Colleague

Colleague: (n) a person with whom one works

A colleague is what we call a friend we go into business with…and it’s the first day.

Day 4 we’re calling the same person a “partner.”

Day 10, the word “adversary” slips in.

And by Day 30, “son of a bitch” seems appropriate.

Thus is the evolution of human involvement.

We always start off with our ideals and goals way too high. Putting ourselves on such a pinnacle makes the fall from such heights nearly lethal.  I, on the other
hand, like to perch my dreams on mushroom caps–awfully close to the ground, with just a little rise and a nice wide seat for my big butt.

I realize that the chance of two people remaining colleagues while still abiding on Planet Earth is similar to finding a movie you really enjoy at the Cannes Film Festival. (I mean, you think you should enjoy the flicks. It’s pointed out to you why you should appreciate them, but there still seems to be something missing.)

And what’s missing with the concept of “colleague” is that we’re very human, and tend to be human with each other at the same time. For instance, if one person was human and the other a bit divine, it would be great. The idea of both parties being divine at the same time is, of course, ludicrous.

What normally happens is that two human beings arrive at the same situation, with raw human emotion–and act like monkeys. Perhaps I insult the little apes.

We revert. We begin to feel that if we don’t have top billing, we don’t have any billing.

Finding a colleague is similar to establishing a relationship with God.

You have to understand that He (or She) has a will.

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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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Cinch

Cinch: (n) an extremely easy task

What are the factors?

I’m talking about the issues that go into making something work or drizzle away in failure.

I wish I could say it was all based upon the value of a good idea or merely the implementation of it.

Not so.

I can think of five things right off the bat that have to be crawled over to get to the finish line.

First, if you want something to be a cinch, it has to work out on paper. If it doesn’t, then you’re hoping for grace (if you’re spiritual) or a mutation (if you’re scientific.)

A bad start.

The second thing is resource. In other words, simply knowing what to get doesn’t get it. Can you locate what you need and once located, can you acquire it?

Third, luck. Many people do not believe in it, but there is a chaotic aspect to nature that cannot be denied. After all, the same thing we try today often doesn’t work tomorrow for no explicable reason.

How about nerves? Oh, yes–the football team was ready for the game, and then became unnerved. What causes it? When do we look at the challenge and visualize the victory, and when are our eyes affixed nervously on the adversary?

Of course, there is the fifth and final hurdle. It’s called performance.

Everyone reading this has had an occasion in their lives when everything was perfect except for one thing–and that single unit blew everything apart.

The reason most people spend their lives in lamentation is that they are burdened with the need–shall we say, expectation?–for something to be a cinch.

This writer will tell you, the only thing he has found to be a cinch–a guarantee–is that there will always be a surprise waiting for those who dare to brag about being prepared.

 

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Cheek

Cheek: (n) either side of the face below the eye.

To write or not to write–there is the question.

As a scribbler of ideas, my “ham” needs to be “let” out at just the right time. Should I talk about butt cheeks? Or take the higher road and
turn to the other cheek?

I could do both. Perhaps the concept the Sermon on the Mount intended us to employ was to moon people, and then allow them to smack our ass. Unlikely possibility, but certainly tickles my innards.

“Yes, my children, when you run across people who mistreat you, pull down your pants and show them your gluteus maximus. And if they decide to slap it, turn the other one to them.”

Of course, I don’t really feel this was the original meaning.

No, there was once a person who walked the Earth who thought it was better to offer the soft tissue of the face, to be bruised, rather than striking out with mayhem and murder.

You can’t break a cheek. It just bruises.

And in that split second–when you decide to turn the other cheek–you let people know that you continue to take the stance of being non-violent, buying time for reason to enter the soul of your adversary. Therefore he or she might give up the attack.

It is risky.

But it certainly is not as risky as reaching up quickly to remove the eye from your enemy, trying to see through your bleeding socket.

 

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Bass

Bass: (n) a voice, instrument, or sound of the lowest rangeDictionary B

Tom was my friend.

I think that’s why we hated each other so much.

There are people we meet that we were never meant to be linked with, but because of projects, proximity and maybe even personality, we get slammed together with them in an uncomfortable relationship of tension. Unwilling to call them adversaries, we resort to the generic term, “friend.”

Tom and I sang together in a quartet. It was a group of our own making, and considering the fact that we were just teenagers, we did a good job of holding it together and doing more than practicing–on occasion actually performing in front of living people.

