Strict, Not Mean
As a teacher and a father, I have found that being strict doesn't make you mean. It reflects that you believe in the other person and know they have what it takes to do well. They are expected to use their talents and life skills in the right way, making strictness a form of faith in them.
When I learned I needed glasses at twelve years old, I cringed.
I blamed those frames for years of hopeless singlehood, as if they embodied the very essence of my bookworm soul and branded me an outcast from popular cliques from middle school onwards through college.
Then one fateful Valentine's Day my love invited me on a date...to the optometrist office.
While typically I embrace my beloved's practicality, I'll not pretend this "blind date" didn't disappoint me slightly. Exactly how we had thought to enjoy ourselves with this joint specs session I had no idea.
Yet there we stood, in a bright white office surrounded by frames and the reminder neither of us had made the cool cut.
However after that date I'll admit my viewpoint on the entire eyeglass experience changed forever.
It starts like a frisky, BDSM-lite session with a bit of pain - a dash of huff and puff, a little squirting, some blindness...
Then there's the slow, tortuous drag of foreplay, "Better 1 or 2? Better 3 or 4? Come on, tell me what you really like."
Followed by the final fitting where you try on an assortment of sexy eye candy, sliding them on and off again with the coolness of a practiced hand. Until at last that one pair fits with the snug hug of a skullwrap that makes you feel completed.
"Oooh, those look good."
Yet you know they're only frames - the real art is you.
Finally you saunter out into the world, feeling confident and made, sunglasses blocking out the overwhelming brightness of a new day.
Absolutely nothing nerdy about reframing your vision to see a whole new world.
If anything, more folks should wish they had it so lucky. It's tough to beat the sexy feeling of a new pair of specs.
Or how amazingly clearer things look when you finally have 20/20 vision again - and realize that sexy figure besides you looks damn fine under glass too.
It is not that President Trump is evil. It is that you are just wrong.
It is that people fully invested in ignorance have no other recourse than to blindly accept that President Trump is evil? Otherwise, they would have to accept they have been wrong all along.
President Trump did not brag about witholding American aid to the Ukraine until his son’s prosecuter/investigater was fired in the next 6 hours. That was Joe Biden who said that. But if the media tells you that Orange Man bad, can you think for yourself or just accept what you have been told?
President Trump did not release the China Virus, but he did restrict travel and immigration from China that delayed or slowed the spread. Joe Biden called this racist. Do you know this? Do you want to know this? or just accept what you have been told?
President Trump lowered unemployment and taxes for all Americans. He removed excessive regulations on businesses. He removed the mandate forcing Americans to purchase ObamaCare. If ObamaCare is great, it will survive on its own without force.
The result: the return of many industries and the fast tracking of a vaccine for the Chinese virus. The media and Joe Biden ignores both. Do you think for yourself or blindly accept what you you are told?
If you include a Middle East peace agreement and a pro-American renegiotation of NAFTA and Chinese trade deals, you might wonder why no previous President accomplished both. Or why no media outlet spoke of either. Perhaps they believe you cannot accept the truth. Perhaps they never want you to know the truth.
It is not that President Trump is evil. It is that President Trump fights. He pushes back against the liars and the lies they tell. He makes those who believe the lies uncomfortable. He survived a constant barage of lies every day from the media, the Democrats, and their minions. He is the first Republican in a long time to do so. They all hope he is the last.
If you think about his Presidency, you might come to this conclusion.
However, if you haven’t by now, you most likely never will.
The Essence of the Choco-Chip Cookie
While every individual has their own preference and taste, cookie savants generally agree that there are essential qualities that make a chocolate chip cookie great. A noun, a chocolate chip cookie can be described using adjectives derived from the senses of taste, touch, and smell. In turn, an adjective can be coupled with an adverb to convey quality. This essay aims to expound on a chocolate chip cookie’s characteristic qualities and how one might enhance them. The following question will frame the reader’s line of thought throughout this essay: “What is not a chocolate chip cookie?”
There is nothing that disappoints a sweet-tooth more than biting into a cookie and tasting a cracker. A cookie is a dessert. Therefore a chocolate chip cookie should prioritize sweet over savory. Sources of sweetener for a chocolate chip cookie include: chocolate, sugar, and syrup. Sugar is the gold standard and imparts crisp. Syrup creates a chewy and a glazed exterior. But chocolate is essential: it draws out the sweet with a bitter and brief introduction.
Besides enriching sweetness, chocolate embodies another essential quality: gooeyness. Gooeyness bestows the chocolate chip cookie with the ability to retain heat and moisture. It is this quality that governs how the cookie should be served--whether as a companion to ice cream, coffee, or simply adorned with toppings. Without gooeyness, a cookie might be mistaken for an attempt at shortbread or tuille. Gooeyness is governed by the quality of the chocolate. Larger chunks allow the cookie to retain heat longer and milkier chocolate melts at a lower temperature.
The third and final essential quality to a chocolate chip cookie is its alluring aroma. Aroma allows one to test without indulging. It is an indicator of whether the cookie has been prepared correctly. No one wants to overindulge in a deceitful dessert! The ingredients that characterize the aroma of a chocolate chip cookie are: butter, chocolate, and vanilla. The aroma of butter indicates richness. The aroma of chocolate indicates sweetness. The aroma of vanilla indicates savory-ness.
