Currency

Currency: (n) something that is used as a medium of exchange; money.

Respect the buck and the buck won’t stop.

That’s what I believe.

American currency is very simple.

The one-dollar bill.

Keep a bunch of ’em around. They’re nice when you want to pick up an impetuous purchase like a candy bar. They’re also magnificent for giving to people on the street.

Here’s a suggestion: Out of each paycheck, take about twenty-five or thirty of those onsies, keep them in your pocket and find as many unique experiences as you can for passing them on, bidding them a fine journey.

Then there’s the five dollar bill.

The five-dollar bill is born to be “walleted.”

It is the price you’re willing to pay for a repair in your house without looking up too much information on the Internet.

It is a great currency to give to young people under the age of ten—for they still think it’s mucho money, appreciate it, and you can buy their love (which is what you wanted in the first place).

Also, it is a great piece of tender because Abraham Lincoln will allow you to bet him anywhere in Las Vegas—as long as you don’t move up to…

Yes.

The ten-dollar bill.

This has Alexander Hamilton upon it—which is perfect! Hamilton was one of those careful types, fearful that the United States would be cursed with bad credit if there weren’t some sort of organized National Bank. His critics were frightened that such an institution might squeeze the populace. (Thank God that never happened.)

And don’t you think Mr. Hamilton is perfect for gasoline? He will really take you places.

He’s also a great bill to use for an offering at a church or charity. Ten dollars is not chintzy, like the fiver might be—and since we don’t have a fifteen-dollar-bill, not as expensive as Andy Jackson.

The twenty.

Andrew’s currency is terrific for making loans to people you know will never pay you back. Contrary to popular opinion, you are able to assist friends and family with what they call a loan as long as it never exceeds twenty dollars. And if they know this from the outset, they won’t bother you if it’s more than a Jackson. And if they do borrow it and never bring it back, well, hell. It’s just twenty dollars. (And every once in a while, when the moon is blue, they might just pay you back.)

Now, all the other brethren of bills should be kept in the bank.

Why?

Because you’ll spend them on things you don’t necessarily need, but you insanely want to purchase because you’re carrying a fifty-dollar-bill or a hundred-dollar-bill on you.

I know there is additional currency.

Five hundred. A thousand. Perhaps others.

But most of the people reading this article will not have much contact with them.

funny wisdom on words that begin with a C

Crosby, Bing

Crosby, Bing: A twentieth-century American singer and actor.

For about a decade, the United States was enamored with three male singers. (Of course, you could argue this point, and your three would probably be as good as the three I’m going to present.)

But for the sake of discussion, let me say that this trio of crooners was:

Frank Sinatra, Nat King Cole, and Bing Crosby

They were very different men, and not just by having individual names, but by lifestyle. It was intriguing that for the first time in our history, Mr. Cole, a black man was included in the upper echelon of the singing triumvirate.

Bing Crosby was fascinating because he was known for comedies and light, romantic romps—and his famous baritone voice was relished by young and old alike. Matter of fact, to this day it is nearly impossible to envision a cozy seat by the fireplace at Christmas without hearing old Bing intone, “I’m Dreaming of a White Christmas.”

Then out come the books:

  • Accusations that he was cruel, vindictive and even abusive to his children.
  • A womanizer.
  • And assertions that he may have had more in mind than snow when he sought a “White Christmas.”

You see, this syndrome was not invented by our 24-hour news cycle.

Throughout our history, we have loved to create heroes and extol the talent in a person so that we could turn around and expose dirty details to bring the elevated champion down a notch or two.

For instance, people insist that George Washington, the father of our country—the man who suffered at Valley Forge—who persevered to win us our freedom?

Tee-hee-hee: he had wooden teeth.

Abraham Lincoln, the Great Emancipator, who held our nation together through the Civil War?

Tee-tee-hee: he might just have slept in a bed with another man.

We are incorrigible children in search of information to feed our gossip frenzy.

