Brethren

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Brethren: (n) archaic plural form of brother.

“I’m doin’ it so my family can have a better life,” he said, being interviewed on one of the singing competitions so prevalent over the airwaves.Dictionary B

I was supposed to be moved by his sentiment. I guess the goal was to get me in his corner by realizing what a fine damn fellow he was for loving his wife and children.

But is that really special?

How basic is it for us to just express affection to those we marry or procreate?

Isn’t the music more important?

Isn’t communicating with others through melody and harmony the greatest aspiration?

I just think I would be very disappointed if Beethoven wrote his symphonies for “a gal and his young’uns.”

Somewhere along the line, we need people to step out of the box of family life, and begin to refer to those around them, who do not share DNA, as “brethren.”

You are my brothers and sisters.

The fact that you look different and come from unique regions only makes you more intriguing.

When we settle for our clan, our cloister and our clump, we are admitting that we have second thoughts about loving the stranger.

Since most of us are strangers to the rest of the world … we might want to reconsider our position.

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Appear

dictionary with letter A

Appear: (v) to seem: ex. it appeared to be true.

  • Appearances are deceiving
  • Things are not as they appear.

It is always fascinating to me that human beings are granted certain gifts which enable us to function in an intelligent way in a topsy-turvy world, and then we are told not to trust these senses.

If it isn’t as it appears, then what is it?

Sometimes I get confused by knowledge which is imparted to me and then retracted so as to leave the door open for future contradictions.

I need the ability to look at what is set before me and make brilliant decisions. There is a danger in second guessing. There certainly is potential for disaster in delaying action.

What does it appear to be?

  1. It appears to me that color of skin makes very little difference in the viability of the humans around of me to interact, procreate and work together.
  2. It appears to me that homosexuality is not my choice and therefore it will take me a while to get used to the idea, but in the meantime it appears to me that I can grant the gay community the dignity I give to myself.
  3. It appears to me that our political system has broken down in its own lavish overstatement and needs to be retooled to meet the needs of the population.
  4. It appears to me that religion has replaced God.
  5. It appears to me that men and women are very much the same 95% of the time, and I am a fool to focus on the trailing number.
  6. It appears to me that if I don’t lose some weight I will die sooner rather than later.
  7. It appears to me that my talent is sufficient to give me room and board for the rest of my life if I don’t freak out.
  8. It appears to me that I am more appealing when I’m not judgmental.
  9. It appears to me that God has given me eyes to see what appears, and have a sound mind to think good and pure thoughts instead of negative and dark ones.

Even though we find ourselves to be a generation of enlightened and knowledgable souls, we often remove the greatest gift we have by rejecting the responsibility that has been given to us: to learn and deal with what appears to be. 

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Anybody

dictionary with letter A

Anybody: (pron) 1. anyone: (e.g. there wasn’t anybody around) 2. a person of importance (e.g.: everybody who was anybody came)

Shall we refer to it as the four different approaches to Earth-family?

1. Family consists of those individuals who share my DNA, live in my house or in close proximity to my home, and in some way have been spawned through my procreative efforts.

2. Family are those born of my passion, but also a few friends that I’ve let in, and consider to be “extended” beings in our clique.

3. Family are those who share a state, country, religion or agreement with me politically or socially, who I embrace as my traveling companions because of our similar value system.

4. Family is anybody.

That’s right–any human who has a body.

I love that word for that reason.

You can see with the first three applications that we promote a cloudy atmosphere of prejudice which doesn’t mind occasionally slipping into bigotry.

Of course, it is risky:

  • You have to stop believing that your little Brian or Susie is more intelligent than the off-spring of the family down the street.
  • You must understand that even though you are very devoted to your rendition of faith, that faith without works is dead, and people who believe and bear fruit are the ones who will survive the test of time.
  • You probably will have to abandon the concept that “America is exceptional” and that the rest of the planet must stand in line in second- and third-world positions.
  • And you certainly will need to run away from preference due to sex, age, beliefs and orientation.

It is scary to love just anybody, but since we all share a common flesh, the true magic in life is to see if we can discover … a universal spirit.

 

 

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Anti-racism

dictionary with letter AAnti-racism: (n) the policy of opposing racism and promoting racial tolerance.

It is cruel, insane and useless to walk up to a man having a heart attack, lying on a gurney and proffer, “You shouldn’t have eaten so much bacon.”

Warnings have to come at the right time, or they are either petty bitchiness or meaningless babble.

Anti-racism is similar to this. We all grew up in households where preferences were promoted. So it is ridiculous to think that we’re going to ease our way into a world where color doesn’t matter.

We must stop arresting the neighbors who live next door to the Bodega that was vandalized and start looking for the actual perpetrators.

What causes racism?

