Bob

Bob: (n) a shortened name for Robert.

We’ve given up on Bob.Dictionary B

In an attempt to include Julius, Keesha, Manuel and Mohammed, we somehow or another felt it was necessary to reject Bob and relegate him to the museum of artifacts.

As much as conservatives suffer under the short-sightedness of failing to see where progress is heading, liberals are often so far-sighted that they stumble over the settled souls of their fellow-countrymen.

It took a lot of Bobs to make America.

They don’t understand everything that is going on–yet they won’t become more tolerant by constantly being told how bigoted they are.

Bob has a heart, which is often encased in a weathered, oaken trunk of tradition. It needs to be opened, tenderly and carefully.

As we try to give freedom and justice to all, we need to remember that this also includes Bob. He may be slower at arriving at necessary conclusions, but he should not be ignored because we find him tedious.

God bless America, with all of its unique names and nationalities.

But also, God bless Bob.

May we travel at a pace where we rest every once in a while … so all the Bobs in our country can catch up. 

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Biological

Biological: (adj) relating to biology or living organisms.

There are four things that a living organism can do:Dictionary B

  • Survive
  • Evolve
  • Grow
  • Share

When it comes to our species, those who study the human race cannot make up their minds as to what really fuels our engine.

Obviously, when you have a brain that’s far superior to any other creature on Earth, to merely pursue survival is short-sighted to say the least.

But for some reason, we have decided to clump Homo Sapiens in with lions and monkeys, as creatures who are merely engrossed in feeding patterns and pleasure.

I have great respect for biology, since I am a living creature. But I have to admit that I would become very jaded if I didn’t pursue a higher mission than my own comfort.

So what is the correct order?

Well, I happen to believe that if we know that our survival is based upon our willingness to share, then we can grow into the natural evolution.

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Beloved

Beloved: (adj) dearly loved.

Dictionary B

I didn’t like the script so I’ve written my own play.

The script provided for me by the American culture says I should really love those people who love me, who are attached to me, or who were spawned from my seed. The rest of the world is supposed to be viewed with various contortions of suspicion.

I found the premise for this theatrical presentation of “Life on Earth” to be boring, short-sighted, and lacking in plot twists to grant a thrill.

Somewhere along the line, mankind, humankind, or whatever-kind needs to become beloved to me.

This does not mean that everyone I meet will curry my favor, but it does promote the idea that if I start off viewing all women as my sisters, all men as my brothers and all children as my immediate kin, I have a much better chance of being valuable to the world than if I close off membership in my circle to the tiny ring I call friends.

Then, if I do run across those who are not very brotherly, sisterly or childlike, I can give myself a great gift: avoid them.

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Apprehension

dictionary with letter A

Ap·pre·hen·sion (n): 1. anxiety or fear that something bad or unpleasant will happen.

A pall in the room.

This is what I created the other night when I casually mentioned that I was diabetic.

Some faces reflected horror; others, pity. But the general disposition of those gathered was that they would have to sit back and listen to a litany of my sad tale or a description of my medications and treatment.

I surprised them because I just don’t do that.

But rather than appreciating the fact that I did not bore them with the elements of my constitution, they looked on me with a bit of dismay. I think they found be blithe.

Yes, if any word has been thrown my way as an insult, it would be blithe and all of its friendly synonyms.

  • “Silly.”
  • “Not careful enough.”
  • “Short-sighted.”
  • “Immature.”
  • “Naive.”
  • “Overly optimistic.”
  • Or even occasionally, “Ignorant.”

But I do not find blithe to be the absence of awareness, but rather, the negating of apprehension.

Case in point: when my doctor told me I had diabetes, I deadpanned in his direction: “Well, now I know what’s gonna kill me.”

He paused, looking into my eyes to see if I was serious, and when I twinkled his way, he laughed. He also spent the next two hours explaining the rigors of my situation and the care I needed to give myself.

I don’t mind giving myself attention–as long as it’s half of what I give to others.

Apprehension has never made my journey sweeter or improved my situation. Matter of fact, it tends to do the opposite.

