Barb

Barb: (n) a cutting remark.Dictionary B

I believe the old adage is, “If you can’t say anything nice, don’t say anything at all.”

Of course, that concept is not only optimistic, it is not necessarily beneficial in improving situations and evolving our efforts.

Yet I’m often curious if there is a way to speak without coming across phony or critical. What would that be? Because the truth makes us free. At least, that’s the assertion. But what is the freedom we are granted by the truth?

It all depends on whether the truth arrives with judgment, explanation or merely as comment.

After all, “I don’t like this” is not the same as “I don’t like this and you shouldn’t like it, too” and certainly has no familiarity with, “I don’t like this because God doesn’t like it.”

I think you can actually speak the truth with love, free of barbs, if you don’t have to involve the mob or beseech the Divine as your ally.

If someone loves me, it should be enough for me to say, “I don’t like that.”

  • It doesn’t mean they should stop doing it.
  • It doesn’t mean that the heavens are preparing a hell because of their choices.
  • It means I have a preference.

Here is a factual statement:

I will never be able to share THE truth. All I can do is share MY truth. And my truth consists of the things that edify me, encourage me and make me stronger.

We live in a generation of verbal barbs. Self-righteousness is not limited to religious people, but permeates politics, business and entertainment.

You may feel free to criticize any one of my articles, knowing for certain that I will hear your words and I will learn.

I don’t fear changing my mind. I consider it my advantage to evolve.

Having a brain that can reject nonsense and embrace potential … is truly a confirmation of the divine.

 

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Bagel

Bagel: (n) a dense bread roll in the shape of a ring, made by boiling dough and then baking it.Dictionary B

I like bagels.

Of course, considering the fact that I am a food addict, there’s nothing unique about that statement–I rarely run across any particular food that is distasteful to me, unless someone has over-explained where it came from.

One of my favorite stories about bagels revolves around my first journey to New York City. I was a little intimidated to be driving my vehicle in the huge metroplex, especially when I arrived at the George Washington Bridge and saw the back-up of traffic.

Historically, I have made great efforts to stay away from gridlock, because I have no desire to try my patience behind the wheel.

But since I was trapped on the bridge, I decided to make the best of it by looking around at other cars. As I inched my way up the ramp to the bridge itself, I looked to my right and left, and scattered all over the terrain, adjacent to the road, were little, tiny bits and pieces of discarded bagels.

I do not know why this specific location became a dumping ground for the remnants of the breakfast of hundreds of motorists, but there were so many pieces of these bagels lying around that you nearly could not see the ground.

So I put my mind to it.

Obviously, somewhere along the line, this area was bagel-free. God did not create the Heavens and Bagel Earth. In other words, the original earth was free of bagels.

So ONE PERSON decided, looking ahead at oncoming traffic: “Hey! I’d better stop eating this bagel and focus on this driving. What should I do with it?? Look! There’s a completely open field, where I can cast it aside and no one will be the wiser.”

Then the guy behind this pioneer noticed that his fellow-traveler was casting a bagel onto the turf and thought, “What a damn good idea!”

Perhaps thinking there was even some sort of roadblock ahead, to trap a bagel thief, he likewise tossed his.

This certainly created intimidation in Cars 3, 4, 5 and 6, as each one noticed what had to be presumed to be the official “Releasing of the Bagels.”

Of course, by the time eight or nine bagel pieces were thrown aside, it began to appear to the rest of the travelers that this was an official New York Bagel Dumping Ground.

So it certainly did not take too long for this region to become a bagel cemetery.

It gives you pause, doesn’t it?

Sometimes we think our individual actions are so insignificant, unnoticed and lacking in meaning, when actually, the first person who does something can often prompt a mob to join in.

 

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Back Burner

Back burner: (v) to postpone consideration of or action on.Dictionary B

I think I will share with you a little secret–maybe not so much a secret as a piece of true magic.

It is the blessing of inviting things into your life instead of merely accepting them.

If you don’t learn to do this well, you will find yourself shoving great intentions and inspiration to the back burner of your stove and being forced to quickly make macaroni and cheese on the front burners every single day.

I think it may be the key to joy–being able to invite situations into your space instead of having them linger at the borders of your feelings, demanding entrance.

I meet people every day who have a novel stuck in their back closet.

Many of them have a horn they used to play, that they always meant to get back to.

And countless numbers envision a trip which has been put on hold for years because of budgetary concerns.

This is why we came up with the infamous “bucket list,” which we supposedly pursue after we’ve been given a terminal diagnosis and we have so few months left that we finally get down to the business of living.

I am repulsed by the idea of a bucket list.

I have set my course to invite possibilities into my soul instead of being kidnapped and held for ransom by responsibilities.

But how do you do it?

  1. Discern the signs of your times.

Long before foolishness arrives, it threatens by showing a little bit of its potential stupidity. Identify what has proven to be inefficient and get away from it as soon as possible, even if others insist it “only needs a few more tries.”

  1. Be picky about invitations.

Don’t allow yourself to be pressured into joining the gang.

  • Bad ideas generate a mob.
  • Good ideas stimulate a membership.

So if you’re looking for evidence of what is worth pursuing, stay away from the mobs and look to the wisdom of those individuals who are more selective in their participation.

  1. Choose based upon your dreams.

If something is completely out of the realm of what you envision to be the fuel for your life, don’t pump it into your gas tank. Even if it has promise, finance or gives you appreciation from others, if it is contrary to your vision, it will cause you to perish.

I never back burner that which stimulates my heart … but I am more than willing to take contrary views and unnecessary tribulation completely off my stove.

 

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Ark

dictionary with letter A

Ark: (n) in the Bible, the ship built by Noah to save his family and two of every kind of animal from the Flood; Noah’s Ark.

He kept repeating the question to me over and over again with additional ferocity and challenge with each inquiry.

“Do you believe that Noah and the Ark is true?”

There’s nothing more annoying than an evangelistic atheist or an ardent fundamentalist. In both cases, they want you to commit to stuff you don’t know anything about.

Since I did not live in the time of Noah, I’m not quite sure what the Ark was. And though the measurements are quite large for a boat, it is not possible for it to contain two of all the animals of the world, even at that time.

So does that negate the story and make it a complete lie?

I am also fully aware that almost every culture in the world has its own Noah and the Ark story in some fashion. And does that give it less validity–if it might have been “Omar and the Big Canoe?”

When it comes to matters of spirituality, I have a very simple rule I apply to all stories, theories, doctrines and even axioms: how does it apply to me?

I know that sounds rather selfish, but I seriously doubt if God wants me to study yarns from the past that have little to do with the woven fabric of my doings.

What do I get out of Noah?

Sometimes what is right is hard to do because it doesn’t make sense to the mob around you, and the only way you’re going to prove that it is right is by finishing what you set out to do … and letting the rain fall.

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