1. Too much emphasis on culture.

Matter of fact, I’m not comfortable with any emphasis on culture. When I begin to believe that the Chinese, the Africans, the Jews, the Arabs and the Europeans have different ways of looking at life, I am setting myself up to feel arrogant over my rendition.

2. Take away the stigma of loving who you want to love.

Even though we are willing to accept that the chimpanzee or ape is our ancestor, we are not able to procreate with one. Yet there is no human being of any color or ethnic origin who cannot pair off and make a baby. What a piece of hypocrisy.

Many people would be more willing to accept a gorilla as a neighbor than they are an Hispanic.

3. Be clean.

Start off on the basis that all of us were taught a certain amount of prejudice, which can explode into full-fledged bigotry.

The misconception in America is the belief that we have racism under control because we elected a black President.

First of all, President Obama may not be any more black than I am, since he had a white mother.

Secondly, what we choose to do publicly does not determine our soul. It is the truth that lies on our inward parts–our private notions–which carry the heart of our true beliefs.

When we realize that racism is just another piece of our immature nature which needs to be addressed and abandoned, we will actually go forward.

As the great writer once said, “When I was a child, I spake as a child, but now that I’ve become a man, I have put away childish things.”

 

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Anorgasmic

dictionary with letter A

Anorgasmic: (n) an inability to achieve orgasm despite responding to sexual stimulation.

I found myself in the position where it was necessary, or at least presumed to be, to teach a class on human sexuality to a group of adults. (I clarify that they were adults, because once we started talking about sex, they actually turned into a bunch of giggling teens.)

Considering that sex is so important to our well-being and self-worth, we actually have an extremely flippant attitude about the subject. I will grant you, it’s not necessary to become intellectual in the discussion, but certainly, if we don’t get beyond whispering, smirking and leering, we will never understand how we are meant to co-exist, procreate and satisfy one another.

I think the greatest mistake is the assumption that men enjoy sex and women tolerate it.

Here is a simple fact: No one avoids anything that pleasures them. I have run across people who were either bored or dissatisfied with adventures that promised pleasure and only delivered a modicum of the proposed package.

It’s like going on a vacation and staying at a hotel, hoping to sun-bathe, only to discover that the swimming pool has been closed for repairs. No matter how much you try to make the local restaurants and shops interesting, the original goal taunts you.

Even though we consider ourselves to have a high-falutin’ society, our approach to sexuality lands somewhere between Neanderthal and Bedouin.

Basically, we believe that men are to be pleasured and women are to provide the pleasure.

Once I was able to convince my class to stop snorting and chuckling, we discovered that human sexuality is meant to be a mutual effort made by two people to achieve orgasm–no matter what it takes.

The ideal circumstance is to make sure that the female acquires pleasure. Then the male doesn’t have to feel the need to perform, but instead, can relish the interchange.

  • Yes, women would be much more interested in sex if they were having orgasms.
  • Men would have to spend much less time wooing them if they were trained in how to assist a woman in finding her own space and time.

But to do this, we must admit that men and women are more similar to each other than different … and we just might be one or two generations away from that conclusion.

 

 

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Annunciation, The

dictionary with letter A

Annuciation, The: (n) announcement of the Incarnation by the angel Gabriel to Mary (Luke 1:26-38)

Angels have personalities.

I suppose one has to believe in angels or accept the concept of personality.

We know they have some sort of thinking process– one-third of them decided to rebel against management and ended up earth-bound. (Sometimes I think we fail to realize that losing a third of your personnel is a pretty heavy indictment against the employer.)

So I wonder what Gabriel, an angel in good standing, felt like when he was instructed to go to Earth and tell a young, teenage girl that the Holy Spirit was going to overshadow her and that she would bear a child, and even though the offspring would be the Savior of the world, for the first nine months, it would be a much-unwanted pregnancy.

I’m not so sure that a young, Jewish girl in that time would have been aware of the procreative process. So did Gabriel get stuck explaining sex and God–in the same visit?

Or were young girls of the time so confined within tiny, stone huts that actually, Mama and Papa’s evening groanings needed to be explained earlier than usual?

But I will tell you three positive things:

  1. Only a teenage girl would think it was cool to have a baby. If God had caught her any older, she would have been more rational.
  2. Only a young lass would have the faith of a child and the optimism to think that God really saw her personally and wanted to bless her uniquely.
  3. And only Mary stands out singularly as the woman that God chose, to birth the promise of the ages.

What a difficult assignment it was for an angel to annnunciate the heart of God into the fragile mind of a superstitious, adolescent and poverty-stricken little girl.

It is so much the story of humanity–with all of our technology, intellect, pursuit of knowledge, political maneuvers and theological profundities, it is still one single person believing in the unbelievable … marching us forward.

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