Decentralize

Decentralize: (v) to distribute the administrative powers or functions of a central authority

The premise was simple:

Make sure that every Big Mac served in a McDonald’s restaurant anywhere in the world tastes equally as good.

Yet I will tell you, even if you have identical ingredients, it is still being made by people who rise and fall based on their level of passion.

  • You can organize.
  • You can inform.
  • You can bolster.

But there are certain individuals who will excel above others simply because they’ve established a standard which they refuse to abandon, even if inconvenience threatens them.

I know it is popular to believe the government can be decentralized—that we don’t need so much power in Washington, D. C., but instead, should distribute it throughout the states and local principalities.

But is it really possible that there are four hundred thousand respectable, trustworthy leaders to honor goodwill for the people?

How difficult is it to find one?

So if we can get that one example to be so shining that it encourages others to do better, then we have the makings of a possibility instead of a flop.

For I will tell you, even a leadership conference requires leaders.

And if you put fifteen people in a room, they will shake and rattle to their levels of importance and value unless you try to mess with it.

To provide for the common good means we need to have a central point where nothing but the common good is discussed, considered, honored and revered.

To expect this to be the same in Buttrick, South Dakota, as it is in Grassley, California, is not only optimistic, but maybe endangers good folks from getting good things.

Crawdad

funny wisdom on words that begin with a CCrawdad: (idiom) crayfish

If you run across a situation which is odd, or a group of people who seem a bit bizarre, always remember the power of the word “colorful.”

In other words, “these circumstances are not dangerous or bewildering—they’re just colorful.”

It’s a word I learned when I lived four years in Louisiana. Being raised in the Midwest, I found the folks of the Bayou to have many traditions I thought were challenging.

Chief among them was the eating of crawdads.

I had seen these creatures as a little boy. My parents even referred to them as the “poor man’s lobster.”

But I had never observed them regarded with such relish as in Louisiana. (Actually, relish is one of the few things they don’t eat crawfish with.)

I was frustrated. There is so little meat on the crawdad that it is an exhausting chore to get two tablespoon’s worth of fishy flesh. The natives, of course, laughed at me. They explained that the great taste of the little varmints lay in “sucking their heads.”

Yes. I’m talking about taking that tiny crusty head which looks like it came off the monster in “Alien,” and putting it up to your mouth and sucking in. They explained that many folks who tried it for the first time compared it to eating raw oysters.

Excellent. May I point out that to me, eating raw oysters is like being forced to slurp up one’s own snot?

I’m usually not this picky. After all, my entire life I have eaten hotdogs with no fear of gristle and bone fragments. But there is something so ugly about the crawdad. The little booger just gives me the creeps.

I tried. But even after four years, whenever they walked over to a table covered with newspaper and dumped a big pan of them onto the table, my first instinct was to scream like a little girl and run down to McDonald’s and order a Happy Meal.


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Choosy

Choosy: (adj) overly fastidious in making a choice.

Oh, there goes Webster again.

For some reason, the dictionary feels it’s important to offer a certain amount of social commentary in describing the words that are showcased.

Here is the truth of the matter as far as I know: if you are not choosy, eventually you don’t get to choose, and you’re stuck with what’s chosen for you.

Welcome to Earth.

So portraying “choosy” as a negative attitude is the propaganda of governments, religionists, politicians and Madison Avenue agents, who would really like to plan your entire life, but feel that saying this bluntly might scare you away. So instead, they connote that you are “choosy” if you do not choose what they want you to choose on any chosen occasion.

If the dinner menu for the night is barbecued baked beans with barbecued beef and barbecued corn bread with barbecued pudding for dessert, folks might frown at you if, in a choosy way, you insist you prefer not to “go barbecue” tonight.

The problem in our world is not that people are too choosy. The difficulty lies in the fact that we’re not given enough choice.

  • Politics is divided into two major parties, with a whisker’s difference between the pair.
  • Churches insist they offer varieties of services, while simultaneously delivering the same spiritually tone-deaf message.
  • And the clothing in the department stores settles into shades that are determined to be this season’s preference, with stylings which are the “hit of the catwalk.”

What would happen if Americans actually did become choosy?

If we decided not to let the critics determine the best motion pictures?

If we didn’t leave it up to aging librarians to pick out the top books?

What if we had an open marketplace, an open discussion, an open spirit and an open mind–to give things a platform and see how they fared?

What if the whole world were a blind taste test? How would McDonald’s, Wal-Mart, Apple, Democrats, Republicans and the religious system chart?

