Clue

Clue: (n) a piece of evidence

“There is a way that seems right unto a man…”

So true.

Even people who are crazy do things that honor what they think is right. That’s why right is often so wrong. Right does not need to prove
that it has a universal quality–just be sensible to one person.

That’s why we have laws. We can’t have three-hundred-fifty-million interpretations of right in the United States and think that we’ll be able to function. Yet even though there are rules, regulations and guidelines, human beings still feel what they think–is right.

Then they spend their whole lives searching for clues to prove their conclusions.

The problem? It’s not difficult.

If you want to step out today and establish a case for white people being stupid, there’s enough data available on the subject to support your claim. It certainly won’t be impossible to gather clues.

If your goal is to assert that men are different from women, and women from men, you will absolutely be able to find adequate examples to undergird your proclamation. There will be clues.

So there has to be some other way to determine actual value and lasting quality other than running it through our own personal prejudices.

What might be the clue for that?

I think perhaps the greatest clue to help us understand life on Earth is that no creature gains supremacy–just opportunity.

Even though humans may be more intelligent than other creatures, these other members of the animal kingdom certainly have an edge on survival instinct. And since Earth runs on a delicate balance between survival and intelligence, then each one of us can take a clue from the cockroach.

The greatest clue in the Universe–we are welcome to participate, but not encouraged to control.

 

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Chosen

Chosen: (adj) having been selected as the best or most appropriate.

Without spraying dark, sticky thoughts into the air, I must admit that if I knew what I know now, I might not have chosen to be born.

I don’t think I would have chosen Mary and Russell as my parents. Considering my youthful antics, they might not have chosen me.

I certainly would not have chosen to be raised in the Midwest of the United States during a season when prejudice, bigotry and self-righteousness were considered to be “American values.”

I wouldn’t have chosen to be fat. Even though some people try to gain their self-esteem while encased in blubber, the excess poundage does take its toll.

I don’t know exactly what I would have chosen–I mean, I could continue this list and probably offend everyone I know.

But I certainly would have chosen Jesus.

This is not because I’m a religious person. Matter of fact, I have been known to doze off immediately at the mention of prayer.

It’s the practicality.

It’s the humanity.

It’s the responsibility that Jesus of Nazareth placed on himself and his followers that lets me understand that he “gets it.”

He gets what it means to be a human being on this planet called Earth. I don’t know if his manifesto would work on other planets. I don’t know anything about habitation in other galaxies.

But Earth requires a certain payload to launch your rocket.

I’ve chosen that.

I fail at it, and as long as I realize it’s a failure on my part and not a master plot against my happiness, I’m usually just fine.

I don’t know what else specifically I would have chosen.

I would not have chosen a career as a writer, because criticism and obscurity are your only friends.

Would I have chosen to pen this essay? Probably not.

I got up in a rather relaxed, lazy mood, and your interest just didn’t interest me that much.

So I’ve chosen, at times, to persevere–even though the immediate benefit does not scream its worth.

 

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Celsius

Celsius: (adj) a scale of temperature in which water freezes at 0° and boils at 100°

I was terrified.

I had to believe it was true because my Weekly Reader printed it.

This was the small newspaper handed out to me when I was a young boy. It had stories about recent discoveries as well as projections on
what would happen in the future.

The Weekly Reader informed me that the metric system would take over in the United States in the next few years.

I believed it.

I was so frightened that I went out and tried to learn it.

That was many decades ago, and aside from a few signs adding the word “kilometers,” two-liter bottles of Coke and packaging putting milligrams in parenthesis, the United States is still metric-free.

Likewise, we still honor Farenheit over Celsius.

Even though the contention for metric and Celsius is that it’s easier to comprehend, we Americans–a sturdy lot–choose to pursue abstract numnbers, like “36 inches makes a yard” and “freezing is 32 degrees, Farenheit.”

Occasionally when my travels take me to the border of Canada, the local newspaper will list the daily temperature in Celsius. The numbers are so ridiculous. How can a 90-degree day be captured in a 40-plus Celsius?

It’s confusing.

Do I think we will ever go on the metric system or that Celsius will become the rule of the thermometer? Probably not.

It gives me pause to wonder what else was in error in my Weekly Reader. Does this mean we won’t have flying cars by 1999?

 

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Budge

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Budge: (v) to move slightly

I am an oxymoron.

For I will tell you of a certainty, I am a domesticated gypsy.

Or a gypsy, domesticated.

Half of my journey has been raising a family of fine sons, who now hDictionary Bave lives of their own.

But intermingled was a series of travels to share my art and heart with hundreds of thousands of people across the United States of America.

It was a precariously divine mission, one which I had to spark up in my soul daily, to guarantee enough pistons in the engine to propel me forward.

So I was often amused when I finished my show, which included music, humor and dialogue, and the sponsor nervously came to my side, twitching and relieved, and said, “It sure seems like everybody enjoyed it.”

