Commute

Commute: (v) to travel some distance between one’s home and place of work on a regular basis.

Sitting around the room at a party last night with a bunch of friends and family, a young man piped up and said, “I evaluate people on whether they voted for this President. If they did I know they’re stupid.”

Well, truthfully, this article could be read forty years from now and it would still apply to someone who felt that way because “their” person did not make the White House.

I did not condemn the young man for his judgmental attitude. I didn’t try to convince him that he was wrong.funny wisdom on words that begin with a C

I did explain to him that he didn’t understand the mindset, simplicity and utter joy of small-town people all over America–who don’t have to commute an hour-and-a-half to go to work.

If they want a loaf of bread, they climb into their truck, drive down to the local market, where they spend much more time jabbering with their neighbors than getting their purchase. The trip back home takes no more than two minutes. There are no frayed nerves from traffic jams. There are no attitudes that the human race is full of assholes because they got cut off at the one stoplight in town.

It is much easier for them to be genteel.

But it’s also easier for them to be suspicious of the “big city ideas” trying to come in and take over.

When you live in a city where there’s a commute, you, yourself, develop a different pathway to sanity.

You may be more defensive.

You may be more interested in the government taking over matters of social order, since you don’t grow your own corn and soybeans.

You are not worse than the man or woman who lives in Iowa and only needs five minutes to get to their job or their barn.

You’re just different. Your perspective varies from theirs.

Wise is the soul who understands the simplicity of the village folk, and the struggle of those who commute.

 

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By-pass

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By-pass (n) a road passing around a town

I’ve driven through Los Angeles about a half a dozen times.

Every town has unique traffic hazards.

For instance, Chicago has so many lanes and so much foul weather that you feel you’re in a congested arena of bumper cars.

San Francisco doesn’t have enough land for the number of cars that want to make their way up the coast.

Atlanta is filled with people who like to stop and gaze at traffic accidents, therefore creating jams which don’t seem to have a point of origin, but are endless anyway.

But Los Angeles is unique. They seem to always be working on parts of the freeway, or there are guest dignitaries who are blocking off segments of the road–so there is always a detour or a by-pass.

One day I was driving on the 405 when all the cars suddenly began to exit to honor a detour. We ended up going through the residential district of one of the poorer areas of town. For a while, there were signs encouraging me to pursue. But then, all at once, I realized there were no signs and no more freeway traffic to follow–just me, driving around haplessly, staring at unfamiliar surroundings.

I realized I was lost. I pulled over and asked a gentleman where the by-pass was to take me back to my destination. He laughed and said, “That’s about seven miles back, on this street.”

I frowned. “Well, I didn’t see any signs taking me there.”

He then roared with laughter. “Signs? Well, the kids in the neighborhood love to steal those signs. They put ’em in their rooms to decorate their homes. You can’t follow the signs. You need to follow the guy in front of you, who looks like he lives here and knows where to turn.”

I had not done that.

I was looking for a by-pass with signage.

What I ended up with was a by-pass which required you to be led of the Spirit.

 

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Bucolic

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Bucolic: (adj) referring to the pleasant aspects of the countryside and country life.

When my assistant spoke the word–“bucolic”–I said, “I’ve heard that before.”

I had no idea what it meant.

I’m careful not to use words that I’ve suddenly discovered, thinking it will make me appear intelligent Dictionary Band well-versed in the vernacular.

So when she looked up “bucolic” and read the definition, a thought immediately came to my mind. It’s kind of a strange one.

The thought was, we are never totally happy where we are.

If we’re sitting out in the middle of a beautiful pasture filled with trees and flowers on a springtime day, the notion will suddenly present itself: “This would be perfect if I just had a Big Mac and a Coke.”

Then we may find ourselves stuck in a traffic jam, sucking in the fumes of oil and gasoline, wishing for the bucolic surroundings of a robin in the forest, flying toward its nest.

Strangely, we find both positions to be acceptable. After all, dissatisfaction might be considered one of the top four “normal” conditions of humankind.

Yet somewhere inside us is a desire to be content with what we have.

Because when I’ve allowed contentment to rattle around my belfry, it has rung the bells of appreciation.

It may sound sappy to be happy with what’s crappy.

But when I am, I’m more pleasant to be around.

I know that no one likes my bitching–not even me–but I follow it like a monk in a monastery.

I’m hoping that when I finish this life I will be remembered for the kind words I conjured in the midst of turmoil … instead of the turmoil I decided to conjure in the midst of kindness.

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Blame

Blame: (v) to assign responsibility for a fault or wrong.