It’s fine if it is truthful.

But if it is not, we are still willing to consider it, to tickle our fancy.

I don’t know whether there is a celebrity or a notable who has not suffered under this microscope of mangling.

But for me, I still hear a gentle man, smoking a pipe, singing “White Christmas,” cutting up with awfully silly jokes, with Bob Hope, while they’re On the Road to somewhere or another.

funny wisdom on words that begin with a C


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Crier and Cried

funny wisdom on words that begin with a C

Crier or cried: (v) one who cries or past tense of cry

It is at the core of the gender wars.

Historically, if not mythically, the contention is that women cry and men endure.

This crying is interpreted as weakness.

So a man may be willing to admit that he has cried—but would resent the hell out of being identified as a crier. On the other hand, females make no bones about the fact that they cried and are not nearly as put out with being referred to as a crier.

It creates the unrighteous and inequitable standard that those who shed tears may be sensitive, but that carrying such a profile is dangerous in a world where toughness is extoled as power. However, here is a fact that’s important to know:

Great men throughout history not only cried but were known to be criers.

From Jesus Christ to Abraham Lincoln you have examples of human males who were susceptible to tears because their hearts could be broken at the sight of pain, and the anger that might flush their feelings and cause mourning.

Let us not forget, at the end of every football game, one team departs cheering, and the other cries—or certainly has members who are criers.

I have cried.

I am willing to admit that I’m a crier.

I am a voice crying in the present wilderness.

My proclamations, though often filled with humor and wit, are saturated with tears of misgiving and sadness.

If you haven’t cried, you haven’t felt.

And if you aren’t a crier, you rob yourself of being known as a person with a depth of feeling.


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Cosby, Bill

Cosby, Bill: A twentieth-century comedian

“He used to be funny.”

I overheard someone make that comment. They were talking about Bill Cosby. They had decided he was no longer funny because he was convicted of sexual harassment and assault on women.funny wisdom on words that begin with a C

I thought to myself, did that rob him of his humor? Are we the sub-total of everything we create and do? Or is our creative life separate from our personal life, which we live out based upon the dictates of our own conscience?

Would Abraham Lincoln be as well-liked for freeing the slaves if we knew he was assaulting women who worked at the White House?

What if we discovered that Mother Teresa was abusing little girls while simultaneously and almost single-handedly touching the lives of the lost souls of India?

Religious people certainly seemed pretty upset when they heard rumors that Jesus might have kissed Mary Magdalene on the mouth.

Although we know better, we think that people who do good deeds should also be morally impeccable. How does one achieve that?

And for that matter, how is it possible to look objectively at Bill Cosby without coming across as if you’re trying to defend his iniquity?

Should we burn all the Michael Jackson records because it appears, from the testimony of several sources, that he molested children?

Should Catholic priests be forbidden to be alone with altar boys and girls because the history of such encounters is filled with sexual perversion?

Am I prepared to have the deeds I do and the person I truly am merged into one being, which is evaluated in totality instead of broken into two categories—the me I wanted to be and the me I was?

I honestly would have no problem listening to a comedy routine from Bill Cosby. But I don’t think I could tolerate hearing him postulate on fatherhood and how to get kids to behave better. And I do believe many of the accolades he received for citizenship and the leadership awards should be retracted.

He was still funny.

It may be the only thing he’ll have left when he dies in a cage.


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Copernicus

Copernicus: (n) Polish astronomer

I wonder what people would say about Ludwig von Beethoven if he’d never written music.funny wisdom on words that begin with a C

Absent being able to consider his art, any relatives who passed along an impression of him would be offering trivial details:

“He belched a lot—he always had a problem with gas.”

“I think he heard better than he pretended.”

“He had a bad temper.”

“He disrespected women.”

“He was kind of crazy.”

“But overall, a nice guy.”

You see, if you don’t create an entity separate from your everyday life that can be set apart as evidence that you thought about something other than yourself, then the memories of you end up being whether those who knew you were inconvenienced by your personality.

