Bushed

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Bushed: (adj) tired out

“Be zealously affected by a good thing.”

What does it mean?

Allow ourselves to become emotionally stimulated, involved and energized by the fact that we’re pursuing something that has value.

There are two reasons:

First, it’s a lot easier to be successful when you’re excited about your pursuits.

But secondly, it quickly establishes the projects that have value and bring happiness, and those that don’t. If we decide to treat everything the same in our lives, we soon feel bushed–totally exhausted, carrying ourselves like a leaden weight from one mishap to the next.

There has to be a difference between the pleasure of going to a grocery store and buying food to eat, and cleaning the underneath of the refrigerator. If both evoke the same weary reaction, then you have accidentally turned your life into a grindstone instead of a merry-go-round.

Added onto that old adage of “being zealously affected by a good thing” should be the closing remark, “and be gloriously, deliciously tired over a sense of accomplishment.”

This is human life. This is why we are here.

Otherwise, our facial expressions and lack of passion simulate a premature death.

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Aqueduct

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Aqueduct: (n) an artificial channel containing water.

The Romans built them. They were very proud of it.

Matter of fact, it’s what the Romans did best. (Not build aqueducts–be prideful.)

They felt like they were bringing civilization to the world, and it really angered them when the world didn’t grovel in appreciation.

Matter of fact, when I was researching a novel and I began to study the life and times of Pontius Pilate, what I uncovered was a frustrated Epicurean aristocrat who was always aggravated about the Jewish peasants around him and how they failed to appreciate the sophistication that the Empire’s culture proffered.

He was particularly perturbed with their indifference toward the aqueducts he built in Jerusalem, circa 25 A.D. Of course, back then nobody knew it was A.D. because a young preacher from Nazareth had not yet circulated among the masses, changing the historical timetable.

What this Nazarene stumbled into was an ongoing tiff between the zealous Zionists and pompous Pontius. He continued to be the self-reliant governor of Judea, appointed by Caesar, and they, the self-righteous children of Israel, allegedly ordained by God.

Something had to give.

There was an ugly chasm between them. And as Pilate promoted the glory of his aqueducts, many of the Jews refused to use the water because it was provided by the “dog gentiles.”

In walks Jesus.

He had the misfortune of teaching love for mankind in the midst of a quarrel over water distribution. so when the Jews decided to arrest him and bring him in front of Pontius Pilate, the tension in the air was already thick due to the misunderstanding about aqueducts.

Yes, it is very possible that Jesus was crucified … because Pontius Pilate had grown weary of water issues.

 

 

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Antinomy

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Antinomy: (a) a contradiction between two beliefs or conclusions; an oxymoron.

It really doesn’t matter whether someone is intellectual, spiritual or hedonistic.

There is one antinomy that plagues our race with such ambiguity that it causes us to become overly zealous in our certainty or nearly suicidal in our despair.

We just can’t make up our minds whether life is based on freewill or providence.

By “providence” I am speaking of destiny, or a pre-determined course for our life.

Even though we exert great independence about our choices, we also, at the same time, continue to insist that our lives are guided by forces beyond our control.

It’s what causes an atheist to ask, after viewing a horrible disaster, “Why didn’t God do something?”

And at the same time, it motivates a person of faith to proclaim that some irrelevant and maybe even preventable piece of anarchy “must have been God’s will.”

So as different as we may consider ourselves to be, we are trapped in the same flypaper as hapless insects, at the mercy of universal stickiness.

It’s utterly ridiculous.

Yet it is difficult to find anyone who will take a stand and admit they are solely “freewill” in their belief, or that they contend that everything for our lives.has been pre-destined.

When you persist in promoting this oxymoron of “freewill/destiny,” you always end up with a conclusion that nothing could have been done and that the purposes–divine or secular–were just enacted.

So let me be bold:

I am a freewill creature.

99% of my problems are caused by my poor choices, ignorance or stubbornness.

Even those things I deem to be accidents, when later reflected upon, were quite avoidable. For I would much rather take responsibility for the sum total of the additions of my life than superstitiously gaze into a crystal ball, wondering what the gods have devised for me.

Life clears up really quickly when you understand the concept of freewill. You don’t fear devils, you don’t summon angels, and you can alleviate most of your finger-pointing.

