The I Word … April 2nd, 2019

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THE

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WORD


The I Word is Ignorance

I am reminded of the passage in “A Christmas Carol,” where the second of the Three Spirits warns Ebenezer Scrooge, when unveiling the two children of humankind beneath his robes.

He says, “Beware them both in all of their degree, but most of all, beware this boy—for on his brow I see that which is written, which is Doom, unless the writing be ceased.”

And the boy’s name was Ignorance.

Ignorance may be one of the few words in the English language which is used both as a taunt of criticism and a badge of pride. It evokes a situation in which we choose to ignore that which is obvious, that which is blessed, that which is praise-worthy and that which is true, in favor of a mythical tale often of our own making.

It is dangerous—especially when flaunted by those who seem to be totally content with their lack of knowledge and education and have begun to wear their misinterpretation as proof of simplicity instead of simply lacking proof.

Ignorance says, “I will ignore any opinion that differs from mine.”

Ignorance also proclaims, “I will call those who disagree with me ignorant.”

And most notorious of all, Ignorance closes out its rampage with, “I will lie to maintain my ignorance.”

It is a word we must cease using, because it has no power as an excuse and becomes a vicious attack when pointing the finger at another, rendering the accuser the villain.

 

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1 Thing You Can Do This Week to Make a Practical Step Forward


Save Critique for Yourself (and Yourself Only, May I Add)

Even though there’s a theory blowing in the wind that constructive criticism actually exists, most critique that leaves one’s lips and floats in the direction of another soul generally manifests some sort of destruction.

There’s only one person who can handle your critique—you

Why?

Because you know when to give it, how to present it and when to drop it before you start crying.

It is not a courtesy you can promise to someone else, who might fall victim to your burst of opinions.

Critique has value when it is offered in the mind of one human, heard in the heart of the same being and set in motion within the soul of the identical person.

After all, three things are for sure:

  1. You can hear it.
  2. You will recover from the experience.
  3. You can change.

Now, this makes for great critique.

All other attempts are hidden forms of malice, jealousy, confusion, ignorance and selfishness.


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G-Poppers … May 18th, 2018

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G-Pop would like to address two words with his children: constraint and restraint.

Although they have similar definitions, their application is quite opposite.

Constraint is normally a commandment or demand placed on others, and restraint is a restriction we apply to ourselves.

Even though we certainly would love to place many constraints on the world around us and guide it into deeper understanding of what we envision for an excellent planet, the fact of the matter is, no one really listens to anyone else, especially when controlling through instruction.

When constraint is in the air and cultures, religions and political parties are attempting to convert one another, the end result is usually violence. Of course, long before the mayhem, painful discourse ensues, often punctuated with insult.

G-Pop wants to tell his children that it is time for good-hearted people of good cheer to take on some selected restraint, with the goal, in so doing, of making it much easier for people to see the vision of the choice–and judge for themselves what they want to do.

Here are G-Pop’s Four Posts of Personal Restraint:

1. I will live and let you live.

2. I will be odd, and not get even.

3. I will make more and take less.

4. I will be kind and ease my mind.

No human being will be able to pull these off every day, or even for the preponderance of a week. But just doing it every once in a while changes the quality of the air we breathe, and lightens the burdens of the load we bear.

You can try to force these on other people, but they will resist you.

Or you can simply take them on as a goal, a mission, a blessing and a great relief to your own brain.

Constraint leaves the world bickering over details and never taking on the “weightier matters” of mercy and love.

Restraint opens the door, showing others what it’s like to clean up your own house before you try to dust the furniture in someone else’s living room.

 

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G-Poppers … May 4th, 2018

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G-Pop wants to warn his children to avoid loud folks or strong and silent types if you really want to try to get something done. The loud are always too proud, and the quiet rarely get the courage to try it.

It has become very fashionable to brag about what we think we’re going to accomplish, calling it self-worth. But the truth is, self-worth needs the “worth” first, for the “self” to confirm. Otherwise you end up with a lot of “self” and not much “worth.”

And just because somebody doesn’t talk much, this does not mean they’re withholding information. Often they’re just withholding ignorance.

What you want to look for are curious people who ask questions. This means they’ve learned the power of mulling–considering the subject matter before leaping in with both feet or tip-toeing away in fear.

There was such a man in 1860. He was surrounded by loud people, yelling at each other over the issue of slavery. And then there was the majority of folks in the country, who did not own slaves, but was scared to death and hid in their houses, praying there would be no war.

Brother Abraham just asked questions–because he was curious. His questions made people nervous. His curiosity exposed the cattiness of the politicians of his day. And because of his questioning, he was able foster out one of the most powerful pieces of human liberation in the history of mankind.

Just because it’s popular to heat up our self-esteem or think that “silence is golden,” the true sign of wisdom is curiosity, which leads to legitimate questions.