Beethoven wrote symphonies—so people don’t talk much about how grumpy he was.

Abraham Lincoln helped free the slaves, so if he ended up being a little bit gay, who in the hell cares?

John Kennedy helped us come through the Cuban Missile Crisis, preventing World War III. We will allow him a couple of boinks with Marilyn Monroe.

Copernicus pissed people off because he told them that if you looked through a telescope, you would discover that the Earth and planets in our solar system actually revolve around the sun, instead of everything circling the Earth.

It made people angry.

Was it because they wanted the Earth to be important?

Was it because they hated the sun?

Or were they aggravated because they couldn’t afford a telescope?

We may never know—but Copernicus was right. And even though he may have made an amazing goulash, we will never know—because he will forever be known as one of the first dudes to tell us the truth about our little Universe.


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Circa

Circa: (prep) approximately (often preceding a date)

Circa the time that humans discovered fire, they started cooking their meat.

Circa the arrival of iron, swords and plowshares were made. (Unfortunately, our species preferred the weapon.)

Circa the revelation that knowledge could be transferred into manuscripts and eventually books, libraries were built to confirm the power of
our more docile wisdom.

Circa the season when souls from Africa were considered slaves and only two-fifths of a person, the “Abraham of America” came and made us all a great nation.

Circa the arrival of instruments came music.

Circa the introduction of music came soul-washing.

Circa the introduction of a madman, the atom was split.

Circa the dropping of a bomb, we discovered the power we have to destroy ourselves.

Circa one war after another, young men and women have learned to protest the insanity of blood-letting.

Circa the arrival of the Internet with the ability for international communication, there is a scream for moderation and a prayer for personal contact.

Circa this moment, we are in search of our heart.

Here’s hoping we find it.

 

 

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Channel

Channel: (v) to take possession of a spirit’s mind for the purpose of communication

Standing in line at the local department store, I was listening to two young women discuss philosophy. Girl 1 said to Girl 2: “No one’s gonna tell me what to do. I’m my own person.”

It gave me pause for thought.

If we have eight billion people on this Earth trying to “be their own person,” we have an emotional explosion which is greater than any
megatons of bombs.

I don’t want to be my own person. I have met him. He is bland, mediocre, nervous, insecure and adds the disgrace of pomposity.

I need to channel greatness.

I would love to channel the spirit of Abraham Lincoln, who uttered, “with malice toward none and charity toward all” just a few days before he was murdered in a theater.

I would like to channel the moment that Thomas Jefferson decided to sheepishly write the phrase, “All men are created equal”–even though he knew he owned slaves.

I would enjoy channeling the fresh, creative, youthful energy of John, Paul, Ringo and George when they brought such singable and danceable music to America.

How about channeling the spirit of Jesus of Nazareth, who in the midst of ignorance and war, told the Earth to “love your neighbor as yourself”?

I would like to channel the spirit of the bear, who has the sense to know when to hibernate, the loyalty of the dog and the devotion of a woman to her man, her children and her cause when she feels that the circumstances are righteous.

And of course, it would be wonderful to channel the moment when God said, “Let us make man in our own image.”

I am not enough and never will be.

When I settle for me,

I end up cheating everyone I see.

 

 

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Boring

Boring: (adj) not interesting; tedious.

I used to be deathly afraid of being boring.Dictionary B

Because of this phobia, I almost accidentally became friends to my children instead of a good parent, denied my faith rather than creating a backbone for my principles, and attempted ridiculous entertainment projects to prove I was youthful and alive.

I don’t know why “boring” scared me so badly–except in our particular American culture, it is the word that ushers in the “last rites” for misunderstood ideas.

In other words, if something is determined to be boring, it is soon abandoned and left to die in the field of forgetfulness.

But then one day it struck me–every great notion and progressive invention in the history of our race was at one time considered boring.