To conclude, the essential qualities of a chocolate chip cookie are sweetness, gooeyness, and aroma. These can be enhanced by adjusting the recipe’s essential ingredients: butter and chocolate. While one can merely capture the essence of a chocolate chip cookie by following the recipe, one can best exemplify it with experimentation of the essential ingredients. Another takeaway: Enthusiasm is essential in everything!
This has always struck me as odd.
The Samaritans is a helpline, a place for those at their wits’ end, a refuge to folk who are beaten and trampled by life. I understand that. I respect that. I applaud that.
...and please correct me if I’m wrong...
...is the parable of The Good Samaritan not:
A beggar lay dying in the gutter.
The beggar saw a holy man approaching, and thought he would be saved. The holy man passed him by.
The beggar saw a nun approaching, and thought he would be saved. The nun man passed him by.
The beggar saw a Samaritan - known for their cruel indifference - approaching, and thought he was as good as dead. But the Samaritan stopped. He took the beggar in; he fed and clothed the beggar; he dressed his wounds.
The moral being: do not assume that a person is as bad as the clan they hail from. This was a Good Samaritan.
And I love that story. I stongly believe that we’re on this earth to help one another. I like to see man looking after fellow man. [Though, to be PC, I suppose I should have written: ‘I like to see (wo)man looking after fellow (wo)man.’]
But I digress. The point I’m making - albeit in a haphazard, seemingly-pointless manner - is that, even though Samaritans were known for their cruel indifference, the beggar was saved by the one, the only, Good Samaritan.
Yet the charity that serves to help its fellow (wo)man in times of greatest need chose to call themselves ‘The Samaritans’, not ‘The Good Samaritans’.
This has always struck me as odd.
Death—an initiatory pathway
Often time, Death is deemed to be a dense veil of compounded disbeliefs,
or guarded series of cultural taboos.
Like a dark black airtight steel-wall,
behind which one could easily hide and push away all the deepest fears, doubts, worries, worst nightmares and all the unseen aspects of the self.
When dense negative emotions creeping into crevices of my consciousness,
I see two choices in front of me: freeze or work a pathway out.
Through time, I learned that very concept of Death could be my own initiatory gateway,
it is up to me to decide how to break through it:
Keep backing down in front of it? Or, simply surrender myself,
let divine grace and light
shining through that seemingly blocked void and inner portal…
Allow loaded burdens of long accumulated
fears and worries be laid behind,
let the dense shell of a defensive ego naturally be released...
Gradually and graciously,
letting my long neglected inner Chaudron of
unknown mythical powers finally be revealed,
so that I can finally grasp hold of my own intrinsic gifts, and
truly start to treasure who I really am and why I am here to begin with...
Death is not a punctuation mark of an ending,
but a mysterious ongoing bridges that enables me to touch the unknown sky-horizons.
It revealed to me in dreams, as a fair white-ray Angle,
who helps me mend detached flower petals of an injured sorrowful heart.
She taught me how to patch up my fragmented missing wing-feathers together,
and how to reclaim all the lost soul-pieces back home again…
Slowly through the healing grace of time,
She guided me how to transition onto a path of ascension.
Death is a gentle spiritual mentor,
who heralds the transmission and transmutation of soulful journeys.
She is the one, who tenderly and patiently assists wounded souls,
to take comforting walks...
Through layers of initiatory atonements,
my core-being of soul-essence can finally be awakened to the very path of learning...
Learning how to align my life’s purpose with my predestined blueprint on earth,
how to navigate through myriads gates of multiple life-time’s reincarnations,
and how to transverse tumultuous ocean of earthly paths, eventually onto the multidimensional transcendental places…
It is an initiation and continuation of another kind of transitory journey--
a continuation of spiritual awakening and soulful ascension.
Death is a riverbank that one can smoothly and graceful amble along…
just as easy as meandering through the thin veil of a dream-world...
like an ethereal fairy who can ride on a rainbow unicorn,
effortlessly leaping across gossamer webs and paths unto the astral space—
where one can easily continue this miraculous soulful journey:
gate after gate, path after path, life after life...
The Confederacy: A Product of Marketing
It’s not that zealous Confederates were the most pro-slavery. For many, “states’ rights for all” sounded more convincing than “slavery (for anyone who can afford it).” Yes, the wealthier the citizen, the more slaves he owned. The middle class would’ve owned one or two slaves, and the poor wouldn’t have any at all.
So Jefferson Davis’ marketing team had some work to do. How could they rally the people, even the poorest of poor, against the growing anti-slavery voices in the north? They put their heads together, and each one echoed, “It’s a free country, isn’t it? We should be able to do whatever we want. Even own slaves!”
“Yeah, but...” said that one guy who’d been fidgeting with a paperclip the whole time, “what if you don’t own any slaves?”
So this “Yeah, but...” was the key to rallying the people because it gave both the lower class and anti-slavery Confederates something to fight for, something which sounded very American: the right to do whatever.
The “right to do whatever” concept (read: argument for secession) was the peanut butter, Southern ideas of chivalry the jelly, and rampant racism was the bread that held it all together. The pretty lunchbox hiding it all was the new catchphrase: states’ rights. Whoever owned slaves could fight for owning slaves, and whoever didn’t or wouldn’t could fight for the idea of doing whatever. Lost Cause? More like Clever Marketing Strategy.