For after all, the only way to empower human beings is to let them know that their destiny is forged … one decision at a time.

 

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Antic

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Antic: (adj) grotesque or bizarre

What happens when you use two words to define one word and the two words you apply–which were meant to be synonyms–have absolutely nothing to do with each other?

Because bluntly, I would have to admit that there were times in my life when people would characterize my actions as bizarre, but I would never believe them to be grotesque.

To me, grotesque means “ugly” and bizarre means “unusual.”

Unless we’re trapped in some 21st Century contention that if you happen to be a bit less than beautiful, you’re unusual enough to be considered grotesque. Is that the message?

And an antic is not an appearance, it’s an action–and I, for one, can think of at least four antics off the top of my head which were considered bizarre, if not grotesque in their time, but have proven historically to be life-saving:

1. John Brown attacking the arsenal at Harper’s Ferry in an attempt to free the slaves.

If any of us had met John Brown we would have called him grotesque and certainly bizarre, with his zealous appeal against slavery and his antic of attempting the take-over of a government installation with a bunch of church friends.

It wasn’t exactly well-planned, yet the Union soldiers went into battle singing about his antic to inspire them to destroy an antiquated and evil institution of owning human beings.

2. Jesus of Nazareth calling himself the Son of God–or if you want to be really picky, not raising any objection when others did so.

How much guts would it take to have faith in someone you were sitting next to, who had just farted, as he contended that he was possessed of divine inspiration? I don’t know if I could have pulled that off.

Yes, believing in the resurrected Christ is certainly easier than following the unkempt Galilean.

3. Winston Churchill.

When Adolf Hitler had taken over most of Europe and had set his sights on the British Isles, Churchill and a few of his cronies decided to make a last-ditch stand against the tyranny of Berlin. It wasn’t popular and certainly the bombing of Londontown was grotesque and bizarre.

But the action halted the progress of the Third Reich, allowing time for the United States to rally and help chase the bully back into the bunker.

4. And finally, Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr,. who by the way was raised in an era when Jim Crow was not only tolerated, but was considered to be evidence for how the Old South was resolving the colored/white issue.

What a bizarre notion, to think that people of all colors should be able to ride on a bus together, when in your entire life you had been taught by your elders that separation was inevitable, if not righteous. And how grotesque it was to see little girls blown up in churches because your antics were being objected to by the white plurality.

I think the definition offered by Mr. Webster portrays that antics are displeasing and therefore perhaps should be shoveled away.

Yet without antics, we don’t have any of the practical nuts and bolts that somehow or another, miraculously hold this contraption together. 

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Anthropology

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Anthropology: (n) the comparative study of human societies and cultures

There is an abiding, if not persistent, inclination to believe that intelligence invokes individuality.

In other words, because the human race possesses greater brain power than, let’s say, the duck, we are segregated into a multitude of clumps that not only differentiate us from one another, creating chasms of separation, sprouting suspicion.

Anthropology would do a great service to humankind if it pursued the premise that we are much more like the duck. No one sits around and discusses how ducks from the south are different from ducks from the north. (Maybe it’s because they fly south for the winter and north for the summer. Of course, most of our aging human population has similar travel plans.)

It is ironic to me that a scientific community which fastidiously places us within the animal kingdom as brother and sister to our jungle family suddenly decides to separate us from that kingdom when it comes to matters of race and culture.

Is it possible that we would be better off if we punctuated our similarities instead of showcasing our differences?

  • For instance, does someone born in Siberia who is transplanted right after birth to Southern California still prefer to wear parkas?
  • Would a native of Africa, born in the Serengeti, if translated to London-town, constantly find him or herself pining to hunt with a spear?

Can we really continue to take the attributes that are engrained and nearly beaten into us by our families and pretend that they’re a part of our natural desire?

Very few people ever consider the personality profile of an individual chimpanzee. Yet in some sort of “Homo sapien silliness,” we think that each and every one of us is a snowflake falling from the heavens, with our own particular jagged edges.

Yes, I believe anthropology would provide a salvation to humans if the science explained how much we share in common.

We would certainly be more like the duck, and realize that our particular quack … is not that special. 

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