Conservation

Conservation: (n) the action of conserving something

There are many noble causes, but each is ill-served by advocates who are bratty and self-righteous.

I am more than willing to listen to anyone explain the importance of a rain forest or even why it is good to keep the glaciers frozen. What I will funny wisdom on words that begin with a C
not tolerate is an individual who thinks I am ignorant because I don’t already know it, or judges my reaction as being insufficient to the need.

It is actually quite possible to plant more trees without hugging the existing ones.

It is certainly powerful to enjoy Christmas without insisting that everyone react to it and celebrate it exactly the same way you do.

Conservation always puts our eyes too much on the affairs and lifestyle of others. We begin to believe that our cause is so significant that anyone who might suggest we are a trifle overwrought is an enemy of life or God.

Perspective.

Here is the perspective, and order of importance, for Planet Earth:

  • People
  • Animals
  • Trees
  • And video games (I’m just trying to gear this to the Millennials.)

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Collapse

Collapse: (v) to fall down or in; give way.

Some folks think it’s hilarious when a big man like me sits down in a chair and it collapses. It’s why I have to judge furniture much too harshly–“spaciously” profiling it.

Yet it has taught me a lesson–to pay careful attention to ideas that keep popping up, which certainly will not withstand the weight of
human involvement. After all, human interaction comes in three forms:

  • Support
  • Criticism
  • Attack

Every idea has to be able to survive all three things, or it will collapse.

I often feel that way about politics. It collapses under the pressure of being questioned and challenged–dare I say, attacked?

Entertainment and entertainers are certainly way too fragile, and hide behind their make-up.

And religion collapses like a cheap lawn chair the minute real human conflict comes sitting.

What makes me collapse?

What makes me give in?

Where are my weaknesses?

What warning should you receive about my possibility for folding up?

All things human have to survive support, criticism and attack.

And truthfully, whenever I can’t, I need to get the hell out of the way and make room for better ideas.

If we were raising a generation of young souls prepared to withstand such scrutiny, maybe our future would be brighter. Perhaps it’s where we should begin.

If we could take every child born on Earth under the age of twelve, and teach him or her how to support, withstand an attack, and keep perspective during criticism, we might secure another hundred generations of human beings.

 

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Citizen

Citizen: (n) a legal personage of a country

He loves his country but not to the exclusion of others.

She salutes the flag but well knows the weaknesses of her government.

He is offended but doesn’t become offensive by dishonoring the nation.

She works very hard to overcome her prejudiced training, to welcome those from all colors and walks of life.

He learns from the past, to bless the present, to set in motion a better future.

She weeps over those who have been wounded by history and joins them hand-in-hand to make sure it never happens that way again.

He doesn’t demand that everybody do things his way, but instead, tries to understand their journey, their perspective and their patriotism.

She stops complaining about inequality and every day proves through her life that she is equal to the challenge.

He freely admits where his homeland has failed.

She celebrates the times when common sense overcame political patronage.

They joined together to believe in a country that has heart and soul, and not just mind and strength.

They are citizens.

They make us great.

They make our country possible.

They are the currency of this nation’s wealth.

 

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Astronomy

dictionary with letter A

Astronomy: (n) the branch of science that deals with celestial objects, space, and the physical universe as a whole.

45 years ago.

April 22nd, 1970: the first Earth Day.

I was there for it. Well, actually, the truth of the matter is, the student body of our senior class was granted the afternoon off to plan a parade, and my girlfriend and I took the opportunity, being free from school, to go off someplace and neck. (I guess everybody has their own way of celebrating Earth Day.)

But when I thought about astronomy today, it seemed perfect for the occasion when we give honor to Mother Earth.

Because life is all about perspective and mission.

It doesn’t matter if you’re going to the grocery store or planning a trip to the moon. One always has to first gain perspective, and then plan the mission.

I often find myself looking to the stars and the heavens. Almost universally, the human race believes that God dwells somewhere in the vast expanse of the astronomical wonder. Whether that is true or not, a gaze into the sky will certainly give you perspective. For we truly are one small dot on a huge landscape of the universe.

Sometimes it makes me think about God. Oftentimes it gives me a humbling mingling of gratitude and humility.

But sooner or later, I need to take my eyes off the sky and place them on the scope of the work which is directly in front of me.

