Cohort

Cohort: (n) a group of people banded together

I have a son who’s convinced that I am becoming more conservative as I get older.

Actually, nothing could be further from the truth. Age has done one thing and only one thing for me–it has insisted that I be practical.

It stands over me, often in a threatening pose, barking in my ear that the plans I had made to do something beyond my physical abilities are not filled with initiative, but rather, reek of stupidity.

I become more and more astounded with the simplicity of the statement, “Those that are not against us are for us.”

Therefore, mankind is my cohort, and I, its.

I am looking for reasons to enjoy the people around me instead of tagging them as enemies to be avoided.

Every time I read something, I find one little tiny nugget of valuable common sense. It doesn’t matter whether it’s the Bible or the Communist Manifesto–each document has a golden gleam which makes its writing valuable and worthy of human hearing.

But also, each document is chock-full of filler–statements thrown in, sometimes as afterthoughts and often in ignorance.

So when a Republican talks, I listen for sense. Likewise, when a Democrat shares, I probe the speech for reasonability. In the process of doing this, I find myself making more friends and being far less critical.

Recently a friend asked what I thought about a song that was being touted on the Internet. I replied, “They started on the same beat, didn’t miss a lyric and ended in pitch.”

There’s a lot to be said for that. It is a fine beginning for discussion. But often, humans will find one word within the body of the poetry which they consider distasteful, and relegate the entire presentation to being hellish nothingness.

A cohort of critics.

How boring.

How boorish.

How stubborn

How meaningless.

I found out some time ago that the world never gets anything right. Celebration occurs when the effort comes close.

 

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Cohesion

Cohesion: (n) the action or fact of forming a united whole.

The power of a premise is that it gives you some place to sit down, kick off your shoes and relax, or some standard which is going to remain as truth, no matter what the circumstances.

The premise of America is “we, the people:”

  • We, the people, in order to form a more perfect union…
  • A government of the people, for the people and by the people…
  • Self-evident truth, that we all are created equal…

Cohesion is threatened when we invent stand-ins for “we, the people.”

Is a representative form of government an acceptable replacement for the will of the people?

Is a charismatic-driven president a superb substitute for the will of the people?

Do the courts, deciding over legal ramifications, grant us an equal eye as does the vision offered by “we, the people?”

Because of this slipping, sliding, replacing, retrieving and taking for granted instead of questioning, we often find ourselves at the mercy of an “emotional coup” in our nation, as the needs and hearts of the citizens are displaced by what is deemed to be political necessity.

Flatly, there is no equal to “we, the people.” And it should never be switched out by those who disrespect the intelligence of the citizens, feeling they are incapable of making adequate choices.

The cohesion is simple: “we, the people” creates the mind-set for “us, the nation.”

 

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Coherent

Coherent: (adj) a logical theory

A common weakness in those who take pen to paper (though there actually is no pen or paper anymore), who fancy themselves to be writers is the tendency to become exasperated with the reader when he or she pulls up mentally lame–incapable of grasping a deep point or drooling over a clever turn of words.

Actually, to become a good writer, you must “de-brat” yourself. In other words, have the brat removed without losing the childlike quality of simplifying human truth to concepts which are easily grasped. Therefore, don’t put too many steps in your process.

Yesterday I saw an article that advertised “31 Things to Do to Make Your Life Better.” I, for one, am overwhelmed with the notion of Baskin Robbins having thirty-one flavors, let alone remembering them in any sequential order.

Coherence also demands that we use understandable language instead of historical wording. Some words, phrases and ideas are dead. I don’t know if they will ever be resurrected, but presently they are stinking in a tomb.

Just don’t use them. Avoid getting angry with the populace because they’re unfamiliar with your jargon.

And being coherent certainly requires the grace to adjust your thinking when someone finds the flaw in your figuring. No matter how good you may think you are when putting together a respectable thesis, there will always be something you forget.

Rather than losing your cool over being challenged, warm yourself to the idea of learning from your mistakes.

Coherent is when smart meets flexible and they have a child called wisdom.

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Cohabit

Cohabit: (v) to live together

Even though, like any “Frosty poet,” I enjoy a good walk in the woods, there is something that interfaces with me as I feel pine needles under my soles: all the creatures of nature are a little bit frightened of me as a human being because I’m a horrible roommate.

I don’t honor my space. Sometimes I’m late on the rent. I cook up things and leave dishes behind.

And I spread my trash everywhere, assuming that it will be taken care of by either other beings, or time and chance.

