Perspicacious

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I ran across this word yesterday in a crime novel and not knowing its meaning, I web-searched to find:

“having a ready insight into and understanding of things. SYN: discerning · shrewd · perceptive · astute · penetrating

Ok, …great.  Never knew what it meant, but now I do. So do I use it in every third sentence, or will it slip off my mental horizon as quickly as it emerged?

Yes, it’s more likely to be the latter case especially because in today’s world, perspicaciousness (the intelligence manifested as being astute) is rare.

Who needs to be exceptionally perceptive? How about insightful? I mean where will that get you, eh?

A knowing, penetrating gaze—capable of seeing through deceptions—of what value is that in our lives?

Certainly we can trust everything we hear, and see before us, can’t we? I mean when is discernment ever valued?

For example, would a President or his spokespeople ever intentionally deceive us?

Would some news outlets use their media platform to spread lies or carefully sherlock.jpgmanufactured propaganda like some autocratic dictatorship trying to keep its people in line?

Would disinformation ever be spread by either side of a political campaign to destroy all confidence in the voting process of a democracy?

Well of course not.

That just doesn’t happen in America, right?  What with all our FREEDOMS of press, religion, speech, right to bear arms, right to peaceful protest, etc., those nasty blotches on our freedoms cannot possibly exist, can they?

Yes, I can see that this new word “PERSPICACIOUS” will be gone from my mind as quickly as it arose, because there simply is no need for it.

All is well.  I can easily see that.

When “NOT DOING” Isn’t Doing It for You

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At present this is the conflict I feel inside: the NOT DOING (and not reacting to aggravations and frustrations over what is happening around me) at times feels like a betrayal to my inner fire—the driving force of ME-ness.

The “Why aren’t you out there marching for Women’s Rights to be heard, seen, and respected?” is in conflict with my philosophy of “Be at peace, to spread peace”.

So while questioning myself over this tumultuous, mental agitation I remembered the ultimate example of peaceful protest, Mahatma Gandhi, who not only changed the direction of a continent, but also deeply influenced another of the great Civil Rights icons: Martin Luther King, Jr.

I know that Gandhi raised peaceful protest to an artform; and many of the women’s marches last Saturday were meant to mirror that—a peaceful display of our right to disagree and stand for something greater than ourselves.womens-march

The numbers participating were impressive—far more so than the blatant attempts to discredit and distract from them was, BUT…..numbers alone won’t change anything, nor will standing around NOT DOING anything make the necessary changes.

So I researched a bit on Gandhi and found a few quotes that might apply to the conundrum of my own being at present.

20 Inspiring Quotes from Mahatma Gandhi:

  1. “Live as if you were to die tomorrow. Learn as if you were to live forever.”
  2. “A man is but a product of his thoughts. What he thinks he becomes.”
  3. “Be the change that you want to see in the world.”
  4. “The weak can never forgive. Forgiveness is an attribute of the strong.”
  5. “I will not let anyone walk through my mind with their dirty feet.”
  6. “Strength does not come from physical capacity. It comes from an indomitable will.”
  7. “An ounce of patience is worth more than a ton of preaching.”
  8. “Change yourself – you are in control.”
  9. “See the good in people and help them.”
  10. “Without action, you aren’t going anywhere.”
  11. “Take care of this moment.”
  12. “Be congruent, be authentic, be your true self.”
  13. “Continue to grow and evolve.”
  14. “A no uttered from the deepest conviction is better than a ‘Yes’ uttered merely to please, or worse, to avoid trouble.”
  15. “Glory lies in the attempt to reach one’s goal and not in reaching it.”
  16. “An eye for an eye will make the whole world blind.”
  17. “Happiness is when what you think, what you say, and what you do are in harmony.
  18. “A coward is incapable of exhibiting love; it is the prerogative of the brave.”
  19. “Nobody can hurt me without my permission.”
  20. “In a gentle way, you can shake the world.”

 

I now thinkgandhi.jpg that if anything can change the world for the better, it is a unified effort designed to do this, believing as Gandhi proclaimed in his own calm way: You can “Be the change that you want to see in the world,” and as such, “In a gentle way, you can shake the world.”

Well, let’s start shaking it. My NOT DOING just became DOING.

On Expectations

This sounds like a familiar theme to me….perhaps once written about in a previous diatribe, but no matter the repetition, it still applies to the present.expectations.jpg

We naturally form expectations about every aspect of our lives. We may not want to do this, but we do.

We expect the world to be a certain way, but of course, it isn’t.

We want the people that we love to act toward us with loving and thoughtful manners, but of course, that doesn’t always happen.

We want our jobs to be purposeful and important to the betterment of ourselves and to humanity’s continuing evolvement, but of course, they may not really be.

We want our nation’s leadership to be intelligent, mature, and capable of rationally dealing with every national and world-wide crisis, but of course, …….you get the picture.

What I’ve found most personally helpful when considering the subject of expectations is to say simply, “Release all your expectations over everything and everyone, and simply deal with each moment in your life as it presents itself. Do whatever you need to do when the situation arises.”

For without expectations, there are no disappointments.

Hopefully reality has begun to sink in to those who once lived in the fantasy that a Savior would appear to right all the perceived wrongs in the world and straighten the winding road before us; if not reality, then perhaps a closer version of it after two days of close public exposure to what is more likely to happen.

