Comment

Comment: (n) a verbal or written remark expressing an opinion or reaction.

Having abandoned journalism, many forms of etiquette, courtesy and basic grammar, the Internet continues to pass along ideas from people who refuse to accept the fact that others have a creative bend and require consideration.

Somewhere in the past two decades we have lost the true definition of commenting. Let me begin by telling you what it is not.

A comment is not you offering an opinion. In other words, if someone writes an article stating that the President of the United States is a great historical figure filled with virtue, a comment would be on the writer’s approach, delivery, information and process in drawing conclusions. A comment is not jotting down, “Idiot, moron, and son-of-a-bitch” with multiple exclamation points. (A single exclamation point is supposed to express great passion. When I see two, I perceive stupidity.)

Commenting is letting folks know how what they had to share, think, or even a meal you prepared was received. It is not replacing their input with your dogma–feeling as if this resolves the issue for all time.

Often my children recommend a movie to me. If I watch it, I offer the following comment:

“I can see why you liked it. Maybe I wasn’t in the mood for this movie on the night I watched it, but I did not garner the usual impact or inspiration that I normally enjoy from a flick. It is certainly the kind that I normally do pursue, but this particular one left me cold. Maybe it’s because I don’t understand what the writer and director were trying to communicate.”

This is commenting–a blend of honesty and humility allowing the person who has shared to leave the house without fear of being gunned down by a maniac.

I welcome comments.

I make errors.

But I do not give you permission to ravage my material simply because it busted out the walls of your mental one-room sublet.

 

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Clot

Clot: (n) a thick mass of coagulated liquid, especially blood

We bleed.

If punctured–if the skin is pierced–blood comes forth.

It’s red. Some people would say maroon. I’ve heard crimson and burgundy also. It’s in the red family–as we are all in the human family–which bleeds.

Here’s the amazing part–we certainly want to stop the bleeding, and we can do so with confidence. Because if we just buy some time, the bleeding stops by
forming its own clot.

It is a study of nature–the Natural Order has its problems, but also offers solutions.

Such is the case with bleeding and clotting. It’s a reassuring thought.

Yesterday I looked down at my arm and saw that I had scratched myself. The only reason I knew was some blood had erupted to the surface. It was dried and clotted.

I took some alcohol, washed it off and finally got down to the original, tiny scratch, which then threatened to bleed again. But with a few swipes of alcohol, it was encouraged to stay home.

It is greatly comforting that even though I am a creature who bleeds–spiritually, emotionally, mentally and physically–built within me is the benefit of the clot.

I probably won’t bleed to death unless the blood comes out much too quickly. Then, if I can stop the gusher, I can set healing in motion.

In many of my relationships, I have the evidence of wounds which are scabbed over.

It’s not pretty–but it’s not bleeding.

And the memory of the scab, which is later followed by the scar, reminds me of how foolish it is to jeopardize well-being in an attempt to usurp my authority.

We bleed. We clot. It is a magnificent example of self-correction.

It’s what makes me believe in a Universal Physician, who realized how we might get wounded, so placed within us the first fruits of healing.

 

 

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Basket Case

Basket case: (n) a person or thing regarded as useless or unable to cope.Dictionary B

The most delicate journey in our Earth life is finding the balance between mercy and muscle.

When is it good to be sympathetic, and when is it necessary to exhort and challenge ourselves and those around us?

The truth of the matter is, weakness has no advantage unless it’s exposed–so that can grow into greater strength.

Being diagnosed as lacking–be it emotional, spiritual, mental or physical–does not really grant us an identity, but rather, assigns us a number and shoves us in a prison cell.

What do we do when we run across people who are basket cases, finding themselves completely overwhelmed by their circumstances, and often not comprehending why their burden is so cumbersome?

Mercy is a beautiful thing. atter of fact, without being merciful, none of us are worthy to obtain it.

Yet the predilection in our society to doctor tiny cuts and scrapes as if they are mortal wounds is not merciful at all, but ends up being a way of manipulating the frustrated brethren around us into becoming incapacitated.

I’m sure there is a true diagnosis for clinical depression, but I will tell you–not everyone who claims it has it.

I’m certain there are all sorts of diseases and conditions which infest the human body and brain, but by no means are these maladies meant to leave us dormant.

I guess what I’m trying to say is, there are too many unnecessary basket cases for us to really minister to the real ones.

Sometimes we need to stand up and accept that what is set before us is our present lot, and we would do better to buck up a bit and find a way to not only endure it … but win. 

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Baritone

Baritone: (n) an adult male singing voice between tenor and bass.Dictionary B

In my teen years, I found myself caught up in the world of Southern Gospel music. This was brought about because the church I attended was feverishly interested in the medium.

Southern Gospel music is a collision of real gospel music, barbershop quartets, revivalism and a bit of show business (without admitting that you’re performing).