So there is a look in the eye of the racoon and a squint from the squirrel that tells me they have no intention of relinquishing their right to the ecosystem. They will fight like hell if I attack their nest or if I suggest they should be ousted from their dens.

There is a palpable defiance mingled with a pleading in their glance.

“Come on, you dumb shit. Can’t you just get along? Can’t you co-habitate with us? Do we have to growl, bite, and escape all of your plans to eliminate our species?”

Nature is kind of pissed with human beings. Why?

  • We decide to blame God, even though there’s a natural order which was put in place billions of years before any of us urped up our first mother’s milk.
  • We are so pretentious.
  • We are so easily offended.
  • We are the Mother-Earth-children of all brattiness.

Because the truth is, we aren’t satisfied with scrunching salmon and terrifying tigers. We start doing it to each other–using a color code. Sometimes it’s based upon evaluating genitalia.

But because we can’t cohabit the Earth with the turtle, we suddenly find ourselves very intolerant of those of our own race–who like to take things a little slower.

 

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Cognitive

Cognitive: (adj) knowing and perceiving

Thinking works best when thinking has not occurred before we decide to think.

It’s the only way to keep it fresh.

If you show up to a meeting, a counseling session, a conversation or even a family gathering having “thought out” what you’re going to say, the possibility for the event being a productive one is hampered.

To be cognitive is to be willing to arrive at a meeting with a blank slate and no pre-determined conclusion.

There’s nothing wrong with studying or having your facts in place. But if it becomes obvious that you’ve been trumped by your adversary with more thorough coverage of the subject matter, the cognitive brain relinquishes turf instead of protecting it.

There are three signs that a person has a cognitive brain:

  1. Cognitive leaves the door open for the possibility that a stone was left unturned in your investigation.
  2. Cognitive opens up two ears when others are talking, just in case there’s something to be learned.
  3. And cognitive is prepared to make the adjustments to the reality of the situation instead of merely standing by a press release which was printed long before the debate began.

Without this kind of cognitive reasoning, we always end up in war instead of the humility of admitting that we have much to learn from each other.

 

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Cog

Cog: (n) a subordinate, integral part

Hell, I’d love to be a cog, but nobody’s showing up with the damn wheel.

I faithfully tried to learn my part, prepared to insert it into …

Nothing.

Even though it sounds very noble to be a cog in a great experiment of human progress, it does require that everyone bring their part, ready to be put into place and withstand motion.

Since it’s become much more fanciful to complain about lack than it is to pick up the slack, if you arrive with your cog, you could be standing there holding your cog in your hand.

This is why some people have become bitter.

Other folks have given up on the idea that human beings are capable of completing anything.

My solution is to build a cog that is able to link up with other forces, but also can perform some function of its own if necessary.

Even if it’s a simple as cracking nuts, I want my cog to be able to stand alone–just in case other cogs fail to deliver.

For let me tell you, the common way to become cynical is to assume that everyone has your level of dedication. It is mercy that makes the world go around, and mercy requires that we create a cog that works well with others, but also can make a damn good cup of coffee.

 

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Coffin

Coffin: (n) a long, narrow box in which a corpse is buried or cremated.

Staring down into the face of my older brother, who was quite dead, lying in a coffin, motionless, with eyes closed.

It freaked me out–mainly because I was staring at the bier. That’s another word for coffin. Now I’m just trying to show off. I tend to do so when I’m nervous. And looking at a coffin made me nervous.

Until that moment, I did not realize that I suffer from claustrophobia. Even though I was supposed to be the strong brother to support my nephew, sister-in-law and all the other relatives, I temporarily had to excuse myself and walk away to try to regain my state of mind.

All I could think about was lying in that coffin, scrunched, and having the lid shut down on my face. Every time that vision came to my brain, my heart started to pound and I found it difficult to breathe.

I was embarrassed.

I wanted to make sure no one observed my panic attack, so I found a private room and stepped inside. Unable to locate a light switch, I stood in the dark, finding no comfort whatsoever from my vision of horror.

Even though I am certain there was nobody in the room with me, I sensed a thought floating across the blackened space, landing in my consciousness. It wasn’t exactly verbalized, but it was very comforting.

The notion translated to my irrational thinking was, “Keep in mind, when you go in the coffin, you don’t have to breathe anymore.”

I laughed. It was so true. By the time I was fitted–or unfitted–for this box, I would be without the need for much of anything.

And of course, if it still freaked me out, they could always burn me up.

 

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