Constituency

Constituency: (n) a body of voters in a specified area who elect a representative to a legislative body.

Human beings are selfish.

Get over it.

Stop lamenting it.

Cease to selfishly object to the selfishness of others.

Once you come to the conclusion that human beings are selfish and it’s part of our DNA, then you can begin to use this selfishness for good instead of having it deteriorate into a bunch of callous, crude, rude and bigoted actions.

Politicians believe they have constituency–a group of people who believe in them and are at least willing to go to the voting booth to prove it. I see nothing funny wisdom on words that begin with a Cwrong with this as long as we don’t take the darker portions of the human race and play them up simply for the right to have a parking space on Capitol Hill.

The mission is about discovering how to take our selfishness and turn it into something positive for our own lives, and then, overjoyed to step away, we try to help other people have the same opportunity in their lives.

You can take every bible in the world, every religion, every class on etiquette, every political maneuver and every lecture from your parents and set them aside if they don’t take into consideration the selfishness with which each one of us is imbued.

The journey is about how we can turn our selfishness into mercy, gentleness and kindness because we’re so joyously goddamn happy.

 

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Commune

Commune: (n) a group of people living together and sharing possessions and responsibilities.

Many good ideas would work well if we could keep them out of human hands.

There’s something about the greasy palms of the human race that make noble intentions slip from our grasp and crash to the floor, breaking
into a million pieces.

I have been a guest at five communes in my lifetime. They all shared certain attributes:

  1. A discovery of a separate and simpler life so as not to have too many moving parts.
  2. A realization that it was important to share common values, goals, tastes in food, and entertainment preferences.
  3. For some reason, an emphasis on male dominance and female subservience was thrust to the forefront.
  4. Children in the commune were normally very well-behaved, but looked a bit as if they had just gone through shock treatments.
  5. Money was eschewed as meaningless except that the surroundings were so sparse of frills that it was obvious that someone in the commune was lusting for a Snickers bar.
  6. There was a fear in the air that they would be exposed as unhappy, so they were overly careful about what they said.

The reason communes don’t work is the same reason that half the marriages in the country end up in divorce: we don’t always clump well.

We are too intelligent, too independent and too selfish from our jungle roots to be totally trusted to evenly slice the loaf of bread among four souls.

 

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Choose

Choose: (v) to pick out, select or decide on a course of action

I could be kind or I could be mean. I can choose.

Being mean is touted. Being kind is lifted up as virtuous, as it is also mocked as valueless. Is there something in between? How about “keen?”

I could be alert, or I could be dull. It’s for me to choose. Alert is what we applaud and dull is what we observe.

I can be selfish, or look for opportunities to be giving. Is it true that if I give I actually get more, or is that just promotional talk from those who desperately need me to give?

I can choose to enjoy the holidays, or complain about how hectic they are. I do seem to be more grown-up when I bitch. Isn’t that ironic?

I can choose to believe in God, or don the garments of the intelligentsia and sneer at the notion. Do I really want to tie myself into a bunch of hillbilly religionists? Yet do I want to choose to be part of the obnoxiously over-educated?

I can insist I’m a man with no knowledge of women, or scream like a woman who says she is unfairly treated by a man. I suppose I could choose to be a man who understands that a woman is just a human. But it would be a very unpopular position.

That’s the problem. The things I feel I need to choose, which are full of spirit and life, are often relegated to being “buddied up” with the ridiculous and superstitious.

How will I choose?

Can I keep my choice to myself, or must my light shine before all men?

How will we choose?

How can we choose and satisfy the disgruntled masses, while pursuing the glory and advantage of simply believing there’s more?

 

 

 

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Chain Reaction

Chain reaction: (n) a series of events, each caused by the previous one.

I have never found a pear on an apple tree. This seems like a trivial statement. But you see, there are many things in nature which we accept
as true, but never apply them to our personal lives.

For example:

I’ve never received respect by being mean. Fear, perhaps–but never respect.

I’ve never been productive by being timid.

I’ve never achieved good romance by being selfish.

