Now that you mention it, it IS what it is

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At first listen “It is what it is,” especially when accompanied by a shrug of the shoulders, sounds like an infuriating capitulation, a resort to an infuriating cliche. But it is also a grown-up acceptance of reality.

The phrase says: These are the cards that I have been dealt; this is the situation I have built for myself; my actions and decisions and dumb luck and I suppose the weather have put me here, in this place – so let’s deal with it.

Fussing and fuming and fighting clear reality may be cathartic, but it won’t change the situation, which is what it is, so a better use of time is fixing to fix it.

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In those days Caesar Augustus issued a decree

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So back when Quirinius was governor of Syria, this kid was born in Bethlehem who grew up to change the world.

God made us in His image, so that means in a little piece of us is the power to change the world. In a little piece of us is the creativity to build a world.

To harm or kill one of us is to destroy world-changing and world-building capability.

When you look at another person and realize that is the image of God, it adjusts your attitude.

Merry Christmas, one and all.

The purpose of a man

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“The purpose of a man is to love a woman,” the guru said. “And the purpose of a woman is to love a man. That it where it all begins; that is all you need to know.”

“What is the origin of this wisdom?” the novice asked.

“A song, once upon a time.”

“Whoever wrote such a song was very wise.”

The roar down below

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The wind roars up from the bottom of the hill behind our house

– or is that the bay shouting out its lungs?

water crashing into white caps of fury, or

a beast roaring at the heart of the world,

bouncing off itself joyfully to scream “Life! Live! Love!”

Be angry or be alive.

Laugh or cry.

The choices present themselves every day.

Choose life.

Choose joy.

It’s lighter on the soul.

A day that will live in perspective

dejah and shoeJack was a crusty old guy, mostly sweet and with a wicked sense of humor. He had retired but still did an afternoon sports show at the small-town radio station where I worked.

I only remember one time when he was seriously angry. It was the day John Lennon had been shot, and everyone was in a state of shock. Jack wasn’t so impressed.

One of the younger disk jockeys tried to put it in perspective for him by saying that to our generation, the killing of John Lennon might have the same jarring impact that the bombing of Pearl Harbor had had the previous day, Dec. 7, 39 years earlier.

This did not sit well with Jack, who erupted with fury. We had no idea what that day was about, he said, if we really were going to compare that day with the shooting of some young punk on a New York street. Oh my, Jack was mad. And he was right. And, in a lesser way, so was our ill-advised colleague. It was a big deal. Just not that big.

It’s hard to believe that it’s now 37 years since that day – nearly as long as Pearl Harbor had been for Jack when the conversation took place. Now I know what it feels like to remember something that happened almost four decades ago when I was a young adult. If I dig into the memory deep enough, I can still feel the shock, tempered by the passage of time, with the biggest shock perhaps being how much life has happened in the meantime.