Woke?

Jesus was “woke.” Or…was he?

According to that bastion of knowledge, Wikipedia, “woke is a term referring to awareness of issues that concern social justice and racial equality. Originating in the United States, it has also been used to refer to awareness about broader social inequality on issues such as gender and sexual orientation.” Wikipedia, accessed 7/6/21.

Well, Jesus was certainly concerned about unqualified justice and equality. As for prejudice, well, just ask the Samaritan woman. According to this definition, Jesus was a pretty woke guy.

So I wonder how he’d feel about so many corporations and highly visible individuals who fall over one another in order to display their wokeness (or would that be wokedness)? I don’t know about you, but I’m getting pretty tired about reading that “Company blah blah is proud to support fill-in-the-blank.” Well, goody for them.

Don’t get me wrong, I’m not at all against corporate (or other) donations, and they certainly deserve to have a thank-you sign or banner at the ball game or their name on a teeshirt or a big thank-you plaque. I also really appreciate that some companies have causes that are sincerely close to their heart, and they spread information about their causes through their business (such as the Dave Thomas Foundation and Wendy’s Hamburgers).

But I roll my eyes when wokeness is clearly an afterthought. I wonder about those company board meetings: “Quick! Who’s in the such-and-such category can we give some money to so we’ll look like we’re not the robber barons that take home millions in bonuses every year? How fast can we get it on the Twitter feed?”

Jesus spoke about this:

“When you give to needy people, do not announce it by having trumpets blown. Do not be like those who only pretend to be holy. They announce what they do in the synagogues and on the streets. They want to be honored by other people. What I’m about to tell you is true. They have received their complete reward. When you give to needy people, don’t let your left hand know what your right hand is doing. Then your giving will be done secretly. Your Father will reward you, because he sees what you do secretly. “When you pray, do not be like those who only pretend to be holy. They love to stand and pray in the synagogues and on the street corners. They want to be seen by other people…

Matthew 6:1-5, NIRV

Do not be like those who only pretend to be holy.

Wise words from the original “woke” guy.

It’s National Bubba Day!!

I just learned that today, June 2, is… (drum roll)….

NATIONAL BUBBA DAY!

Seriously. I don’t know who comes up with these things, but on the National Day Calendar website, June 2 is listed as National Bubba Day.

Now, this is cause for celebration of All Things Bubba. You see, Bubba is the other “B” in B & B on the Rock, my Gospel duo that performs the Women at the Well program and other spiritual music. You may have encountered this particular Bubba in this blog in the past in this post and this post. However, since it’s #NationalBubbaDay, this post will celebrate Bubba-ness.

its a southern thing

First, a bit about Bubba-ness in general. Bubba is usually a Southern Thing (sort of like the word y’all), and is sometimes looked down upon by folks in other parts of the country who don’t understand. (Bless their hearts.) “Bubba” usually came about as baby-talk from a sibling who couldn’t quite say “brother.” Everyone usually has a few Bubbas in their life, and they are almost always the nicest guys you know. Sometimes the quirkiest, too, which is a good thing. In Louisiana, Bubbas make you think they’re just a good ol’ boy, and then Cajun-engineer a solution to a problem that you didn’t know you had…and you’ll thank them. Or laugh your head off. Or both. Seriously, Bubbas are usually very, very smart – and hide it from you. Never underestimate Bubba.

The particular Bubba in my life, my brother-from-another-mother, Joshua “Bubba” Murrell, is extremely intelligent and creative. He’s a loyal friend, great music partner, and certainly is…entertaining. He’s also a Grammy winner.

Bubs grammy

This guy can make music with just about anything (even a straw) but builds guitars.

Bubba carbon fiber guitar

He also builds virtual rollercoasters and theme parks for fun, but watch out if he gets around a go-cart or other fun, driveable thing.

bub polaris

What, you can rent one of these? ALL IN!!

He’s a computer geek and enjoys a good conspiracy theory. Be careful when you ask him a question, or you may get an answer that leaves your head spinning and you wind up in the “BubbaZone.”

I’ve known Bubba for a long time, and we’ve embarked on many a creative venture.

Bub Cedartown

At a Women at the Well concert at St. James Episcopal Church, Cedartown, Ga. (Photo by Fr. Kemper Anderson)

He’ll take inspiration and run with it. My husband once built a potato gun – one of those lovely PVC pipe creations that shoots potatoes. Bubba got inspired and built one as well, and painted (camo) and added a laser scope. Ah, the Bubba-ness!

tater gun

David (hubby), Bubba (with potato gun) and Greg (brother)

Then, there are the bonfires. Every few years, when the weather cooperates and we can acquire the wood, we have a family bonfire that seems to have grown bigger and bigger.

1231-building-1

Building a bonfire. I’d call it Bubba-engineering, but this is a team effort between Bubba, Greg (above) and David, so we’ll call it “Cajun Engineering.” They’re very similar, anyway.

