Chore: (n) a routine task, especially a household one.

I suddenly realized that there is no happy word to describe work.

“Labor.” That sucks.

“Effort.” Well, that takes effort


Even the word “employment” is constricting, brings a frown to one’s face.

How do we expect to ever move forward in our consciousness when everything seems to be a chore? We didn’t like chores when we were children, so are we going
to wake up one morning having accumulated enough birthdays that we will become intrigued with doing repetitious tasks?

And if we don’t like doing these “events,” what’s to guarantee that the mechanic who’s repairing the airplane doesn’t get bored and take a shortcut?

If we don’t like doing the things we’re supposed to accomplish, won’t we eventually just do them poorly?

And once mediocre becomes normal, normal is certainly dangerous.

How can we re-train ourselves to believe that work is not a chore and that chores do not need to be repetitious, but rather, gain glamor and gleam by being enhanced with new possibilities?

This is not the season to insist on tradition. The work force in America needs a revolution–a revival, if you will–of the passion that originally made us believe we wanted to do what offered us a paycheck.

Don’t ask me to do my chores.

I will rebel, go to my room and listen to the music you don’t like.

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Bum: (n) a vagrant.

Yesterday, I once again heard the word.

It sent a chill down my spine.

I was situated next to a lady on the curb, and a gentleman walked by who obviously was not on his best streak of luck. As he disappeared in the distance, she turned to me and said, in her meanest, most nefarious tone, “Bum.”

I paused.

Actually, I found myself in the middle of a flash-back–because in the early years of my life, when I aspired to be a writer, musician, singer, or something of that sort, I ferociously ran away from the workaday world, having a great fear in my soul that once I got my first paycheck, I would never be able to wiggle myself out of the commitment.

In the process of trying to be something that nobody else thought I had the right to be, I got called “bum” a lot–even by family members. It never ceased to sting.

I pretended it didn’t bother me–but there was something really coarse and evil about having other human beings judge me solely on whether I was solvent by their standards.

So even though I should have responded more quickly to the lady, at length I said, “You never know. Maybe someday that young man you just called a bum will write fourteen books, have three daily blogs, thirteen screenplays and travel all across the United States, trying to bring common sense and love to the world.”

She stared at me with a quizzical look and then replied, “Ain’t no way.”

I just smiled.


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Words from Dic(tionary)

dictionary with letter A

Alms: (n) money or food given to poor people

Unless you’re wearing a robe and walking around Galilee with a message of eternal life, the word “alms” will probably never come to play.

But I do think it’s important to understand what an alm truly is.

We live in a society where charitable giving is funneled through organizations which take their own hunk out of the generosity for office expenses and personnel.

We like this system. We enjoy it because paper is passed on to people who do the work and we don’t have to worry about it.

We never find out the destination of our alms; we never actually have a visual of the individuals who are helped. In some strange way we think this makes it even better, so our personal prejudices or time limitations are not involved in the distribution of the wealth.

But you see–that’s not really what an alm is.

An alm is a desire to find someone every day who needs something you have, and making sure that person has a name, a face and a smell–someone directly in front of you who is given the chance to do whatever he or she decides with your contribution.

Some people have a problem giving money to the homeless because they’re afraid they’ll use it for alcohol. They might. But think how angry you would be if your employer demanded a list of purchases from you which had to be approved by the main office before you were granted a paycheck.

Occasionally someone will comment that they think I am a generous soul. I just laugh. I’m just as selfish as the next bastard–so inwardly involved that I’m greedy for the sensation that I receive when I personally impart a gift to someone, see their face light up, and realize that for that moment they believe I am not only blessed of God, but have descended like an angel to bring good cheer from supernal heights.

Yes, I lust for an opportunity to “play god”–to stand face-to-face next to folks in need, granting them a piece of their missing puzzle.

We lose something when we write a check to a mega-organization which earns its grits and gravy by collecting funds from people who would rather not make physical contact.

  • I want to be the alm-giver.
  • I want to see, smell, hear and feel the sensations of those who receive the alms.
  • I want to give–not so people around me will notice–but so I notice, and for that moment, I feel there is more God in me than ghoul.



Words from Dic(tionary)

dictionary with letter A

Agency: (n) a business or organization established to provide transactions between two or more parties

Every time I hear the word I break out into a small surface sweat.

Maybe someone just tells me I will have to go to an agency to fill out an application or form to gain approval to acquire something I feel I should already have.

Let’s look at the source of my fear. What is the origin of an agency?

1. It was formed because someone was afraid to say yes or no.

There’s a problem right there. We all know the power in life is being able to come up with a positive or negative answer, and let the chips fall where they may. When you decide you don’t want that responsibility, and you spread it over a breadth of people so as to remove guilt from yourself, you create the kind of nasty red tape that makes people suicidal instead of overjoyed.

2. Someone likes to “play office.”

He or she is the kind of person who stacks pencils, puts the stapler in the upper right-hand corner of the desk planner and has a can of air freshener nearby which also acts as a disinfectant for the phone receiver when there is “foreign” use. This is the same person who always volunteered to help the teacher pound the erasers to remove the chalk dust and the kid who wanted to be the hall monitor, to tell on everyone for their bad deeds on the way to the cafeteria.

We didn’t like ’em then; we don’t like ’em now.

3. Lacking power, we imitate power.

Because we don’t think our decisions have much weight, we like to have an acronym behind our points to make them more pointed. It also gives us somebody to blame if there are objections.

4. And finally, it gives us a way to be mean and disappoint others while hiding behind a desk or a series of rules.

After all, we’re not allowed to punch somebody in the nose without suffering the consequences. But sending a form letter of rejection or explaining in boring detail why something cannot work out is the method that an agency promotes, turning its employees into street thugs.

Now, you may think that I’m too critical, but that’s probably because you work for an agency and would like to keep your paycheck.

So the next time someone tells me I have to go to an agency to seek approval or acquire information, I will stop to realize that the BEST I can hope for is a diluted possibility.

Because the only thing an agency can ever muster … is to water down the liquor of life.