Civil Disobedience

Civil disobedience: (n) peaceful form of political protest.

I often wonder if there’s any truth to the notion that to keep from being an asshole, you sometimes have to be one.

It would be terrific if I could voice my opinion and be heard. But normally, by the time the question arrives on my doorstep, someone’s
already passed a law or determined the answer. They’re just asking my opinion to pad the poll.

Yet I must tell you–sometimes there are things that are so important that we need to stray from the broad path and stumble down the “strait and narrow.”

We may disagree on what the subject matters may be, but they never have anything to do with human morality. By the time I discover what is moral, the opportunity to do anything about it is usually far past, and I am standing on the sidelines, insulting others through my judgments.

Powerful issues always revolve around one central theme: Since God gave humans free will, are you going to take it away? Are you going to infringe upon it? Perhaps put a time limit on it, or the need to buy a license?

Civil disobedience is a decision to stand up for free will.

There are occasions when it makes you very popular–and then there are moments when you’re accused of being damned.

But here’s the truth of the matter: No one is better than anyone else.

I have no right whatsoever to edit that reality.

There should never be a controversy over race, gender, sexual orientation, religion or preferences in music.

But since there is, sometimes we will be compelled to stand up for the rights of humans to be what God intended them to be … human.

 

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Chronic

Chronic: (adj) (of a problem) long-lasting and difficult to eradicate.

There are several maturity banners that are displayed on our human journey. These are truths which are not always comfortable, but if denied, can put us in a chronic state of misery.

For instance:

  1. Nobody is going to do what you want them to do.

People imitate, they steal, they deny that they got what they have from you–but no one wants to admit that they are not autonomous and require assistance..

  1. The fewer categories you put people in, the better off you are.

When you start delineating by culture, color, sexual orientation and even gender, you get yourself in a horrible, tangled mess of misconceptions.

  1. And a third one is the realization that sometimes the solution is more painful than the problem.

Although we extol the value of solving dilemmas, we can often end up in more red tape, difficulty, struggle and misunderstanding than if we just learn to adjust our temperament and approach to the problem.

For instance, it is rather doubtful that poverty will go away. The more we complain about it and compare our levels of indifference, the less people get fed.

Go someplace where they offer two sandwiches for a decent price. Buy two. Eat one yourself and give one to a hungry person on the street.

You didn’t solve the problem–but you also didn’t trap yourself in a chronic search for an unattainable solution.

 

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Arena

dictionary with letter A

Arena: (n) a place or scene of activity, debate or conflict.

I grew up hearing stories about Christians being killed in various arenas of the Roman Empire. Recently, I’ve discovered that some of these reports are erroneous and that the Romans didn’t really deem such uncontested murder to be entertaining enough to bump the gladiators off the sports line-up.

I was always curious about it.

I know the Romans were quite brutal, but what would be so harmful about the Christian philosophy, requiring it to be condemned in a public arena?

It is a message that attempts to be inclusive, and blend in to the mixture like yeast in dough, allowing for expansion without destroying the surroundings.

But of course, there are certain things that need to be placed into the arena of public debate, which are too often taken for granted. Perhaps I should remove the phrase “public debate.” We certainly have enough of that. There are people who make a living by stirring up trouble and never hanging around to clean up afterwards.

Perhaps I should say there are certain ideas which should be taken into the arena of our hearts, where they can be battled through to a conclusion which causes us to be non-harmful to ourselves and others.

1. Drug use.

Even though we’ve tried to make it an issue of freedom, in the long run, it is a medical dilemma.

  • What happens when any drug goes into our bodies?
  • How does it alter us?
  • Does it improve us?
  • Is the improvement worth the alteration?

2. Killing.

The trouble with killing is that it’s very permanent. There is no such thing as a temporary murder. Since it tends to hang around forever, we might want to think a bit more about enacting it–whether it’s war, guns or abortion, would it (pardon the expression) kill us to consider, in the arena of our thoughts, the ramifications of our deeds?

3. Intolerance.

First, I don’t like the word. It has an arrogance about it which connotes that I reluctantly “tolerate” something or someone. I actually prefer the word “indifference.” There are many things I disagree with, but since I don’t have to participate, why should I care?

Do I really think God in heaven is sitting around musing over color, culture, sexual orientation or preferences? If He is, He’s a real nudge and a brat.

Since He made us inconsistent, He might just want to be patient with our inconsistencies.

Every single day of my life, I try to go into the arena of my heart and think about these three monsters that have basically been welcomed into our midst and devour parts of humanity without our permission as we allow them to lumber about.

I don’t like drugs.

I’m against killing.

And it’s not hard for me to be indifferent about things that aren’t my business.

 

 

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Thank you for enjoying Words from Dic(tionary) —  J.R. Practix

Arcane

dictionary with letter A

Arcane: (adj) understood by few; mysterious or secret

Arcane:

1. War has no purpose other than thinning the herd.

2. Self-esteem never leads to unity of human beings and greater understanding.

3. Women are better than men or men are better than women. Just not so.

4. Politics has no function in governing people.

5. A religion of rules is a prison of morals.

6. It is impossible to watch dark things without becoming darkened.

7. There is no way that studying one’s culture ever aids you in becoming a citizen of the world.

8. All religion is not the same. It must be held to a standard of mutual respect and cooperation with fellow humans.

9. Money does not give happiness, but the lack of money certainly welcomes despair.

10. The pursuit of knowledge without the appreciation of life is owning a race car without fuel.

11. Just as choosing up sides at basketball in gym class was an extraordinarily unsuccessful adventure, so is any attempt to segregate one another.

12. As soon as we stop being known by our skin color, our politics, our religion and our sexual orientation, we can actually begin to be known by the openness and good cheer of our hearts.

These ideas may be arcane, but they will continue to follow us until we turn around and welcome them in.

 

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Thank you for enjoying Words from Dic(tionary) —  J.R. Practix

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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Thank you for enjoying Words from Dic(tionary) —  J.R. Practix

Albino

Words from Dic(tionary)

dictionary with letter A

Albino: (n) a person or animal having a congenital absence of pigment in the skin and hair (which are white) and the eyes (which are typically pink).

Yes, it would certainly be one of the more difficult jobs–being hired on as an albino Dean of Students at an African-American college.

Even if your heart was in the right place, your total whiteness might be a constant reminder to the students of former indignities and ongoing indiscretions.

How would you approach that job?

First of all, it would be a little difficult to get hired. I mean, your qualifications would have to be over the top–so much so that the trustees of the university would be compelled to accept you, or face legal action for discrimination.

(That would be a touchy case, right? “Southern Black University Taken to Court by Albino Professor for Bigotry)

Secondly, you’d have to have a reason for being there. Maybe it would be a compelling notion that your obvious difference would bring greater discussion about race relations to the forefront.

It would be good to have a sense of humor, don’t you think? You certainly wouldn’t want to walk around acting like you didn’t know you were really, really, really white…

How about a talent? Juggling or harmonica would certainly be beneficial.

Yes, being an albino, working in an African-American college, would immediately beg some questions.

So even though nowadays we pride ourselves on the progress we have made in race relations, gender roles and even sexual orientation, there’s always a new prejudice around the corner, which will baffle us because we fail to apply previous discovery to the present situation.

Yes, it’s difficult to remember, as you walk in to apply at your college, in front of your albino dean, that you once were forbidden to sit at a lunch counter.