Comedian T. Bubba Bechtol, also a highly successful public speaker, explains the essence of Bubba-ness and even has a “Bubba Code” at www.tbubba.com. He’s also (like the Bubba I know) a wholesome guy, not given to shock comedy or the like; it’s clean and funny.. He points out that “T. Bubba’s Church preference is “Brick”. Which pretty much sums up the essence of Bubba-ness: Live and let live, it’s all God, don’t be afraid to explore, and don’t be afraid to be crazily creative.

Today, celebrate #NationalBubbaDay with your favorite Bubba! And if you don’t have a Bubba in your life, well, bless your heart, you poor thing; you just don’t know what you’re missing.

It’s Possible!

Possibilities. Choose the wrong one, and you get stuck.

When I started college, there weren’t that many possibilities. Sure, at the time there were, but nothing like the possibilities for young women today. I didn’t have to confine my career choices to secretary or teacher, but there were still a lot of limitations.  I had no idea what WAS possible then.

I didn’t stick with my original career choice (broadcast journalism) but did spend many years in advertising. Those skills still serve me, so I suppose nothing is ever wasted. But I’ve always been reminded (often by friends and family) of things that “just aren’t possible.”

Oddly enough, though, there are more possibilities today for a middle aged woman than there were in the 1980s for a young woman or at least in my corner of the world. Hmmm. And interestingly, things that one would say are “impossible” for me hold no interest. Meh.

There are many things that fall into the “oh, that would be nice” category. I love it that I have possibilities. Many things are possible, and my challenge is to first remember that, and then decide what is worth my passion, time and effort.

It’s possible! C’est possible! Knowing something is possible gives you a choice as to whether or not to pursue it.

In considering my #OLW (One Little Word) for 2018, I had several choices. I kept coming back to the word possible. It chose me, so that’s the word for the year.

possible 2

I’m reminded of the song “It’s Impossible” from Rogers and Hammerstein’s musical Cinderella.

For the world is full of zanies and fools

Who don’t believe in sensible rules

And don’t believe what sensible people say

And because these daft and dewy-eyed dopes keep building up impossible hopes

Impossible things are happening every day!

It’s possible!

It’s possible!

It’s possible!

possible 1

Call me a zany fool. It’s possible.

The beauty of y’all

In choir practice this morning, Leon (who hails from Mississippi) made a comment about the word y’all, and how we just seem to forget that “you” can also be plural.

It made me think about a training class I’d attended earlier in the week.  The trainer was from somewhere “up north,” and said she hadn’t ever gotten used to saying y’all, so she hoped we were OK with “you guys.”

Sigh. Well, ok, but just not from my lips. Y’all is a lovely and infinitely useful word. You see, I am a Southerner.  I know that on the 8th day, God created coffee, crawfish and grits (in that order). And God looked at Creation, and said:

yall-look-good

Now…a couple of very important (and oft-misunderstood) points about the word y’all:

1) Y’all is a contraction of the words “you” and “all.”  Therefore, the correct spelling is not ya’ll, but rather y’all.

2) Y’all is not singular. Ever.  See #1 above.

The word y’all is much more pleasant to the ears than the term “you guys.” The former is a soft, easy short “a” sound, and the word rolls off the tongue like velvet, no matter how quickly or slowly it is uttered.  You guys, on the other hand, invites nasal sounds and even, depending on the speaker, a possible dipthong on the word “guys.”

I remember my shock in grade school when we were learning about contractions, and how to spell them…and that y’all was not a “real word.”  Excuse me? And as noted above, it is only plural, in spite of how it may be used in the singular by those trying to “speak southern” (bless their hearts).

yall-2

Y’all is not only polite; it is genuinely inclusive.  While “you” can be plural, it may be confusing when used in a group.  For example: “You come for gumbo this evening, OK?” This is fine if you are speaking to an individual without anyone else around.  However, if the invitation is uttered to a group that way, you may wind up with only one person showing up (and the rest of the group being insulted).

Y’all come for gumbo,” however, makes it quite clear. If you want to reiterate that the invitation is indeed meant for the group (in case there may be any doubt, or someone might think the invitation was for the individual and their family), “y’all all come” is perfectly acceptable, in spite of its apparent redundancy.  Think of all y’all and y’all all as slightly similar to using a reflective pronoun.

Y’all all come, make sure you bring your mom ‘n ‘em.” (Or you could say “papa ‘n ‘em” or “Marie ‘n ‘em” or whatever.) This means brings everyone y’all were just talking about, or “bring your usual entourage.” (It also means you made a whole lot of gumbo.)

I would love to see a southern revision of the Book of Common Prayer:

The Lord be with y’allAnd also with you. Lift up y’all’s hearts…

Y’all welcomes everyone with a smile.  It is itself an invitation to slow down, to relax, to breathe.  The Shema begins with the words “Hear, O Israel!” In the New Testament, Jesus uses those words when He proclaims the greatest commandments.  I think he was basically saying “all y’all listen!” While that may sound odd, it’s easier to imagine than his saying “OK, you guys…”

shalom-yall

Peace be with y’all…with all y’all.

For an interesting geographic discussion of the use of y’all, visit
http://www.floatingsheep.org/2014/05/hey-yall-geographies-of-colloquialism.html