I’m always looking for a true definition of maturity.Dictionary B

Having rejected the possibility of “old, experienced, educated or powerful,” I have decided that true maturity is when human beings finally reject the futility of blaming.

Blame–the extra step we add in the process of allegedly solving problems while actually manufacturing a maze that takes us deep into the jungle of confusion.

We exhaust ourselves trying to find out why stupidity happens by generating new stupidity through the investigation.

  • Sometimes blame is obvious. Then mercy is in order.
  • On other occasions blame is shared. At that point, some candor would be nice.

But blame is often a mystery. As the great and wise Solomon said, “Time and chance happens to all.”

Yea, we all take our turn in the fast lane–and also stalled in the traffic jam.

For of a truth, maturity is when we finally realize that pursuing the source of the difficulty often hinders the solution.

And unfortunately, it also turns us into self-righteous, judgmental black holes.

 

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Arbitrary

dictionary with letter A

Arbitrary: (adj) based on random choice or personal whim, rather than any reason or system.

When everything is considered important, nothing truly has value.

Half the time I don’t know whether to burst out laughing or cry as I watch the entanglement of emotions in our society, giving place to things, feelings and problems that really just don’t matter.

I am going to give you a list of those things which I find to be arbitrary, and therefore annoying and useless, generating a traffic jams in our human flow:

1. I don’t care if you’re Republican or Democrat. Pass a damn law.

2. I do not care that Kim Kardashian has a large butt. Perhaps some of it should be transferred to her cranium.

3. I do not care, on The Voice, if you have a family, children, a mother with cancer or are going through a financial hard time. I thought you wanted to be a singer, not a hard case. Shut up and sing.

4. I do not care about church doctrine. I want you to tell me better ways to “love my neighbor as myself.”

5. I certainly am appalled at the views some folks have of women, using religion to punish them, which creates a self-defeating environment where you soon will have nobody to romance.

6. I do not care to hear about every time a celebrity is in a bad mood. After all, since they have financial security, they should probably pursue a traditional form of gratitude to rectify their surly nature.

7. I don’t care if you’re black, white, red, yellow, brown, tan, rose, pink or any particular hue. I would just like you to be nicer.

8. I would like people who are caught in hypocrisy to admit that they were hit by a dumb stick instead of hitting me with a stick and acting like I am dumb for challenging them.

9. I would like to live in a world where truth is still honored and lying is considered to be a negative thing instead of a “natural” thing.

10. I would like the 24-hour news cycle to at least take a daily nap so they don’t have to embellish every little stupid thing that comes along.

And even though I am supposed to end at #10, I will do an 11th, which is:

11. I am tired of the spiritual, political and social correctness which promises the right of free speech, but only as long as you agree with the majority.

If we remain determined to make everything a story … there will soon be no true stories to tell.

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Affectionate

Words from Dic(tionary)

dictionary with letter A

 

Affectionate: (adj.) readily feeling or showing fondness or tenderness: e.g. a happy and affectionate family.

You gotta BE there.

It’s true, you know. There are some things in life that cannot be viewed, read, perused, discussed, debated or downloaded.

Affection is one of them.

In a climate where “lukewarm” has begun to feel “heated,” we lack such closeness and intimacy that it has caused us to become defensive with one another because we privately feel cheated of the tenderness we need to satisfy our souls, yet at the same time we push away personal overtures from those who try to get too close too quickly.

A lady warned me the other day, saying, “Watch out! I’m a hugger.”

I do remember attending a rock concert many years ago where complete strangers–thousands of them–came up to each other, hugging in groups of five and ten without explanation or apology. Yet to promote such an idea in our day and age would be cynically mocked as a “hippie philosophy,” a throw-back to olden times or impractical due to the spread of disease.

This culminated for me when I saw churches offering hand sanitizer to folks after they had the “passing of the peace.” I wish I had a profanity to express how upsetting that is to me. And please, spare me the explanation on why it is needed. I am fed up with the notion of what is needful and anxious for the pursuit of what is helpful.

  • I need affection.
  • I need to be affectionate.

Now, it doesn’t have to always be demonstrative, but it does have to be spontaneous and real. It can be reaching across a table and cutting up the banana of a friend who is making you coffee, or coring an apple for another friend so she doesn’t have to deal with stems and seeds.

When you lose affection in a society, you promote the idea of isolation. Once humans are isolated, there’s only one thing that takes hold–survival.

Is it possible that in the next decade we will begin to treat each other–all the time–like we do when we’re in a traffic jam?