  • Curiosity without questions is just being nosy.
  • Questions without curiosity is rebellion.

So G-Pop wants his children to know that the best profile for taking on the household of Mother Earth is to remain curious, and come up with righteous questions.

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G-Poppers … March 23rd, 2018

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G-Pop admits that it is possible to actually see in dim light. Unfortunately, it makes it more difficult for one to be enlightened. Reading is diminished, and enjoying the surroundings, greatly inhibited.

And so it is with the lack of light in our culture. We insist on getting used to viewing one another, making our decisions and functioning in the dim light of misunderstanding and prejudice.

G-Pop wants his children to understand that life is not about good and bad, or right and wrong. It really boils down to what works and what destroys.

A great man of faith once said there are only three things that truly abide on Earth. G-Pop thinks that by “abide” he meant having the energy to create growth and prosperity.

Faith, hope and love.

Faith: the realization, deep in one’s heart, that there is something bigger than any of us.

Hope: when we decide to discover and pursue our portion.

And the simple definition of love remains “no one is better than anyone else.”

Living in faithless, hopeless and loveless times makes us believe that these “abiding forces” are part of mythology–or worse, that they are dangerous because they give us a false sense of security.

Yet mean people don’t last. The arc of their success is brief and then disappears.

Dictators never actually get to see what they dictated.

And bigots eventually are exposed for their ignorance and stumble upon their own social landmines, and are blown up.

G-Pop wants his children to know that faith, hope and love aren’t going anywhere.

They’re merely waiting for the champions who want to carry the truth on their shoulders to the next triumph.

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G-Poppers … August 25th, 2017

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They were called “Tories”–colonists who remained loyal to King George III during the American Revolution. They were honorable folks. They wanted to respect authority. They saw no reason to change the status quo. They were following what seemed to be common sense.

They were unfortunately mistaken.

There were other folks known as the “Moral Majority.” The moniker certainly tells of their assumptions. They were convinced that homosexuality was a blight on the American scenery–even that HIV and AIDs were punishments on the homosexual community–the “gay plague.”

Their ranks were filled with Bible-loving, dear-hearted people who were completely misinformed.

It was called “separate but equal”–later to be tagged “Jim Crow.” It was the notion that since color separated human beings, and culture seemed to follow along, it was in line to complete the separation in public restrooms and schools. Great people adhered to the philosophy. Dynamic human beings were involved in promoting it.

It was flawed.

It’s very important to know the difference between ignorance and stupidity. Ignorance is when actions are taken without the benefit of adequate knowledge. Stupidity is when knowledge has arrived and we choose to remain ignorant.

No matter how honorable, self-sacrificing or righteous the Antebellum South felt it was on the issues of states’ rights, tarriffs and slavery, time has marched on and brought us an infantry of reasons to conclude that the assertions were faulty.

Just as the Tories are not allowed to build statues to Benedict Arnold, the Moral Majority isn’t in a position to extol Jerry Falwell, and Jim Crow is not recognized in the public square of Birmingham, for its historic quality, we can no longer accept the “good intentions” of the Confederacy.

They, like the Tories, the Moral Majority and the Jim Crow crowd, must find their absolution with the words of Jesus from the cross: “Father, forgive them, for they know not what they do.”

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G-Poppers … July 21st, 2017

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G-Pop is taking a brief pause to chat with his children.

American people have forgotten how to repent.

We have been so busy bolstering self-esteem and justifying lying that we have failed to realize that the greatest gift we have is to recognize error–and change.

Yesterday, G-Pop watched a man of seventy years rationalize behavior which placed him in legal jeopardy and eventually in prison. He sat and made excuses. We were supposed to see events through the prism of his understanding rather than the logical conclusions of a jury of his peers.

He forgot how to repent.

Matter of fact, it’s become a common practice to pretend that everything is just “a simple misunderstanding.”

A great man once said that without repentance, people, culture and quality begin to perish.

So just in case you are one of those souls who has forgotten how to repent, it works like this:

1. I know what I did wrong.

Yes, it is always better to discover it for yourself instead of being indicted for it.

2. I know what caused it.

Finding the source of the ego, ignorance or selfishness which brought on the dim-witted selection is very important.

3. I have ideas I can implement to keep it from happening again.

I have come to myself. I have taken away the fear of being unrighteous, and in so doing, I have tapped some truly noble notions.

4. I have selected a practical humility.

Realizing that my pride is always present just before my fall, I accept that I am susceptible to error. The humility keeps me sharp.

This is how you repent.

This is how you produce the change that makes life plausible instead of destructive.

Our country needs to learn how to repent again. If we don’t, we will continue to tout our self-worth–with less and less evidence that there’s actually any value.

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