Corrigible

Corrigible: (adj) capable of being corrected or reformed:

During a Q & A one night, when the audience had stopped having much interest in seeking any additional inquiries, the host who was conducting the interview with me, asked, off the top of her head, “If you could isolate one thing a person could do to make their life better, funny wisdom on words that begin with a C
what would it be?”

Before I got a chance to answer, comments suddenly arose from the audience, who moments earlier had looked ready to head for their cars.

Someone jokingly piped up and said, “Money!”

This prompted another to offer the word “beauty.”

It became almost like a list of the three wishes you might select if you rubbed the lamp and a genie appeared.

But when somebody intoned the word, “power,” the whole audience groaned in approval.

I turned to the person who made the suggestion and asked, “What kind of power? And how would you get it?”

He was a little surprised that I singled him out, because he was just trying to participate, or maybe just be funny. But it did draw attention back my way, and everyone seemed a little interested at what my response would be.

I replied, “If I could start over again and have one virtue that was sustainable throughout my life, it would be the ability to be corrected without copping an attitude, becoming defensive or making excuses. I would choose to be a corrigible human instead of considered an incorrigible brat.”

My answer was not quite as popular as “power.”

Yet I still contend today that anyone who can stand to be wrong, hear it and set in motion a plan to change it, immediately has beauty, will soon have power, and the money will follow.


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Corridor

Corridor: (n) a gallery or passage connecting parts of a building; hallway.

Everybody tries to get into the main office.

There’s a general consensus that if we can just get into the boss’s headquarters one time, we could talk ourselves up and improve our situation.

But life isn’t really like that.funny wisdom on words that begin with a C

We live life in the corridors. The minute we commit ourselves to entering an office or a room, we are no longer visible. We’ve taken a side. We have locked into a position.

When I lived in Nashville, Tennessee, back when I was young and knew everything in town that I could get to eat for fifty cents or less, I realized that walking into offices and trying to talk to someone who was notable so I could get my “big break” was a worn-out idea which may never have had its time in the first place.

I realized it was about finding the corridors.

I talked to many a music agent in the parking lot of his or her building, where I had waited so I could strike up a conversation when they came to their cars. I knew they eventually would come to their cars.

Likewise, I learned over the years where various interested talented people got their cars repaired, and I sat in the front room, waiting for a glance of them when they came to pick up their fancy auto after having an oil change. It was always a quick moment and I never pushed—just made my face familiar. Then, when I ran into them later on—in the corridor of an office building or in the mall—and said hello, they would swear that we had met before.

Now, I can’t tell you that through this process I guaranteed myself a shot at a record contract, but it was during the time of walking the corridors that I did get a lovely break.

Be careful signing on the dotted line with political parties, religions and movements. They will hide you away from the opportunities that just pass by in the corridors of everyday life.


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Correspond

Correspond: (v) to communicate by exchange of letters

Dear You:

This is me.

I am writing you for many reasons.

Well, that’s not true.

The main reason I’m writing you is that I don’t want you to ignore me.funny wisdom on words that begin with a C

Each one of us is so busy that we soon will forget people we know unless we purposely correspond with them. We may protest and say that’s impossible, but certainly, “out of sight, out of mind.”

Pretty soon, who knows? In a moment of feeble-mindedness, you might actually fail to recall my name.

I don’t want you to do that.

I’m too important to me for you to forget me. Do you follow that?

And I hope you are too important to you to have me forget you.

This is why we contact one another. It doesn’t make any difference whether it’s done through a letter, an email or a text—just as long as I know that you know that I am here and you are aware.

Yes, all forms of communication, at their root, are insecurity speaking out.

After all, how much time would we spend thinking about God if there were no Bible? And how much Bible would we read if there were no church? And how many churches would have people in attendance if they weren’t going there to meet up with people they hope wouldn’t forget them?

We can either deny selfishness, or we can use it to help us understand the selfishness that exists in others. Once we forgive ourselves for selfishness, we might have a bit of leniency left over to forgive one another.

I correspond because I do not want to be forgotten. In the process I am able to communicate to you that you are well-thought-of and treasured.

How can this system be wrong?

How can this be anything other than the definition of the selfishness of humanity put into good practice?

Dear You,

This is me.

May we never forget us.


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Correlate

Correlate: (v) to bring into mutual or reciprocal relation

My eyes popped open as I awoke this morning.

So did my black brother’s in Harlem.

I wanted to roll over and sleep more, even though I had a full eight hours.funny wisdom on words that begin with a C

My sister in China agreed nodded her head in union.

I convinced myself I felt better once I got up and around.

The young man living on the Indian reservation concluded the same.

I was hungry—but picky—and only wanted a certain something or another for breakfast.

A young boy in Mexico told his mother exactly the same thing.

I started my day wanting to be grumpy but realized I wouldn’t be able to get by with it.

My black sister in Chicago, who holds down three part-time jobs, prayed to reach the same position.

My mind was reluctant to do much of anything.

Somewhere in Japan, a young girl said amen.

But once I got going, moving around, my spirit became sweeter.

That’s what the Irish gentleman driving his taxi in New York also decided.

By the end of the day, I had accumulated enough good experiences that I was able to banish the bad experiences from my mind and be grateful that breath was still in my lungs.

On this one, the Eskimo, the Aborigine, the Aussie and the Queen of England concur.

You see?

We correlate.


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Correctional Facility

Correctional facility: (n) a prison, especially for long-term confinement.

I think it’s safe to say that a plurality, if not a majority, of people think about prisons just about as much as they do the city dump or changing the batteries in their smoke detectors.