Can you imagine Thomas Edison explaining to all the people who deeply loved candles and gas light lamps how his incandescent bulb might be able to work better, and ultimately even be cheaper?

Boring.

Or how about Abraham Lincoln, stumping to his Cabinet and Congress, how the addition of the freed slaves to our everyday life would give us a great brotherhood to exemplify the idea of liberty?

Really boring.

Or the guy named Salk, who came along and said that just weeping over children with polio was not enough–that maybe we could come up with some sort of vaccination to protect them from the disease instead of just praying for them and telling stories about their hideous struggles.

No thanks, Jonas.

Boring is not what is truly misplaced or ill-timed. It is the piece of truth that we do not yet understand, which we decide is meaningless because it mystifies our limited reasoning.

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Astute

Astute: (adj) having or showing an ability to accurately assess situations or people and turn this to one’s advantage.dictionary with letter A

Knowing when to play dumb.

After all, there’s no advantage in playing smart. You either are intelligent in a given situation or you’re not, and that certainly will become obvious.

But in order to be astute in this world, you must be prepared to play dumb without ever feeling lessened or defensive about the role.

For the action of including others is the admission of lack. No collaboration is ever successful if both people insist they’re intelligent enough to pull it off without each other–or if they even think they are.

To get the very best of a roomful of people, you have to develop the childlike quality of being the student and not the schoolmarm. If you can’t do this, you will insist that you are an individual who loves to get the “take” of others while simultaneously ignoring every opinion proffered your way.

I think we believe that being astute is profiling ourselves as knowledgeable so you can join into the discussion.

Yet as we look back at our history, most people would consider Abraham Lincoln to be one of the greatest Presidents. Yet to many of his advisors, he was perceived to be a buffoon. He was always telling stories, was often awry from the point, and did not seem to have a natural aptitude for leadership. But Lincoln knew how to act dumb so he could garner the true opinions of those around him, and siphon from them the very best answers.

  • If you try to act too smart, you will scare away others who are frightened of your superiority.
  • And if you’re actually unintelligent and insist you have prowess, you will be viewed as a fool.

The secret to life is knowing when to act dumb. Without this gift, you cannot really procure the true intelligence around you … and learn better ways.

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Assailant

Assailant: (n) a person who physically attacks anotherdictionary with letter A

It happens every time without fail–especially when I’m watching some sort of special broadcast about the assassination of John Kennedy or Abraham Lincoln.

It’s the idea that one isolated human being can literally become pickled in his or her own thoughts, leaving such a sense of nastiness inside that the poison must be released in some manner to keep them from disintegrating right before our eyes.

When my children were much younger, one of them asked me why people did such evil deeds to one another–why an assailant would viciously and brutally mutilate another human being.

I gave a very simple answer–one I hoped my son’s young mind could understand.

“You’ve got to take care of your crazies.”

Whether we want to admit it or not, every family has one crazy, and maybe more. It’s just a human being who’s born a bit emotionally mis-shapen, spiritually vacant and mentally twisted.

This kind of individual never learns to absorb the beauty which comes in life and is stored deep inside of us, to protect us from the despair that often fallows.

If we don’t watch out for the crazies we know, and instead pretend it’s none of our business, we will soon find ourselves interviewed by CNN, asking us when we knew that our loved one or friend had taken a turn for the worse.

What would have happened if the sane people in Lee Harvey Oswald’s life had quietly cornered him and disembowled his hatred and diffused the ticking bomb in his heart?

What if the family and friends of John Wilkes Booth had kept him busy with conversations, or even family projects, which would have preoccupied his mind, away from the insanity of killing Lincoln?

What if the young friends of Adolph Hitler had curtailed his insanity in the early days of his youth, using peer pressure, intimidation and positive reinforcement?

It’s just too easy to call evil “satanic” and to refer to everything good as falling from the heavens and the hands of God.

We have a responsibility to extol the good and the best in one another and smother the monsters inside the crazies of life–before they have a chance to grow.

 

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