Daley, Richard

Daley, Richard:  (n) A mayor of Chicago in the 1950s, 1960s, and 1970s. One of the last and toughest of the big-city political “bosses.”

’Tis a tale of the two Richards.

I could probably write an Almanac about it, but I shall keep it brief. Yes, I will make it short, if not sweet.

Richard Daley was the mayor of Chicago who believed in control by intimidation and using strength as a deterrent to protest.

So in 1968, when young people all over America headed to Chicago, Illinois, to make a stand against the Viet Nam War at the Democratic National Convention, Mayor Daley thought it was a good time to stop these punks and hoodlums, making an example of them by using his police force to push them, shove them, and often strike out.

America’s love generation—beaten and bloodied.

The television networks thought it good theater to cover this unfolding with a split screen—half of which broadcast speeches on the floor of the convention, and the other chronicling the struggle between college students and police officers.

It was a frightening, obtuse and mind-altering vision.

Meanwhile, another Richard, Nixon, sat back and watched the fiasco, ran for President and won in the midst of this turmoil over the Viet Nam War, which he promised to end.

Not only did he fail to cease the war, but he brought a level of corruption into the Presidency that had never been seen before, resigning in disgrace.

What would have happened if the one Richard—the Mayor of Chicago—had decided to treat the students as if they were the sons and daughters of America instead of crime bosses?

Would the other Richard–Nixon–have been able to capitalize on his second run at the chief position in the land and win?

A very interesting question. I’m sure it’s one that most people don’t care about anymore.

But since human beings have not come up with a new design for more than a hundred thousand years, it’s safe to assume that this kind of situation will rise again—where we need to be careful not to allow one Dick to make another dick.

Aground

Words from Dic(tionary)

dictionary with letter AAground: (adj & adv) in reference to a ship running on or onto the bottom in shallow water.

Shallow.

There you go. Thus the problem.

We used to believe that “still waters run deep,” until we realized that the adage doesn’t apply to a generation of people who refuse to speak because of the vacuous nature of their thoughts.

I am not cynical of our time or particularly gloomy about our future. Yet I do not think it is the job of people who write articles or who are creatively bent toward sharing wisdom to always kiss the rear end of the person in front of them.

We just need to realize that we have created so much shallowness that we have run aground–and as you well know, when a boat runs aground, it can neither float nor can it sail from its perch.

So where have we run aground?

  1. By telling everybody they’re great, we’ve eliminated the word “great.”
  2. By electronically connecting ourselves to the world, we have emotionally disconnected ourselves from one another.
  3. We have replaced actions with speeches, thinking that merely stating our intentions is sufficient to prove our willingness.
  4. We foster the present bigotry as intelligent study, even though historically, every rejected piece of prejudice took a similar profile.
  5. We promote a war between men and women while simultaneously using sex to sell everything.
  6. We foolishly think there is a permanent solution to problems rather than a gradual revelation in our everyday reality.
  7. We value critique–one of the more useless human endeavors.
  8. We accept mediocrity, hoping that others will accept our rendition.
  9. We want to believe we are exceptional, even though every nationality that has pursued that particular philosophy has ended up being declared tyrants.
  10.  We think that problems can be solved corporately, when nothing ever happens in the human family without individuals repenting.

It’s really quite simple. When you take away personal responsibility, the need for humility and you add in the arrogance of uniqueness, you get people who have a common spiel–which they use to promote a nasty disdain.

Here’s the good news: for each one of these ten that we address and change, we can double our potential.

God is good because He doesn’t demand much change from human beingsfor mountains to move.

Abridge

by J. R. Practix

dictionary with letter A

Abridge: (v.): 1. to shorten (a book, movie, text or speech) without losing the sense. 2. curtail: Even the right to free speech can be abridged.

This happened to me several months ago.

I realized that my essays, speeches, and even books were getting too long. They needed to be abridged. But you see, the only problem with making something shorter is that the evidence of truth is often hidden in the longer discourse.

But our entire world is abridged, via texting, tweeting and even an instinct to summarize deep concepts into brief sound bytes. So I was thinking about famous thoughts or virtues that were once spoken in some length that now would be abridged in our society for the sake of convenience and ease of comprehension:

The Sermon on the Mount — It probably would be summarized via a tweet, to four words: Be good to people. Much would be lost in the translation,k but the tweeter would certainly insist that the summary was sufficient and specifics, unnecessary.

The Gettysburg Address: “Lots of dead people. Let’s honor them.” Even though Abraham Lincoln thought he WAS being brief, his words would still not fit into a tweet.

The Declaration of Independence: “We’re all the same, so chill out.” Thomas Jefferson’s eloquence might be lost in this rendition, but you cannot really tweet multi-syllabic words without abbreviating them anyway.

And of course, there’s The Bible, which would basically be tweeted out: “There is a God. Act accordingly.”

Even though I see the value of an occasional Reader’s Digest abridging of certain aspects of human communication, there are thoughts that require the beauty of language and the interlacing of the fabric of phrases.

So brevity is the soul of wit–but sometimes being witty is not nearly as pretty.