Chore

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

“Struggle.”

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 The work force in America needs a revolution–a revival, if you will–of the passion that originally made us believe we wanted to do what offered us a paycheck.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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Black Sheep

Black sheep: (n) a member of a family or group regarded as a disgrace

Dictionary B

For there to be the existence of a black sheep, Mary’s little lamb had to make a decision, at some point, to go urban.

In a society which publicly proclaims the value of righteousness, we privately revere the renegade.

We are obsessed with those who are possessed.

We like villains.

We like criminals.

Girls like bad boys because they think these notorious numbskulls have some sexual edge which cannot be acquired by those who favor a razor.

So even though we may say someone is “the black sheep of the family,” we are also curious if this darkened kindred will be at the next family reunion–because if they aren’t, then we’re pretty sure it will be a dull party.

  • What is so intriguing about walking on the wild side?
  • What fascinates us about the rebel?
  • Why do each one of us want to be considered pure of heart, yet a little dark around the liver?

It’s because black sheep are so used to not being included that they’ve developed survival skills that make them handy in difficult situations.

Case in point: I never learned a damn thing by attending a seminar. Everything I’ve acquired in life came from trying to recoup some sense … from my latest mishap. 

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Badminton

Badminton: (n) a game with rackets in which a shuttlecock is played back and forth across a net.Dictionary B

My parents were so conservative that they didn’t allow us to refer to it as a “shuttlecock.”

They felt that was inappropriate.

Although they certainly wanted me to play badminton (which I found out later was due to the fact that it was so cheap to buy and maintain, and that no net was really necessary–you could just hit it over a clothes line) they were not pleased with the name given to the..well, what they called the “birdie.”

Of course by the time I got into high school, the word birdie made us giggle.

Without reservation, I will tell you that I basically hated the game. There was no skill involved in it unless you weighed about thirty pounds and were willing to run great distances brought about by the erratic flying of the shuttlecock. (Now I’m just saying it to rebel against my training.)

And it was very difficult to hit the thing right on its little nose, where it would fly straight. And then, upon striking it with all your might it would barely ascend five feet into the air before crashing onto the ground to avoid further abuse.

I was a big boy, so I normally found myself taking the tiny racquet and flailing in the air, and then making contact with the birdie sideways, on its wings, therefore having it fall. useless and dead.

I once saw a badminton tournament, and people seemed to know how to hit the thing and make it soar a great distance. But I must be honest–I had no curiosity whatsoever to ask them how they achieved this feat.

Badminton, like so many other things from my youth, was soon abandoned … and even more quickly forgotten.

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Apostle

dictionary with letter A

Apostle: (n.) 1. each of the twelve chief disciples of Jesus Christ. 2. an enthusiastic supporter of an idea or cause.

Titles are what non-talented people cling to in order to avoid being evaluated on the quality of their work.

You can tell exactly how useless these assigned names are by how popular they are in our present-day society, which seems to be stuck in the muck of ego, unable to maneuver in any direction.

I, too, am often asked to produce my running list of titles. These are supposed to be words that inform the hearer that I am worthy of being listened to and that I have jumped through enough hoops to be part of the circus.

I’ve even had people correct me when I’ve addressed them by their first name, to inform me that their title must be included–otherwise they have a sense of what we might call “nomenclature nakedness.”

So instead of granting people dignity and appreciation for their deeds, we bequeath them with titles.

And this is why the original apostles nearly suffocated the message of Jesus of Nazareth–because they spent most of their time sitting around discussing who was greater and who Jesus liked better. In the process they began to kiss up to the very same individuals who originally had crucified their Master.

Fortunately for us, they stopped being apostles and turned back into rag-tag fanatics.

Because I will tell you of a certainty, King George III was not impressed that Benjamin Franklin came up with the idea of electricity or had constructed a stove. He considered him a rebel and a rapscallion and was prepared to hang him.

And the American history books can be grateful that Mr. Franklin did not take offense, but agreed to don the role of rebel so that we might be free.

Titles frighten me. They assume that their mere inclusion should produce respect.

What should give us our respect is whether we follow through on what we say is truly important.

 

 

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Apex

dictionary with letter A

Apex: (n.) the top or highest point.

“Getting high.”

It’s too bad that phrase has been sullied by the drug culture, because it is so rich in truth and promise.

Everything in life has an apex, even though we often settle for the valley.

  • The apex of politics is a decision to be responsive to the needs of the people instead of chasing their whims.
  • The apex of the military is to convey a strength which discourages our enemies instead of using new weapons to experiment with their lethal carnage.
  • The apex of friendship is really honesty–having someone in your life who will tell you when your breath is bad.
  • The apex of spirituality is “love your neighbor as yourself” instead of debating “who is my neighbor?”
  • The apex of education is infusing knowledge which is workable to the student who wants to go out and pursue a craft.
  • The apex of sexuality is mutual pleasure.
  • The apex of finance is having enough for your needs, a little for your desire, and the balance to help others.
  • The apex of athleticism is the payoff of being in shape, whether you win the trophy or not.
  • The apex of commerce is to make a decent profit while feeling soul-satisfaction because you’ve delivered a quality product.
  • The apex of parenting is seeing the good parts of yourself in your children and allowing them to rebel against the bad.
  • And the apex of faith is working towards having the will of God done on Earth instead continually speculating on heaven.

I am in favor of getting high–just not chemically induced.

For finding the apex in life may be the true definition of “the high road.”

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Annals

dictionary with letter A

Annals: (pl. n.) a record of events, year by year.

Baffled.

I like that word.

Because when I admit I’m baffled, I’m not saying I’m angry, frustrated, or out to get anyone. I’m just literally confused by the information that’s been provided to me.

I think it’s necessary to become baffled; otherwise, you start accepting what’s around you as normal, rather than looking back in the annals of history, the annals of intelligence and the annals of progress, to remind yourself that this present fad will pass away, lending itself to the possibility of sanity.

Yes, I recently became baffled when I realized that most of my friends whom I’ve known over the years have become more stodgy as they’ve become older instead of pursuing the path of wisdom–garnering the very best of what we’ve learned and bringing that package to the new possibilities before us.

Let me ask you:

  • Why do we line up to imitate the parents we used to rebel against?
  • Why do we suddenly become the gossipers we used to despise and make fun of because of their nasty tongues and bitter faces?
  • Why do we insist that those who are younger than us are somehow stupid or are pursuing destruction, when that is exactly what we were accused of by the stick-in-the-mud adults around us when we were coming of age?

I know we extol the value of mathematics, technology, reading and science, but somewhere along the line we need to hire some good history teachers to remind each and every generation of the ridiculous trends that nearly took us into the pits of hell, burning away our opportunities.

The annals of history are not the memories of old people who have now died and are decaying in graves, but rather, the memories of fresh, young faces who believed they could live forever, and made some poor choices along with their good ones, and found out much too late that life is short.

So I would say to all my friends:

Ease up. The greatest thing you can acquire as you get older is an open mind. Maybe all the extra oxygen coming into that wider space could prevent some dementia.

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