It’s not that we’re uncaring. It’s just that sometimes we are at such a loss as to know what to do that rather than taunting ourselves with the frustration of considering something, we pretend it vanished into thin air. (Kind of like when you pick your nose and pull one of those crusty funny wisdom on words that begin with a C
things out and rub it between your fingers until there’s no further evidence…)

Early on in my career in music and the arts, our musical group was invited to come and perform at the State Prison. I was traveling with two girls, and most folks thought it was a very bad idea for us to go to such a dangerous and potentially violent arena.

But if you think about it, as long as you’re not sleeping in, a prison is one of the safest places on earth. Everyone is restrained, threatened and guarded. (Perhaps we should consider this profile for Washington, D. C.  I digress.)

We did not take the gig because we wanted to bring hope or good cheer to the prisoners. No—it was because we were just starting out, and anyone who wanted us to play was our next best opportunity. (After all, you get tired of performing at nursing homes or church pot luck dinners.)

We arrived at the prison and discovered that the entire population was not invited to the concert. Matter of fact, only 150 inmates would be present—these being members of a Bible study held twice a week in the rec hall.

Well, I was young and impetuous, so I objected. I said that if I’d wanted to come and play my music for a bunch of Christians, I could have gone down to the Baptist Church, which “may or may not have just as many felons.”

Both the warden and chaplain were patient with me. They realized that I was immature and did not understand that I was carrying along with me two delicious “human treats,” which these men had not partaken of in some time.

They explained that even though they could protect the girls in our group from attack, they certainly could not shelter them from the trauma of being accosted with foul language.

I grumbled.

Well, we did our first show in front of the Bible Club, and it went so well that the warden asked me if we would do another show in front of about 200 of the inmates who were presently on “good behavior status.”

I immediately agreed.

Boy—did I learn a lesson. If those 200 prisoners were the “good behavior boys,” I shudder to think what would have happened if they had released the lions on us young Christians.

It was loud, overbearing, and it was difficult to get the inmates quiet enough to listen to the music—and only when the beat reached a certain level of intensity did they clap their hands and participate in the event.

Afterwards I felt humbled. I told the warden and the chaplain that I was sorry for being such a jerk.

They corrected me. The warden said, “Don’t you ever give up on the idea of trying to help someone—especially if it looks hopeless.”

I nearly cried.

Even though there’s a reason they call them correctional facilities—because most of the time, correction is the name of the game instead of rehabilitation—it is not our right to ever give up on those that God decided to create in His image.


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Correction Fluid

Correction fluid: (n) an opaque, quick-drying fluid for obliterating handwritten or typewritten matter.

As I read the definition, I smile a bit over the word “obliterating.”

If you didn’t live through the liquid paper or white-out phase of office business done with a typewriter, you missed a juncture in time when creative effort was often made to try to cover a mistake, when typing the entire letter over again might have been quicker.

First and foremost—for a long time, it was just white correction fluid. This meant if you were typing on paper that was white, and by the way, preferably twenty funny wisdom on words that begin with a C
pound, you might have a chance, if you used the brush sparingly, of covering up your typing mistake and having the letter look as if it had never been sullied.

But unfortunately, if you worked at a business where stationery was used, with a higher quality paper which sometimes had a tint, then you had a carnival of difficulties.

First, the heavier paper took your typed letter or word deeper into the texture, which made it much more difficult to cover it up with correction fluid.

Then—guess what? White correction fluid on pale blue stationery does not avoid the appearance of a mistake, but rather, advertises it.

So, they came up with colored correction fluid. But as you probably would guess, matching the color was extremely tricky.

I had a friend who was so adept that she could mingle two different colors of correction fluid to get the exact color of her company’s stationery. Then, after twenty or twenty-five minutes of fussing with the “cover-up,” passing the letter around the office to see if anybody noticed the use of the correction fluid, you would tentatively fold it up, put it in an envelope and send it off.  Then the next time you talked to the recipient of your correspondence, they would make some sort of joke about how the correction fluid had not totally dried—so the letter stuck together.

It was one of those ideas that seemed really smart until it was actually put into practice and it became very complicated to pull it off and still look professional and error-free.

Thank God for the arrival of the computer, where you can hit the back space, and nobody ever need know your office-place iniquity.


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Correction

Correction: (n) punishment intended to reform, improve, or rehabilitate; chastisement; reproof.

Perhaps there is only one standard for evaluating quality in a human being.

Smiles are too easy—especially on a frowny day.

Prayers can be memorized.

Political promises, forgotten.

Wedding vows dimmed by passing time.funny wisdom on words that begin with a C

Devotion—merely an emotion.

Faith overwhelmed by doubt.

Love choked by jealousy.

There are moments when human beings appear to be worthy of the brain that finds home in our skull and the spirit that was breathed into us by the Divine. Then disappointment turns us into our darker selves and we reveal just how childish our inner children truly are.

But there is one way to tell if someone has weighed the values of life and discovered what is gold.

Correction.

Yes, what am I going to do when it is necessary for me to receive correction?

Because it will happen.

Not only are we imperfect, but we are also capable of practicing to perfection and because of fear and intimidation, performing ineptly.

Correction is necessary.

Correction is what allows us to do what the animals are incapable of achieving—repent and learn.

How do we handle correction?

Do we become resentful?

Do we become defensive and start explaining how we are misunderstood?

Do we point fingers and blame others for the shortcoming?

Do we lie in an attempt to create a different history?

Do we pretend we don’t hear?

Or do we hear and go out and pretend it doesn’t matter?

Correction is mandatory.

Correction is less painful when it’s received in silence, and the corrector doesn’t feel the need to pound home the point.

I am human—I hate correction.

I hate it so much that when it comes my way, I listen very intently, to make sure I absorb the truth that will protect me from being corrected in the same way ever again.


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