Crop

Crop: (n) the produce from the ground.

As the piercing tones of the political pundits wrangle with one another over decibel level, it never occurs to anyone that the United States of America cannot be compared to any other place, because unlike these other locations, this nation has a heart, a soul, a mind and a body.

Without understanding this, you begin to believe that you can nurture the mind of America while ignoring the heart, soul and body—or foolishly believe that you can honor the soul and ignore the other parts of innovation.

During my nearly thirty-five years of travel across the country, stopping off in villages, towns or bustling cities, I immediately understood the crop that comes from the soil of this great nation.

America has heart.

It has emotion. If you live on the coasts, you may think that the middle states are agrarian and backward. Matter of fact, there are people who would not even know what the word agrarian means because they consider it backward.

On the other hand, if you land somewhere deep in Nebraska, the antics of the West Coast may be discussed over the dinner table with a sneer and a frown, as those huddled around faithfully consume their biscuits and butter.

You cannot love this country, its people, its purpose, nor envision its destination without traveling to its heart, musing over its soul, mulling its mind and allowing the body to bring strength to the economics and the gross national product.

What is the crop of America?

  • Iowa believes it’s corn.
  • Silicon Valley in California would insist it’s technology.
  • The Ivy League schools on the East Coast would certainly extol the importance of higher education.
  • And those who dwell in the South will spend hours testifying of the importance of family, devotion and hospitality.

It is difficult for us to be at war with each other.

We need one another so intensely that we end up really fighting ourselves.

So when I drove my van into beautiful downtown Cedar Rapids, Iowa, with corn fields and soybeans surrounding my journey, I knew I was in for an evening of warmth, reflection and conservative reaction to new ideas. They were never averse to progress—just wanted to make sure that no sacred lanes were destroyed to make super-highways.

When I went down to Lebanon, Tennessee, I was fully aware I was in for an evening of a probable potluck dinner, some hand clapping and folks who were frightened that they might lose the spirit of their faith by accepting too much of what, for them, seemed abnormal.

In a journey out to Palo Alto, California, surrounded by the students and faculty of Stanford University, my heart was engorged with the explosive energy of learning, experimenting and researching to find answers to problems that plague the populace.

And then, finding myself weeks later in New York City, I watched the ships come and go, feeding an economy which generates the crop of prosperity, making the whole landscape well-funded.

What is the crop of America?

It is the freedom to have a heart, a soul, a mind and a body—and to treasure each and every part.

funny wisdom on words that begin with a C


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Counterproductive

Counterproductive: (adj) tending to defeat one’s purpose

I think it is wisdom to take a moment—maybe even sit down—and consider what it means to be a productive person.

There are five words that come to my mind:

  1. Solvent
  2. Temperate
  3. Loving
  4. Generous
  5. Focused

Now, there may be others, but you can take these five attributes, blend them together and end up with a productive human life.funny wisdom on words that begin with a C

So let’s take a moment and consider what is counterproductive.

Starting with Number 1, solvent, I would assume the counter would be financially in need, as impulsive would be the opposite of temperate.

Let’s move along. Shall we say that spiteful might be considered counterproductive to loving? And stingy undoubtedly would discourage generosity.

Distracted certainly is the antithesis of focused.

So what do you get when you put together a human life which is financially in need, impulsive, spiteful, stingy and distracted?

It seems to me that you might end up with the American culture—so intent on individual families that it lacks vision for the entire humanity on Earth, and also so entwined with the Internet that opportunity which often stumbles into the room is ignored in favor of binge-watching.

I’m not so sure you can build a human being of quality, soul or mercy by trying to emphasize counterproductive values.

I think our first step into escaping our own trap of inefficiency is to realize that we’re all in this together—over the seven continents, all of the countries, all the races, all the religions and both genders.

In doing so, we might begin to produce instead of having our fruit rot on the vine.


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Compartment

Compartment: (n) a separate container

My life makes me giggle.

I have had enough spirituality to satisfy the Pope in Rome, enough emotion to make a twelve-year-old girl cry for hours, enough mental stimulus that I’ve fooled some people into thinking I was smart, and in my earlier years, enough exercise to play tennis at a standard that people didn’t laugh when they saw me on the court.

Mine is a blessed existence.

During one of those times of spiritual investigation, I discovered that a verse from the Good Book–where Jesus told his disciples that he was going to heaven tofunny wisdom on words that begin with a C “prepare a place for them,” and that in his Father’s house were “many mansions”–that the use of the word “mansion” did not really mean a huge house with multiple bathrooms and servants. Actually, there are those who feel that the closest translation would be the word “compartment.”

You see, that just makes me laugh.

God is so on point.

The idea that all of us human beings would be able to be anywhere together–even if we were in a glorified state–and have it resemble heaven, is nearly preposterous.

So I think God, in His infinite wisdom, is going to find a space for each one of us that just suits our fancy, while we simultaneously believe we’re interacting with everybody.

I don’t need a mansion–but I would favor a compartment decorated and suited to my personality and whim.

Of course, that’s working on the supposition that such an afterlife exists, and that if it does…some puny soul like me would ever be welcome.

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Collect

Collect: (v) to bring or gather things

I collect.