To those who fervently shout continued allegiance to their manufactured “cause” sporting nationalist slogans slapped across their hat brims, please keep in mind that they don’t call a carnival barker a “flim-flam man” for nothing.

barker“Hey-ya, hey-ya, ….see the 3-eyed boy, the two-headed cow, ….hurry now….catch the show right here, hurry now, … or miss the opportunity of a lifetime!”

And by droves they laid out hard-earned dollars purchasing tickets for the “lifetime opportunity” they would never see. They’d been had. Their expectations had been dashed. They were angry—they felt like fools.

Suddenly they realized that a carnival barker makes his living by lying and deceiving others to sell a fantasy that doesn’t actually exist behind the tent flaps.

“But he promised…” they stammer.

Of course he did. He raised your expectations, …and in the end he laughingly called you “suckers” for believing him.

He is what he is people, and that’s all he will ever be. Don’t expect him to be otherwise.

He never met a TRUTH he couldn’t twist to fit his purposes. That’s how he made his millions: by salesmanship and smoking mirrors.

Don’t expect him to change. He’s simply being himself; and that’s the lemon you really bought.lemon car.jpg

Hope you enjoy the ride, ….at least until the wheels fall off.

Time Out

Can we all stop for a moment and give ourselves a “TIME OUT”…wouldn’t that be nice?

I will make me sit in the corner for 15 minutes (often called “meditation”) and contemplate the error of my ways.boy in corner.jpg

I will pout and scowl and stomp my feet, and hear deep within me, “If you keep that up, you’ll sit there another 15 minutes.”

And at the end of my allotted time, I will rise again, fresh, renewed, with attitude adjusted, and proceed on with the rest of my day or life.

It would be nice to hit the reset button on many things.

Unfortunately the most important things aren’t resettable.

That makes them more important to do right the first time.

Reflections on the Sound of Rain

When the world around you is shaking or on fire, …when shrill screams and cries of rage disrupt your peace, …..when your inner acrimony out-paces any positive thoughts, there is a solution to the dilemma: sit in quiet meditation listening to gentle rain tapping softly on your conscious mind.

If you don’t have the real thing, there are recordings of gentle patter against window drops on leaves.jpgpanes and roof tops; cascading droplets slapping out-stretched leaves and dark, bare soil with crystal-clear, liquid nourishment.

It is quite soothing.

We need soothing.

A Confluence of Events

Nothing invites chaos faster than proclaiming certainties.

No, the USA elections result isn’t because of a superstitious curse—the Cubs winningc-goat the World Series didn’t simply pass their “curse-goat” to the Democrats.

Last night (or early this morning), national news pundits began the election autopsy even before the critical battleground states were ceded. Something just wasn’t falling into line in every state’s rural-area voting totals; and all puzzled over what they were trump 2.jpgseeing until a deeper realization set in—Trump really was going to win.

The joke that we thought was his bid for the presidency, was actually on everyone else.

I can honestly say that this particular joke didn’t seem very funny last night—nor does it this morning.  But it is what it is. And you simply move forward from this day on just like I mentioned in my October 25th post. No matter who would be elected, it only mattered that it “makes life safer, better and happier for everyone.”

Time will tell, I guess.

Then I noticed that after listening to a few stunned morning-news people, I sighed and actually felt like a weight had been lifted from my shoulders. Yes. I could now pull out and gwbreuse my old response to every whining criticism I ever heard about President George W. Bush’s antics and actions from 2000-2008:

“Don’t tell ME about it—I didn’t vote for him!”

There……  I feel better already.

Moving Forward

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I’ve time-warped to Wednesday, November 9, 2016 and we have elected a new president to lead the nation for at least four years.

The task of that leadership is daunting—not easily accomplished by a single figure, male or female.

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In truth, the success of a nation and its people is never determined by one person, but that one individual known as The President of the United States of America has immense power to change millions of lives for the better or the worse, i.e.:

  • The use of nuclear weapons offensively or defensively, is a president’s prerogative.
  • Détente among world leaders is a determiner of cooperation and support for global policies.
  • Supportive alliances and multi-nation unity provide firm negotiating tactics for hot-spots around the world. NATO may not be perfect, but at present, it is the best we have.

Yes, on November 9th we will all be praying that change for all of us will be for the better.

We know by now there are no assurances that any policy or stance for or against an issue of importance will reap the benefits portrayed in an election campaign. Life just doesn’t play out that way.3 brances 2.png

And no matter what changes any President suggests or requests, it requires a Congress willing to support it, so there are things a President can do alone, but the majority of major changes need congressional support to enact and fund them. That’s just how federal governance is set up.

So when we all open our sleepy eyes on Wednesday, November 9th, there will be some very happy United States citizens and some not-too-happy ones. The largest challenge from November 9th onward is helping everyone to feel some degree of comfort with the election results and to find a way to make life better for everyone—even those who didn’t support the winning candidate.

That’s what it’s all about—how to make life safer, better and happier for everyone.

crayon2There are a lot more colors in the crayon box besides RED or BLUE. Let’s focus on the beauty of a multicolored pallet to paint a better and brighter future for all Americans.

I’m really tired of all the HATE lingo.

 

How about you?