So if I were to be accused of anything, and I certainly will be, “blithe” would be my preference.

Because the power of living a life which “takes no thought” for certain matters is the realization that my thinking does not always produce positive energy and often fails to even release the serotonin that could make my thinking better.

Do I have apprehensions? Yes.

But I would consider them to be pesky mice in my house … instead of pet hamsters in cages.

 

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Angst

dictionary with letter A

Angst: (n) a feeling of deep anxiety or dread, typically unfocused, about the human condition or the state of the world in general.

I don’t want to be one of those people who pursue so much optimistic hopefulness that I fail to recognize what is necessary in order to maintain our present integrity.

Yet I have to wonder if it’s possible for the human race, in this season, to acquire both of the necessary portions that make us worthy of continuation.

For I feel it takes progress and process.

Yes, I think technology is wonderful, and I do not want to go back to a time when we had no computers, racism was extolled as normal, and antibiotics were not available for sickness.

I am not nostalgic for backward times.

However, by the same token, making progress without honoring the process of human character which honors the feelings of others, makes the world a dangerous place and certainly volatile.

It produces angst.

We become afraid that we will lose our progress if we honor the process. Or we preach the process and become “anti-progress,” making ourselves appear Neanderthal.

Is it possible to be a human being who realizes that progress needs to be made emotionally, mentally, spiritually and physically, without ignoring the values which make the process of living so much sweeter, and ripe with goodness?

We always attach the word “angst” to teenagers, but I am not convinced that a fourteen-year-old riding in a Conestoga Wagon with his parents, crossing the Great Plains in 1850, had much time to reflect on his or her misgivings.

If progress gives us too much free time to bitch and complain, robbing from the process of busying ourselves about becoming better people, then are we really moving forward?

Yet if the process of maintaining civility causes us to be suspicious of every facet of progress, then the foolishness we maintain makes our belief system appear to be shortsighted.

What would it take to mingle progress with process?

  1. I will put to use anything at all that makes life easier, as long as it doesn’t hurt anyone else.
  2. I will acknowledge that there is no replacement for personal contact, love and gentleness with my fellow-travelers.
  3. I am ready to go forward if it doesn’t push someone else backward.

I think in considering this trio of principles, we can merge progress and process, to generate a climate of mutual benefit, drenched in compassion.

 

 

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Andersonville

dictionary with letter A

Andersonville: (n) a village in southwestern Georgia that was the site of a large and infamous Confederate prison camp during the Civil War.

The Civil War was our holocaust.

Actually, little will be achieved in this country until we universally accept this statement as true.

The Civil War is when we took a race of people, segregated them, mistreated them and then ended up fighting a war which included in its pursuits the decision to continue that same practice indiscriminately.

We murdered, created new weapons to increase the casualties and took brothers, sisters, mothers and fathers and placed them at odds with each other, continually making a “Sophie’s Choice” within the boundaries of households.

  • It was horrific.
  • It was unnecessary.
  • It was short-sighted.

And when you add in the treatment given to fellow-Americans as prisoners of war–on both sides–you have almost an identical parallel to many of the atrocities that were perpetuated in Nazi Germany.

It is our humiliation.

It is a war we should study because we need to make sure that in our present dealings, that none of the ignorance that brought about the massacre and slaughter can be welcomed again.

We need to put away all the trumpets, banners and paraphernalia from that conflict into a trunk and bury it in the ground with a ceremony of repentance.

There is nothing from that period of time that is worthy of our praise, let alone our consideration.

I admire the German people because they look on the horror of their own recent history and refuse to repeat it–by making sure the only reference to it is an apology.

To live in a country that still refers to “Yankees and “Rebs,” “North and South,” “Union and Confederate” with a sense of regional pride is an abomination to our belief in all men being created equal.

The Andersonville prison was a location where the anger, frustration and evil that had been perpetuated for three centuries was brought to bear and turned into a living hell.

But the Civil War was not noble.

It was not good.

It was not brave.

It is our holocaust–and because it is, we should reverence those who suffered and pledge to never repeat such foolish iniquity again.

 

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