I need to gain mission.

And mission is very simple: what am I going to do today on Earth that is sensitive to the planet while still honoring the heavens?

I personally like Earth Day. It reminds me that I am an Earthling, while also letting me know that the stars twinkle above … gently viewing my progress.

 

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Aplenty

dictionary with letter A

Aplenty (adj): in abundance (e.g.he has work aplenty.)

I needed this word this morning.

Often my perspective needs an adjustment and I have neither the aptitude nor the tools.

Why? Because the momentum of my heart and soul has been stalled by my mind and body. These roommates fight all the time–and just when I think that my emotions and spirituality have gained an edge, my greedy brain and my insatiable appetites rally their forces and win the day.

It’s always over the same issue: is this going to be enough?

  • It’s why romances break up–because we begin to believe that the person we once adored has somehow become dowdy.
  • It’s how obesity overtakes our physical frame–because we’re convinced that our usual single doughnut isn’t quite enough to finish our cup of coffee.
  • It’s how many people abandon spirituality–because they expect God to make the journey to them instead of meeting Him halfway.

For me, it was looking ahead to a busy day and wondering if I had the wherewithal to cover the many nuances. Rather than taking it one step at a time, and realizing the fact that I was breathing was certainly a positive sign, I instead allowed my brain to become worrisome, which immediately made my body grow fatigued in sympathy.

I don’t know what “aplenty” is. By the time I’m convinced that I have enough, I sit there alone with my stockpile–having missed the present opportunity.

Maybe that’s the definition of maturity: keep firing your bullets and stop counting your ammunition.

 

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Altitude

dictionary with letter A

Altitude: (n) the height of an object or point in relation to sea level or ground level

Whenever I drive up a mountain in my van, even though I can feel the strain on the engine, I am always grateful because of the perspective I gain by climbing higher.

I don’t want to become overly philosophical here in discussing things that normally can be registered on an altimeter, but there is something magnificent about increasing your vision by ascending.

It reminds me of a story in the Good Book of a chap named Zacchaeus. For the sake of the reader (and spell check) I will refer to him as Zack from this point on.

Zack was a short dude. When Jesus came to his town and Zack picked up on the energy of the crowd, he was unable to see what the source of the excitement was because of his…well, because of his lack of altitude.

So instead of bitching and complaining, Zack ran ahead of the crowd to get a better look, only realizing that his situation was not improved–only distanced. For when the crowd arrived he would still be too short to see.

So Zack did something really smart. He climbed up in a tree. He let his attitude increase his altitude. Or maybe better stated, he let his altitude rejuvenate his attitude. Because he did, Zack was able to visualize–and also increased his possibility of being seen–so much so that Jesus calls him down from the tree and spends the afternoon with him.

So what is the lesson?

If you want to see better, climb a little higher. It not only increases your own vision of life, but gives others a better chance … to envision you.


Aerie

Words from Dic(tionary)

dictionary with letter A

Aerie: (n) the nest  of a bird of prey, esp. an eagle, typically built high in a tree or on a cliff.

Am I being too needy when I say that I take great comfort in the fact that an eagle is considered to be a rather regal creature, even though it is bald like me? (Of course, lacking feathers, an attractive beak, and not to mention, the ability to fly–at that point all similarities seem to cease.)

But there is something wonderfully intriguing and even mysterious about the eagle, soaring high into the mountain, nestling itself into a home far from the jungle and the maddening crowd.

There is something here to learn: I need an aerie–not to remove myself permanently from humanity as a grumbling objection to the insanity being proffered, but rather, a place where I can escape at times and get a little higher so I can see a little clearer and gain some perspective, instead of touting how wise I am, with the evidence of how cynical I’ve become.

  • What passes for philosophy nowadays are actually jaded observations from those who have embraced sarcasm and abandoned solution.
  • What is pushed forward as government is an exclusive club of politicians, who get together to advertise favored causes, which most importantly, contradict the views of their opponents.
  • And what is passed on as communion of spirituality is either a narrow-minded God who’s pissed off with mankind or some benevolent hippie juiced up on weed, who loves everybody, no matter how miserable they are.

Fly a little higher.

Find a place of seclusion every once in a while, where you can clear your head.

In so doing, you might be surprised, like the eagle, at how God will give you new ideas … and expand your bird brain.