I do think this individual usually believed if he or she had shared some problem or preference that the audience expressed, that I would leap at the opportunity to amend my approach or add a different angle to my presentation.

Here’s the truth–and you’ll just have to believe that it’s the truth since you’re not that familiar with my soul.

You can change your cologne but not your face.

What I mean by that is, if somebody wants you to smell different, it’s really no big deal.

But when somebody wants to change your look–or your outlook–they’ve landed on sacred ground.

I’m always willing to change things that don’t matter, but I won’t budge if I believe they have eternal consequences.

 

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Bubble

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Bubble: (n) used to refer to a fortunate situation that is isolated from reality or unlikely to last.

When my parents told me there was no Santa Claus, the revelation that the rumor had been greatly exaggerated did not totally deflate my young, eleven-year-old soul.

It’s not because I thought it was alright for them to mislead me, and it wasn’t because I found the Nordic purveyor of toys to be Dictionary Bpersonally distasteful.

It’s that nothing really changed.

I was getting toys–and I continued to get toys. The fact that they weren’t coming from the North Pole was somewhat insignificant.

Even if I wanted to be huffy about the “fake news” concerning Mr. Claus, it was difficult for me to make a major case, considering the fact that I still had the presents.

But when I was told that the government of the United States was “for the people, by the people and of the people,” and as an adult I discovered there is much misrepresentation to that assertion–well, it’s a different “checks and balances.”

It will also be much more disappointing if I find out that God was a Holy-Land-Hoax.

In both cases, I can’t live in a bubble or isolate myself and pretend I don’t know.

Because with no government or God, the toys quickly disappear.

The absence of a good government opens the door to all sorts of graft, corruption and scandal.

Likewise, to be minus a deity is a guarantee that my eternal home will be grave circumstances, with my dreams turning to dust.

This is serious stuff, folks.

I can live without Santa Claus.

I cannot prosper if our government is dishonest or if the two-party system is a one-lane road to dissension.

And I certainly don’t want to spend my Earthly life revering a supernatural being who ends up merely the figment of the imagination of Bedouin nomads.

Help.

What can I do to make sure that my leaders–Republican and Democrat–honor the premise of liberty?

And who should I have been if God ends up taking the Santa Claus nose dive?

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Bittersweet

Bittersweet: (adj) sweet with a bitter aftertaste.

Dictionary B

There is a reality that follows every miracle.

A “morning after” to each and every excitement.

An epilogue to a happy ending.

There is an unwelcome balance in life which often tries to cloud the beauty of a single giddy moment with an overall coloration of gray.

It’s why the human race–through blessed by sunshine–still curses the rain. It just doesn’t seem to be even.

So we naturally begin to focus on problems. We worry. We conjure additional sadness, awaiting the next conflict.

This is why, whether you are in China, England, Japan, or the United States, you will meet human beings who are tinged with a little despair, waiting for the present flickering flame of joy to be blown out by a new foul wind of difficulty.

So is it mature to be cautious, since at any moment our sense of satisfaction can be dampened? Or is there a certain charm in ignoring the tribulation and instead, mustering a determined good cheer?

It is bittersweet

People will argue this until the day they die.

It is at that juncture that most of us hope we are wrong … that there really is a happy ending.

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Bilingual

Bilingual: (adj) fluent in two languages.Dictionary B

Perhaps one of the better definitions of “honorable” is sharing one’s experience while freely admitting it is limited.

I have an exciting life, filled with many journeys, but most of them have occured within the confines of the United States. I have been to Canada several times, and made a ten-day journey to Haiti.

It hardly classifies me as a world traveler.

I share this preface because I want you, as the reader, to understand that it is fine to offer our testimony as long as we’re willing to warn the hearer of the limits of our scope.

So since Canada speaks English (though some of my brethren in the deep South would disagree) my only true experience of bilingual situations lies in my escapade to Haiti.

The thing I immediately sensed upon arriving in this country is that I wanted to be able to communicate with them in their own tongue. My lack of preparation for such a maneuver left me quite aggravated with myself.

So I set about to rectify the situation by learning as many phrases as possible. Since I was actually doing some public speaking, I was issued a translator. He was a delightful young fellow with a desire to please.

As I gradually assimilated a few words here and there, I realized that this fine youthful translator was editing many of the things I was saying.

So after one of my little talks, I confronted him. A bit red-faced, he candidly replied, “Well, I tried to make sure that everything you said would meet the approval of the audience so they wouldn’t be upset with you.”

I laughed, but instructed him to be more faithful with my content.

We are so afraid of words that even as they are translated into other cultures, there is a gnawing fear that we might say something unacceptable.

The chances of that happening are highly likely.

So that is the reason–whether we’re speaking our native tongue or a tongue that is native to our audience–we always need to remember that humility should precede our words, gentleness should accompany them and a willing spirit should follow.

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