Comity

Comity: (n) courtesy and considerate behavior toward others.

In the pursuit of peace on Earth, goodwill toward men–certainly an angelic venture–we must never contend that stereotypes about race,
nationality and culture are false.

They are not.

Matter of fact, many folks who would launch into pursuing tolerance become weary in well-doing by hanging around the folks they’re trying to love, but realizing that many of the prejudices spoken end up being true.

It doesn’t make any difference whether it’s about color, culture, gender or sexual orientation–too much time spent with any one category can turn you into a cynic and a bomb-shelter-bigot.

Open-mindedness is not about facts–it is about mercy.

For instance, using the term “terrible twos” is not prejudicial against human beings who have only lived for twenty-four months. It’s actually a rather astute, but negative, assessment of children of that age. Why? Because we have to work real hard to find one who isn’t–two and terrible, that is.

Equality is not about proving that there is no foolishness within the human race. Equality is blinding yourself to the stupidities in order to elevate your brothers and sisters to the position they were granted by their Creator.

Comity is that moment when we turn our heads away when we see the village idiot sprawled on the ground, so that we can give him a moment to get to his feet…and then view him again as an equal.

 

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Christian

Christian: (n) a person who has received Christian baptism or is a believer in Jesus Christ and his teachings.

Montanian.

Please describe. Yes, take a moment and grant me your visual interpretation of a typical person who lives in Montana. Here come the
stereotypes:

  • Cowboy hats.
  • Rodeos
  • A slight drawl in speech
  • Independent thinking
  • Might even carry a gun or two

That is what we think about Montana. If we encountered someone who lived in Montana who did NOT fit any of those stereotypes, we might feel a little irritable, wondering why they insisted on living in our Montana.

Christian.

As long as we cling to the typical stereotypical definition of what this creature seems to be, we quickly will find out that Jesus, himself, would not make a very
good Christian.

  • He did not favor ceremony.
  • He didn’t like being called “good.”
  • He didn’t seek the praise of people, but rather, encouraged them to prosper in their own faith.
  • He certainly wanted to be known for his teachings instead of the time he spent on a cross.
  • And it was his habit to rebel against any tradition and formality which took away the intimacy of personal belief.

So the truth is, when Jesus is presented the way he really was, we get irritable.

How dare he be a Jewish Messiah, fulfilling Old Testament prophesy as the “Lamb who was slain from the foundation of the world,” and instead, present himself as the Good Shepherd, who welcomes everybody and does not think that judging others is a legitimate practice.

 

 

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Cad

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Cad: (n) a man who behaves dishonorably, especially toward a woman.

Consider the following three statements:

  1. “Women are too emotional to be placed in positions of authority.”
  2. “Happy wife, happy life.”
  3. “I don’t know why women want equality–they’re already better than us.”

All these statements are chauvinistic.

Unfortunately, we don’t have a word like “cad” in our present vernacular to describe such cavalier attitudes. For the truth is, women are not too emotional and they have just as much responsibility to make a happy husband–because they are not better than us, just equal.

Let me give you another three prototypes:

  1. “I always buy my wife presents because she deserves consideration.”
  2. “Women are greedy gold-diggers.”
  3. “All women need from men is respect.”

Once again, all chauvinistic–the dialogue of a cad. Because after all, it’s not exactly what you’re saying that makes you a bigot, but rather, what you’re implying.

And if you think women deserve the best just because they’re female, it’s similar thinking to the guy who considers women to be gold-diggers because they want the best. And that means that women need monetary evidence before they consider themselves respected.

Although the approaches get slicker and the dialogue has a more tender nature to it, cads still roam the earth, eyeing the ladies in the herd, trying to figure out how to woo them … just enough to screw them.

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Boycott

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Boycott: (v) to withdraw from commercial or social relations

“Don’t make waves.”

I heard this all the time as a young person. Since I was raised in land-locked Ohio, it was very simple to comply.

It was also made easier by the fact that anyone who stepped beyond the boundaries of acceptability was quickly ostracized from the general flow. Yet issues always arrived which demanded immediate attention, consideration, deliberation and action.

Sometimes we must boycott stupidity. Otherwise, it grows faster than weeds.Dictionary B

Growing up in my town, prejudice was accepted, gossip was honored, chauvinism was the household norm and music was deemed raucous and evil until it gained a great respectability through financial solvency.

I had to make decisions:

What did I think about civil rights?

What did I think about the war in Viet Nam?

What did I think about the notion that “a woman’s place was in the home?”

These were dangerous questions. If they were posed in public, you were viewed as a troublemaker. If you offered an opinion other than the standard fare, you were basically dubbed “anti-American.”

It took me many years to learn how to boycott the inhibiting doctrines and platitudes which permeated my little town.

Today it’s easier for me. Matter of fact, I can suggest several things we should boycott immediately:

  • The word “bitch”
  • “Baby Mama”
  • Disinformation
  • Racial stubbornness
  • Too much violence
  • Chauvinism in all its forms
  • Gender wars
  • Talk of “culture”

For after all, culture is just another way to introduce stereotypes, which invite prejudice.

I wish I had been more brave when I was a “Buckeye Boy.”

But I guess I can do my penance … by learning what to boycott around me today.