I’ve never acquired money by sitting on my treasure chest, guarding it from thieves.

Life is filled with chain reactions. It is not limited to the elements becoming compounds. It includes the ability to look inside yourself and see the fodder that fosters failure and call out the standards that salute success.

Life is a chain reaction.

I have boarded a bus in the middle of downtown America–a vehicle full of sullen, preoccupied people–greeted the bus driver with a smile, kindly addressed one or two people nearby, and in no time at all, a chain reaction went through the bus, and conversation ensued.

I am powerful.

You are powerful.

I can view my life as a catalyst for creativity, or I can become a whiny, cautionary voice of worry and concern. The choice is mine. But either way, there will be a chain reaction.

It’s not so much that if a bear farts in the woods of Minnesota, rain falls in Brazil–but rather, if a bear farts in the woods of Minnesota, is he conscientious enough to excuse himself so the squirrels don’t get cranky and have a bad day?

 

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Byword

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Byword: (n) expression summarizing characteristics

What do people think when they hear my name? That’s damn important.

Even though we try to play down the significance of public opinion, since none of us live an isolated existence, people’s idea of us are pretty important.

Am I so mixed up that those who know me find it difficult to pinpoint a continuing virtue or a clinging vice?

Am I constantly reinventing myself to such an extent that no one is sure what I treasure?

Even though we extol the value of choice, it is actually a blessing. Many times we get no choice. All we have is the overwhelming evidence of how we selected to be known, punctuated by countless irrefutable examples.

What is my byword?

  • Is it selfish?
  • Dull?
  • Is it aging?
  • Kind?
  • Indifferent?
  • Is it oblivious?
  • Gentle?

Each one of these words has attended a master class of achievement.

Frankly, no one assumes we’re oblivious–we have to prove it through our complete mental absence.

No one assumes we’re kind unless we have extended kindness.

No one insists we’re old unless we’re constantly complaining about our pains.

So here’s my advice: pick a profile and profile it daily.

 

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Boo-boo

Boo-boo: (n) a minor mistake.

I think maybe you’re a little confused.Dictionary B

It’s understandable since you don’t necessarily know all the rules that have been established by my thinking. Let’s clarify:

You make mistakes. I had a boo-boo.

You are inconsiderate. I just didn’t notice.

You are really late. I was unavoidably delayed in traffic.

You are selfish. I was unaware.

You are a sinner. I am a victim of circumstance.

You are a bigot. I just have more experience with those types of people.

You are a hater. I’m just trying to point out some grievous errors.

You cheat. I misunderstood the directions.

You’re a big, fat flirt. I’m friendly.

You are a religious fanatic. I just know the Bible.

You are a political idiot. I am pulsing the new trends.

You have really bad breath. I had pasta for lunch.

You are getting fat. I am finding my natural body weight.

You are ugly. I have classical features.

You seem to fail at everything you do. I’m looking for my niche.

Now, is this clear? Because I wouldn’t want you to go through the rest of your life confused.

 

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Aquamarine

dictionary with letter A

Aquamarine (n): a light bluish-green color.

This may sound very selfish, but one of the fringe benefits of the recent civil rights afforded to the gay community (aside from the fact that we live in a free country and it was basically inevitable once the belly-aching ceased) is that we no longer have to be threatened by other men saying “that’s gay.”

It has become a taboo.

It used to be a perpetual, common horror.

I remember many years ago when leisure suits were both leisurely and in fashion, I found one at a discount store, marked down, which happened to be my size. It was aquamarine.

You see, the problem was that even though it was a much more colorful era, certain hues were still looked upon as being suspect of your sexual orientation. Add to the fact that I was a piano player, and you had the makings of a San Francisco gay parade.

Not only did I get an occasional sneer and sidewise comment, like, “Nice color, big boy,” but I also began to envision that I was being stared at by the entire world, viewed as a “man lover.”

So paranoid was I that I started prancing around like John Wayne and using the deepest timbre my voice could muster. When wearing the aquamarine garment, I was always quick to point out that I was married and had fathered children from my own manly source.

