Clout

Clout: (n) influence or power

Liars talk too much.

It’s one of the sure ways to pick ’em out. Rather than just stating the facts or presenting the situation, they feel the need to emphasize some
aspect of their story to further impress you with its validity.

That’s always been my problem with the word “clout.”

How much more reinforcement is necessary for a good idea?

How many times do we need to recite our accomplishments before we understand that nobody cares?

How often will we find ourselves stumbling over words because we are not yet convinced that the room has been swayed by our argument?

Does a nation have clout because it has a big army? (Candidly, the nations which have had big armies throughout history are no longer around.)

Do a people have credence because of their faith in God or their morality? If that were the case, the Puritans would still be very popular instead of deemed assholes for killing little girls as witches.

Does a woman gain clout by convincing everybody that she’s just as good as a man, when being a man may not be good enough?

How many characters do we need to introduce to develop the plot?

How many promises should be secured before we decide to move out and attempt a noble deed?

When I was in my thirties, a very prosperous music producer told me that I had no future because I didn’t carry enough clout. I looked him in the eyes and said, “I decided a long time ago not to carry anything I didn’t need.”

We don’t need clout. Actually, it warns of insecurity, pomposity and arrogance.

If I believe I am the best at anything, I need to leave my house more often.

If I think that God favors me because of my numerous religious inclinations, it may be necessary for me to encounter those human beings who scrape together fifty cents, knowing they need sixty cents to survive.

If you want to legitimize the word “clout,” then here is a better definition:

Clout is when I have the humility to realize I don’t really matter, so if I want to keep from being invisible, I should open up my heart and do what I can for the human race.

 

 

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Clampdown

Clampdown: (n) a severe or concerted attempt to suppress something.

I was a parent to six sons.

Three of them were my biological offspring, and for the other three, I was more or less a godfather (minus kissing the ring and slaughtering
my enemies).

Different experiences bring different quality. As a parent, you would love to pass on that sage wisdom to your children. It’s not really an issue of morality–it’s just that certain activities suck up more time, energy, heart and soul.

In other words, in the long run, they’re just not worth the payoff. For that reason, they’re rather obvious–but not to a fifteen year old kid.

  • Smoking looks cool until you start coughing.
  • Drinking may seem sophisticated until you vomit on your favorite pants.
  • Multiple sex partners almost seem ordained until your crotch starts to itch and you need a shot of penicillin.

So how is it possible to pass on to the growing organisms in your household how to avoid the stupidity of certain activities which not only fail to deliver in ultimate satisfaction, but certainly can be dangerous?

After conversations, pleadings and reasoning comes the possibility of clamping down.

Since your children will not remove themselves from temptation, you make a vain effort to take temptation far away from them. Of course, historically this only increases the fervent interest of the hapless adolescent.

I never drank, I never smoked, I never looked at a snapshot of porn–but all of my children, to some degree, have investigated these vices as if communing with a vicar.

I wish I could tell you that clamping down is an effective means of eliminating foolishness. But since being a fool is in the storehouse of every human being, whether we like it or not, he or she will probably pull it out at one time or another–and give it a spin.

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Civil Disobedience

Civil disobedience: (n) peaceful form of political protest.

I often wonder if there’s any truth to the notion that to keep from being an asshole, you sometimes have to be one.

It would be terrific if I could voice my opinion and be heard. But normally, by the time the question arrives on my doorstep, someone’s
already passed a law or determined the answer. They’re just asking my opinion to pad the poll.

Yet I must tell you–sometimes there are things that are so important that we need to stray from the broad path and stumble down the “strait and narrow.”

We may disagree on what the subject matters may be, but they never have anything to do with human morality. By the time I discover what is moral, the opportunity to do anything about it is usually far past, and I am standing on the sidelines, insulting others through my judgments.

Powerful issues always revolve around one central theme: Since God gave humans free will, are you going to take it away? Are you going to infringe upon it? Perhaps put a time limit on it, or the need to buy a license?

Civil disobedience is a decision to stand up for free will.

There are occasions when it makes you very popular–and then there are moments when you’re accused of being damned.

But here’s the truth of the matter: No one is better than anyone else.

I have no right whatsoever to edit that reality.

There should never be a controversy over race, gender, sexual orientation, religion or preferences in music.