I’m choosy–and pretty proud of it. I often disagree with other people about my choices, but never in a disagreeable way.

But I’m not about to believe that something being popular gives it any more credence than I am to think that the hula-hoop was meant to last forever.

 

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Charismatic

Charismatic: (adj) relating to the charismatic movement in the Christian Church.

Even in the midst of the 500th anniversary of Martin Luther nailing his 95 Theses on the door of the Wittenburg Church, symbolizing the beginning of the Reformation Movement and the Protestant rendition of the faith, my mind prefers to go back less than fifty years–when
those boundaries existing between Catholics and Protestants were melted away by a simple sweet spirit.

I had just begun traveling the country–a young man full of dreams and plagued by empty pockets–when suddenly the walls that had once stood strong between the denominations of the followers of Jesus began to tumble by a movement of the Holy Spirit.

Matter of fact, many of my first opportunities to sing and share ended up being in front of Catholic Charismatic meetings, where those who honored a Pope and offered wine and cheese for snacks, suddenly joined hands in prayer with their Protestant counterparts.

It was beautiful. It was childlike. It was awe-inspiriring and sometimes a bit clumsy.

One night at a McDonald’s, one of my Catholic brothers, in an attempt to validate his newfound freedom and faith, proclaimed to the entire table of hamburger-munchers that “Jesus wiped with the same hand we do.” Everybody graciously said a quiet “amen,” our Big Macs suddenly shrinking in appeal.

What were the ingredients that made this movement so successful?

  1. They didn’t take too much time discussing theology.
  2. Everyone became known as a “Charismatic” instead of identifying by their denominational nametag.
  3. Love and hugging were just as important as Bible study and prayer.
  4. The music was like children’s hymns, sung with tears.
  5. It unified.

The Charismatic Movement didn’t last very long. False teachers, televangelists and those who wanted to make a dime off of a penny’s worth of thoughts soon came in and ravaged the faithful.

But it truly was charismatic.

Charismatic in the sense of being totally charming.

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Abstemious

by J. R. Practix

dictionary with letter A

Abstemious: (adj.) not self-indulgent, especially when eating or drinking. “We only had one bottle.” “Very abstemious of you.”

It’s not fair.

Well, of course, it IS fair. It’s just more powerful to begin an essay like this with an obtuse proclamation of disparity.

I can go into a restaurant and watch somebody eat a total of three thousand calories at one sitting (being a fatty, I have total awareness of the calorie count of every known food) and watch as that individual, who has consumed this humongous amount of food, stands up and leaves, appearing to be as thin as a razor.

I, on the other hand, can meticulously consume twelve hundred calories in an entire day, and not shed one single ounce in the process.

I do not know if it’s some great cosmic joke. I am not sure if it’s some sort of genetic foible. It could be that there is a missing link in my own thinking that needs to be inserted, or a demon which needs to be driven from my deep, dark, fatty soul, to allow me to walk in the “thinness of life.”

But last night I ran headlong into the situation. Finishing up my evening, having not yet consumed my dinner, I was hungry. Now, understand–as a fat person, I don’t need to be hungry to eat. Matter of fact, there are nights when I’m watching television when I am quite full, but still am taking a mental inventory of the contents of the nearby refrigerator.

But last night I had actually expended energy and was famished. Yet I wanted to remain faithful to some unseen code of behavior, which would allow me to be considered a “fatty-in-retreat” instead of a plumper, charging ahead for more gain. So I ordered myself a twelve-inch veggie sandwich from Subway, brought it home, purchased a small bag of chips and ate it. Although quite delicious, when I finished it, I began to look around the room to find out where my dinner had gone.

They tell you if you wait twenty minutes after eating, you will feel full. I’m sure this is true, but twenty minutes might as well be three days unless you put me into a coma. I am going to start looking for alternatives. What can I further consume which will make me look righteous in my pursuit of weight loss, but still satisfy the little fat boy who live in the basement of my house?

I’m sure I did poorly.

Can I tell you?–I’m tired of doing poorly. It’s not that I am tired of pursuing upright eating. No, it’s just that sometimes I feel like I’m going against the natural order of my existence in an attempt to look better or buy more time in the calendar of my years.

Don’t get me wrong. I will still be here today–parsing my calories and analyzing my food.

Abstemious–choosing to avoid certain things.

Because it’s my lot. Some people can’t do what I do, and I can’t eat three thousand calories at McDonald’s without having someone roll me out the door in a wheelbarrow, doing chest compressions.