 

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Becoming

Becoming: (n) the process of coming to be somethingDictionary B

She was pretty sure of herself. Matter of fact, she stated it as a fact: “Young people get more conservative as they get older.”

I guess this can be stacked up with other definitive phrases like, women belong in the kitchen, Asians can’t drive and baked beans create farts.

We certainly do love our categories.

But if I were to stop and think about it for a moment, I would have to contend that the true power of longevity and surviving near-disaster is to come out of the experience more compliant, less sure of oneself and granting grace to others.

My life has not made me more conservative or more liberal. But it has taught me to be more merciful.

I have only one function left to me in breathing air, moving about and meeting others: Becoming merciful.

It is the only becoming that truly makes me becoming to others.

Without it, I am a cranky plant, growing without flowers and sprouting ever-increasing, ugly leaves.

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Aversion

Aversion: (n) a strong dislike or disinclination.dictionary with letter A

My prejudices are not more precious and beautiful simply because they’re hatched in my well-cared-for mental factory.

I know this.

Yet I wonder sometimes if scolding my personal attitudes that seem distasteful might not be a futile action, considering the fact that some of the things I dislike just might be universally annoying.

But I don’t like stereotypes. Stereotypes exist because specific sounds, attitudes and stupidities blare out at us–often at piercing decibels.

Is it possible to address things that are human-unfriendly without coming across as either a bigot or completely out of step with the progress of society?

For you see, I have some strong aversions. I usually keep them to myself. Why? Because I think they’re prejudices. But part of the time, I also think they’re intelligent insights which just might help the human race to truly evolve instead of monkeying around by accepting the ridiculous.

I will share them with you, understanding that I may come across as bizarre or arcane:

  1. I do not like it when young girls talk like they live in Southern California near the beach, unable to correctly form consonants.
  2. While we’re still on the talking situation, if I found myself to be a person of color, I would do everything in my power to cease speaking with a Southern accent, thereby impersonating my former oppressors.
  3. Fat people should not eat at buffets. Put it in a carryout box and take it home. For since I am a fat person, I am fully aware that if I don’t eat slowly and lightly at the buffet, everyone in the room will assume they understand the heights and depths of my gluttony.
  4. Women cannot achieve equality by insisting they are superior to men.
  5. Men cannot achieve equality by pretending in front of their friends that they think women are smarter than men.
  6. I think black Americans do a disservice to themselves by referring to their race as African-American. There isn’t any one of them who would last five minutes on the African continent.
  7. I would like to live in a world where rock and roll music can be enjoyed without buying into the culture of drugs, illicit sex and profane lyrics.
  8. I think rap music should be allowed but should be considered just as seriously as one values an organ recital at your church. In other words, you’re glad it’s there because it enhances the culture, but you probably won’t show up.
  9. Anyone who is political is unhelpful. Life is not political–it’s unpredictable. And if you’re not prepared to make adjustments toward what works, you will get trapped into what doesn’t.
  10. Stop telling me that you have found a solution to a problem only to tell me next week that the solution offered ends up causing cancer.

There are 10 right off the top of my head without even breaking a sweat.

Wait! There’s an 11th:

People who tell me that breaking a sweat will make me healthier… who end up in the emergency room with pulled muscles, broken bones and heart attacks.

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Allure

Words from Dic(tionary)

dictionary with letter A

Allure: 1. (n) the quality of being powerfully and mysteriously attractive or fascinating 2. (v) to powerfully charm

One of the things that tickles me about society and human beings as a whole is how quickly we come to the conclusion that we know what we’re talking about, and then actively pursue a path which in the end often proves itself to be erred.

Such is the situation with the concept of attraction, of, if you will, being alluring.

As a man, I was taught that women like muscles, strong bodies, great good looks and sexual prowess. And I believe I can speak freely to say that women are trained to hold dear that beauty, large breasts, femininity and bit of sheepish submission is required in order to allure a man.

Simultaneously, we reject these stereotypes in our more intellectual exchanges as being ridiculous and strident.

But it doesn’t change the patter within the sexes nor has that enlightened view yet reached our entertainment sources.

Here’s what I think is alluring:

1. Don’t be stupid. If you find yourself caught in a stupid situation, quickly laugh at yourself, learn and come out smarter.

2. Don’t be ugly. Everybody has an attribute of some sort which they can play up, as they play down their warts and moles.

3. Know how to carry on a conversation. I call it “the second question.” Most people know how to ask one question, but they don’t know how to follow up on that answer with a second inquiry, which keeps the conversation alive.

4. Be funny. And that does not mean making fun of other people. It actually means that a certain amount of poking at oneself is necessary to create the humility that makes us adorable.

5. And finally, don’t stink. Yes, work on how you smell. Very little is more repugnant in the human experience than an odor which overcomes any desire to welcome closeness.

There you go.

I’m not a particularly attractive person, but I have never lacked friends, lovers and the ability to allure people my way. I will grant you that it doesn’t hurt to be stunningly handsome or gorgeous.

But if you don’t have these other five things lined up in a salute to that physical appearance, your lovely visage can become distasteful very quickly.

How do we allure human beings? By admitting that we’re human … and not ashamed of it.