I grab my basket and step into life, picking up things that suit my fancy, meet my needs or stir my soul.

From democracy I collect the value of personal freedom.

I collect a wisp of meditation from the Buddhists.

I collect tenderness, mercy and endurance from my sisters.

I collect devotion to country from communist China.

I realize the danger of eating too much pork from my Muslim brethren.

I collect the value of play from the children encircling me.

I collect my thoughts by rejecting my prejudices.

I collect the true history of my life by quieting the ideas I wish to promote.

I collect fruits and vegetables at a good price at Aldi.

I collect the power of the Golden Rule from my friend, Jesus.

I collect a searching, inquiring and probing mind from my atheist friends.

I collect a respect of science from God.

And I collect a respect for God from science.

I collect things that other people think are meaningless so I can have a personal treasure in my heart.

I collect a respect for things old, current and even those things which sniff of the future.

I stand in awe of Earth as I collect my trash and throw it in the garbage instead of allowing it to go “blowin’ in the wind.”

I collect my anger and force it into a small box, where it doesn’t think it is bigger than it actually is.

I collect those little boxes of anger and open them up in my private times to address the concerns.

I collect passion for my dreams.

And I collect dreams to welcome passion.

I am a collector.

Not much of what I collect has a dollar value.

Yet all of what I collect is valuable.

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Citation

Citation: (n) a summons; a ticket

Back when I was very young and my genitals held the key to my life and my ego the key to my soul, I had a beat-up green van which originally was used by the telephone company. (That was back when we had telephone companies instead of cell providers.)

I bought this van, putting a considerable amount of work into it so I could begin my own musical group and insist that I was unable to
pursue gainful employment because I was on a mission to “make music.”

Driving along with my friends one day, we found ourselves in the midst of a huge argument. Frighteningly, I remember that it was about where we were going to eat lunch. Because we were young, the spat was volatile. Lots of yelling.

So I was entering with my green van onto a four-lane highway when I was struck by a car. My van was not hurt very much, but the gentleman’s car was pretty banged up on the side.

He expressed controlled anger, but insisted we call the police. I didn’t have insurance. In my state at that time, you weren’t required to have it–just considered an ugly troll if you didn’t.

When the policeman arrived, he listened to both stories and gave me a citation for “changing lanes without safety.”

Now I will tell you–I had no idea whether I changed lanes without safety or not. I was too busy arguing over the specifics of our luncheon plans. But I did make a decision to fight the ticket–to object to the citation.

I went to court. I was such an asshole.

When the policeman came forward to testify, his sketchy details did not compare to the tale I made up, which I convinced myself actually happened. I explained that I was already in the lane when I looked to my left and realized that the gentleman was changing lanes into me, striking my side. I even got one of the members of my group totally on board with the account, and she testified on my behalf (even though there was no window on that side of the van, where she could have seen.)

The judge didn’t know, the policeman didn’t know, and the gentleman did not show up for court since he had no citation.

The case was dismissed. I didn’t even have to pay court costs.

I remember walking out feeling very proud, but also somewhat aware that such shenanigans and half-truths would certainly eventually catch up with me.

 

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Cellulite

Cellulite: (n) persistent subcutaneous fat causing dimpling of the skin

If it’s got your thoughts, it’s got your soul.

I just find this to be true.

What corrals my attention, stimulates my brain and makes me contemplate pretty much sets the agenda for my entire human experience.

With that in mind, I am very careful not to focus on anything that has to do with the flesh and pretend that it has any worthy emotional or spiritual implications.

Women have cellulite. Men have cellulite. You can feel free to attempt some simple exercise or treatment to get rid of it.

But if you find yourself going on a trip to the beach wearing sweat pants, talking to everyone on the journey about your cellulite, frightened to death to expose your legs, then you’re in the middle of what I would refer to as a “self damnation.” Simply defined, this is a curse each one of us places on ourselves to forbid us from heavenly conclusions because of our hellish fear or lack.

At no time whatsoever during a romantic encounter does it matter one little bit if a man or woman has cellulite. It only matters if you’re watching them from a distance, determining whether they would be worthy of such intimacy.

But you must understand that anyone who has worked hard enough to not have cellulite may just be as demanding of the partner they select.

 

 

 

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Celestial

Celestial: (adj) belonging or relating to heaven.

Did you ever realize that all the descriptions we have of eternal life are related to us via ancient manuscripts, from people who lived in the first century A. D.? And then we’re working under the trust that he or she actually had a vision of the supernal location.

Other writers have tried to parallel the existing insights, but we are pretty well stuck with an ancient history about our future history.

Do you find that a bit disheartening?

To me, the celestial realm is already a trifle bizarre. Since my physical body is made up of the same stuff as a bear and moose–flesh, blood, veins, arteries–it does seem a bit presumptuous to think that my wilderness friends turn into dust and I live forever.

It’s because I have a soul. Which means they don’t. Yet there is a certain amount of arrogance mingled with ignorance in the presumption of walking on streets of gold.

So where does that leave me? It certainly places me in the category of believers who yearn for a heaven someday. Yes, I have enough arrogance and ignorance to line up with those masses.

But it does give me pause to appreciate, generate and evaluate my earthly lifespan with greater tenderness and passion.

 

 

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