But since there is, sometimes we will be compelled to stand up for the rights of humans to be what God intended them to be … human.

 

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Citadel

Citadel: (n) a fortress on high ground

How can you take the high ground without instinctively looking down on those beneath you?

It became an issue in the recent presidential campaign. Both candidates insisted they were taking the high ground, while simultaneously
using the concept to proclaim themselves superior.

Unfortunately, any insistence on superiority renders us weakened by the kryptonite of pride.

I need a citadel.

I need a place where I can climb a little higher in my consciousness–not to peer down at the infidel, but to have the chance to see things the way they are, and not the way they appear at ground zero.

My life requires a sweetness of morality, a gentleness of empathy and an awareness of my talent.

In order to mingle these factors, I must don the cloak of humility. For humility is not the absence of ability, but rather, the evidence of it without needing to overpower all comers.

Yes–America should be a citadel.

Our faith should be a citadel.

My life should be a citadel: a piece of higher ground that does not insist on being worshipped because of its elevation, but instead, uses the bird’s eye to consider all the sparrows.

 

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Censor

Censor: (v) to examine a book or movie and officially suppress unacceptable parts of it.

The human race is completely devoid of any cohesive code of behavior. This is why we hire people to censor everyday life, trying to bring it into a pleasing mode of operation.

Yet even though various commandments and ethical standards are touted from generation to generation, they are systematically either
ignored or replaced.

So I have decided what is valuable and truthful for my life. The reason? Many things I hold dear have been left for dead as arcane concepts or old-fashioned ideals.

Every time we carve out principles in stone, there are those who come with a sledge hammer and smash them to powder.

The whole thing would seem very bleak, and perhaps even sinister, unless you possessed the wisdom to understand that when it comes to morality, spirituality, ethics and values, each one of us takes a journey of our own, gathering what we hold dear and reaping the rewards for inspired behavior.

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Cadence

 

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Cadence:
(n) the flow or rhythm of events

I remember the first time I heard the phrase. I was a young man sitting in a church with a white shirt collar that was too small for me, wearing a colorful tie which
had to be tucked into my pants because it was perniciously uneven.

The phrase was “decency and order.”

The minister was pretty sure he knew understood. He preached a sermon offering a cadence of commitment to form and reason. He contended that Godly ways had to be morally correct and follow a sequence which left no doubt of the purity of the intention.

For instance: sin–but not too much, to where it leaves a lasting mark. Come to your senses, find God, repent, get a job, marry, have children and donate adequate sums to your local congregation.

I hated it.

It’s not that I favored immorality nor was an anarchist. Even though I had an immature young mind, I understood that this was not the true cadence of life. Life arrives in chaos and requires triage.

What do I take care of first? How can I keep this together? What can I seek out to keep from freaking out?

It just seemed to me that sometimes there isn’t enough time and space available to consider the ultimate morality or the best way to stack up possibilities.

I don’t know what the original author of these words was trying to convey, but human beings are rarely “decent” and never “in order.”

If God Almighty is waiting for us to transform into a dutiful and meticulous creation, He certainly failed to provide the raw material. We are erratic. We are uncertain. And our greatest mission in life is to make sure we’re not afraid of who we are.

Sometimes the best we can do is slow things down and use what we’ve got. I suppose that doesn’t sound quite as officious as “decency and order,” but it is more accurate.

Over the years I have tried to become more adept at organization and goodness–but when I fail, I have chosen to laugh at the frailty instead of weeping over my insufficiency.

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BS

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BS: (n) Bull shit

I think it’s wrong to blame bulls.

They eat and they secrete.

For us to tie all of our human foibles, inconsistencies and hypocrisies to their dung is flat-out insulting.Dictionary B

I’m not a lawyer and do not represent any bulls in particular, but I will tell you–the atrocities, stupidities and half-truths produced in our society are human shit.

It’s not like bull shit. It doesn’t come out in perfectly formed turds.

It’s dumped in varieties of personalized, steamy piles, often expressed with diarrhea of the mouth.

It is unique to our species because it is individualized by our diet of morality, spirituality and compassion.

Bulls have never done anything to us.

What I experience every day is human shit: the thought people have that they might be able to get by with what they say and do because everyone around them … is stupider than they are.

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