The quartet is usually male and is divided into four singing parts:

  • Bass: a voice that covers the deep root note of each chord
  • Lead: that’s the melody boy
  • High tenor: which generally speaking is an alto part, taken up an octave
  • And baritone. Nobody ever wanted to be baritone.

The baritone part was always considered a symbol of weakness. It was the part for those men who were not manly enough to perform very low notes, nor strong enough to carry the song’s melody, or high enough to dazzle the audience with tones in the clouds.

It was a standard joke. Whenever the baritone member of the group was introduced, the emcee would say, “Barely a tone passes from his lips.”

But here’s the interesting thing: most male speakers or singers are baritones. So as always, we take the common and we make it mediocre, causing the majority of the folks around us to feel inadequate, as we worship the handful who do the extremes and make the news.

Until we learn to take the people in our lives who are emotional, spiritual, mental and physical baritones and teach them to shine out the very best they can with what they’ve got, we will have a world of over-promoted tenors and basses … and jealous “barely-a-tones.”

 

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Assets

Asset: (n) a useful or valuable thing, person, or quality.dictionary with letter A

Piling things up.

If we don’t discover the meaning of our existence, we just end up accumulating indiscriminately.

To find out the meaning of life without becoming terribly ethereal, we must understand that we are heart, soul, mind and strength.

Each one needs assets.

  • For my heart, I need enriching emotional experience to counteract my fear of being loved and my reticence on loving others.
  • I need spiritual assets–things to believe in which can exist on earth as they do in heaven.
  • Mentally, give me the treasure of knowing that I’m always in the process of renewing my need to know.
  • And my body requires the assets of healthy food, healthy sleep, healthy exercise and healthy usage.

Anything that assists these four units is an asset. Anything that doesn’t is a distraction.

Can it really be that simple?

I hope so–because complications make me either frustrated or self-righteous.

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Anti-septic

dictionary with letter A

Anti-septic: (adj) of or relating to substances that prevent disease-causing micro-organisms.

They put a sign on my door.

Apparently, my condition was common enough that these signs were readily available for ordering from some medical supply house.

The sign read, “This patient is septic.”

Nurses and doctors started walking into my room wearing gloves and masks. I felt like I was in a horror flick and had unfortunately been cast in the role of “the horror.”

What they discovered was that I had an infection which had spread throughout my bloodstream, and therefore every excretion from my body, including my sweat and spit, was toxic.

It was weird.

It made me appreciate the term “anti-septic.” Because when I was anti-septic–completely against the concept–people liked me a lot more and didn’t have to bundle up like mummies to be in my presence.

They put me on a treatment and within a couple of days they were able to remove the sign and my practitioners stripped themselves of all necessary protection.

Now…without becoming too philosophical, we can be septic in many ways, including emotionally, spiritually and mentally. All “septic” really means is that we are poisonous to those around us. It would be good to engage an anti-septic at that point, don’t you think?

So when I am emotionally septic–in such a bad mood that I’m not fit to be a caretaker of snakes–I quarantine myself so as not to spew unrighteous feelings into the air to infect the general populace.

When I’m spiritually septic i spend some time thinking about how blessed I am, and then, with tears in my eyes, apologize to a generous Father in heaven, who is waiting for me to come to my senses.

And when I’m mentally septic–promoting my own prejudices instead of truth–I allow myself the grace of shutting my mouth until some healing can happen in my thoughts.

Anti-septic is a good thing. Because septic kills.

And we certainly have too much of that going around, don’t we? 

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Antibody

dictionary with letter AAntibody (n): a blood protein produced in response to and counteracting a specific antigen.

I know I encounter futility when I come across someone who tells me that life is complicated.

Actually, life is amazingly simple–as long as you’re willing to accept how it has progressed instead of creating your own “revolution against the evolution.”

This becomes evident to me when I realize that in order to build up resistance to disease, you actually have to encounter the vermin and have your body react with the positive energy to reject the infection, and make sure the varmint doesn’t return again.

Why wouldn’t the parallel be just as true in our emotional, spiritual and mental lives?

Emotionally, if I don’t encounter all sorts of personalities and even struggles, do I not become a hermit–or worse, a bigot?

Spiritually, if I don’t understand how my faith stacks up against other ideas, realizing where there are similarities and also aware of the differences, how will I ever have the endurance to achieve the end and be saved?

And mentally, if the ideas shared by my upbringing are not challenged and questioned, so that I can derive the best of the precepts for future use, will I not become a mere provincial buffoon?

I love antibodies.

It’s physical evidence that we have been through the battle and we have won.

Stop complicating life and realize that it comes down to simply being willing to place yourself in the mix and trust that your ideas, your spirituality, your feelings and even your immune system … are strong enough to survive the competition.  

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