.

John Adams was a wild card.

Wild cards are fun. Wild cards are specific units from a deck which can be anything we need them to be in order to complete a winning hand.

In an era which included the very secular Benjamin Franklin, along with the religious and often belligerent Patrick Henry, who were crashing together to attempt a common purpose, there was a need for a wild card who could converse, argue, fuss and negotiate with both parties freely and act as a wild card for independence.

Thus, John Adams.

It is rather doubtful that the anti-slave members of the Continental Congress and the Virginia slave owners could ever have gotten together had it not been for Mr. Adams:

He made them talk instead of just stomp out of the room in anger.

He provided a reason for a stuffy Puritan from Massachusetts to at least attempt to understand a tobacco-growing country boy from North Carolina.

He made freedom the issue instead of bogging us down in continual useless conversations over preferences.

Into every generation a John Adams must be birthed. Otherwise the extremes stand at a distance and hurl rocks at one another.

Behold: the problem we see in our political system today.

We have plenty of Benjamin Franklins in our Democratic Party and an abundance of Patrick Henrys in the Republicans and Tea Parties, who are both adept at spitting across the creek at each other, finding no common canoe or even a bridge where ideas could cross back and forth.

We need a John Adams. John Adams wasn’t flamboyant or even interesting. He had a calming effect. He found a way to argue without frustration, disagree minus splitting apart, and eventually found a way to come to terms without sacrificing principles.

Although he had deep convictions, he also had a political savvy which permitted him to be a buffer between those who eat Quaker Oats and them that prefer grits.

Never forget the value of a John Adams to our Declaration of Independence.

He found a way to be friends with Thomas Jefferson even when they were bitter political enemies.

We probably do not need to be on the hunt for a better leader for our country, or even for Congress to have more acceptable members. Our generation requires a John Adams–or a plethora of them–to come in and find the means for discussion … instead of the elements of argument.