It was crazy.

Finally, even though I loved the outfit, I purposefully “accidentally” forgot it at a motel. (What I mean is, I actually did forget it, but remembered it by the time I got to the elevator and decided not to go back for it.)

So somewhere in Yuma, Arizona, there is a big fat man wearing an aquamarine leisure suit … who obviously has much more confidence than I do.

 

 

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Antebellum

dictionary with letter A

Antebellum: Occurring before the American Civil War.

The root word of culture is cult.

Isn’t it amazing that even though we abhor cults for their short-sighted, selfish and often abusive treatment of their members and the world around them, we accept the elongated version of this condition as being a symbol of race, nationality, creed or honor.

I hate culture.

I despise anything that tries to separate us into smaller and smaller units so we can hide behind our forts and peer at one another in horror and disbelief.

Never was this any more evident than in the years just prior to the Civil War. We became convinced that a country which had united itself around principles could still be divided by opinions. It allowed for the pernicious concept of slavery to continue under the guise of maintaining allegiance to a lifestyle which had already proven to be fiscally irresponsible and morally reprehensible.

I have to admit that I become nauseous when portions of that thinking and relics from that era–when men were oppressing other men over a bale of cotton–rise up with a bit of whimsy and patriotism to symbolize a deep-rooted respect for what can only be determined to be our national holocaust.

Yes, somewhere along the line, every bit of “culture” has to be measured against ethics, humanity and spirituality, and if it’s found to be lacking, it needs to be abandoned for the common good.

The minute you think something good transpired in the Old South and you unfurl the Stars and Bars, you are also welcoming into the equation a tribute to the industry and ideals that subjugated a race of people.

Certainly there’s plenty wrong with the North, East and West of our nation that needs to be scrutinized. Those living west of the Mississippi are truly the descendants of a lineage which lied to and cheated the American Indian. The prejudice against Italians, Irish, Russians and all immigrants into the country through Ellis Island in New York is also shocking.

But honestly, I don’t see anyone tributing George Armstrong Custer, and those who are so short-sighted that they rejected every nationality that came to our borders are considered, in the history books, to be numbskulls.

Yet for some reason we allow our South to regale its Confederate heroes.

My only statement is that I will not participate in anything that’s antebellum.

Because quite candidly, I am anti-bellum.

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Animalism

dictionary with letter A

Animalism: (n.) behavior that is characteristic or appropriate to animals, particularly in being physical or instinctive.

I think it is possible to appreciate members of the animal kingdom while still being candid about their limited capabilities, and often vicious tendencies.

People who do not respect the teeth of the lion often get swallowed up in their error.

But what bothers me the most about the animal kingdom is how we, as human beings, who have been granted great heart, spirit, intellect and physical abilities, have deteriorated these gifts to the more base representations.

So our emotions are animalistic.

For instance, our movies and art fail to portray the sensitivity available to us as human beings, but rather, expand on the aggressive, selfish and dark aspects of hapless iniquity.

And I am certainly fed up with a spiritual animalism which turns the life of Jesus of Nazareth into a human sacrifice, complete with the members of the cult cannibalizing over his remains in some symbol of religious consecration.

As it pertains to intellectual animalism, I am bewildered why we think the accumulation of knowledge with no application of wisdom does any good for us in our progress as a species. I, for one, have grown weary of people who are smart but unwise. I am tired of hearing debates, serving up facts without allowing for the smorgasbord of human heart.

And let me be the first one to say that I am appalled at the physical animalism which has taken human sexuality into the realm of unashamed pornography. There is nothing more awkward, comical and tender than human beings having sexual relationships with each other. To turn it into a circus act or some sort of abusive domination of power, where one person is subjugated, is a glorification of the mating season, with beleaguered females being raped by their male counterparts simply because nature demands the encounter.

I am willing to be part of an animal kingdom which I respect and caretake. But I am not willing to take the beauty of my heart, soul, mind and strength … and allow them to be defined by the rules of the jungle.

 

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Alms

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.