Tom wanted to be in charge of the group, but unfortunately, I already held that position–with accompanying diadem. So there was always friction about every decision and every musical composition we selected to mutilate in our inimitable style.

When Tom joined the group, I sang bass. There were many reasons for this.

First of all, I was the only one who could sing a Bb below middle C, which is mandatory for those with testosterone tones.

I also thought the girls really dug guys who sang low, feeling confident they were masculine simply by hearing them warm up on scales.

Tom didn’t think I was a good bass singer. He was always trying to undermine my efforts.

One day, he brought in a record to introduce us to a song that had a very low bass note, which was showcased in the middle of the tune as a solo without accompaniment. He coyly asked me if I could hit the note, and being young of years and mostly insane, I insisted it was within my range.

It wasn’t.

Honestly, it wasn’t within anybody’s range unless they were in a recording studio with the help of knobs and buttons.

So the first time we sang the song in public, Tom waited for that part to come along, where I was supposed to growl something in the basement of human vocals, and when the music stopped and it came my turn to lay in the part–well, let us say that I didn’t even come close.

Tom was ecstatic.

No one could really say that I missed the note, since I was not even able to frog out anything near its pond.

Tom later convinced the other members of the group that I was not a bass singer, and shortly thereafter, I left.

It was only a few weeks later that Tom and the boys returned to me, asking me to sing again–since I was the only one who knew how to read music, play piano and arrange vocals.

They now wanted me to sing lead instead of bass, and we launched the group again.

A few days passed of peace and tranquility.

And then Tom decided I couldn’t sing lead …

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Ambivalent

dictionary with letter A

Ambivalent: (adj.) having mixed or contradictory feelings about something or someone

I am ambivalent about writing an essay on ambivalence, or my ambivalence is quite evident about the word, ambivalent.

Either way, I, for one, have grown weary of honoring certain topics, subjects and even concepts that are considered to be sacred, which no longer deliver any potential to humanity.

Matter of fact, I have recently been in discussions with individuals both liberal and conservative, and noticed that the reason progress is impossible is that the respect we hold for certain beliefs and attitudes is so inflexible that to ask these virtues or precepts to produce a fruitful conclusion is considered unrighteous.

Here’s what I think: if you’re going to believe in God, it should show up somewhere other than in your bad attitude. If what you think, feel, and desire does not make you more gentle, caring and expressive, then I think the assertion is not only worthy of being challenged, but should be voted on for extinction.

Case in point: don’t tell me it’s in the Constitution and therefore should be revered. Please convince me why it’s still in the Constitution.

I would appreciate you not telling me it’s in the Bible and is therefore the holy word of God if you cannot give me a factual representation of why it exists in the first place.

There are three criteria for being zealously affected by a good thing. Without these three ideas, I feel rather ambivalent about what’s offered to me.

  1. Is it going to help people be better people?
  2. Does it give everybody a chance to find their best effort and soul?
  3. Does it take into consideration the needs and freedoms of others, which would include protecting them from getting hurt?

There you go.

Anything you want to share with me that does not fall into one of those three categories, I am totally ambivalent about. And if you continue to pursue it on my watch, I could become your adversary.

  • For years and years we were ambivalent about racial equality. We were wrong.
  • We were ambivalent about women voting. Wrong again.
  • We now face a whole series of issues which we’re trying to table, expressing our ambivalence and eliminating solutions. Is it safe to say that we soon will be called wrong?

Look at my three and tell me what you see.

I would be curious.

Afoul

Words from Dic(tionary)

dictionary with letter A

Afoul: (adv.) into conflict or difficulty with. e.g. she ran afoul of her boss.

I think I would be upset if I were a chicken.

I know the word isn’t spelled the same–but normally if the word “foul” is used without a football field  nearby, one gets the image of a “clucker.”

But as I think about it, other animals suffer from us humans characterizing them in a negative light. Because even though your local hen has to live under the subjugation of the term “afoul,” the cow has to cringe every time we say we have “a beef” with someone. Not to mention when we scream at an adversary, “That’s bull!”

Likewise, if someone is acting shady or dishonest, we refer to him or her as a “weasel.” Or if they’ve succeeded in weaseling us and pulling the wool over our eyes (there’s another one!) we say they’ve “out-foxed us.”

The pig becomes the symbol for obesity by being “a porker.”

And men are often referred to as “dogs” in a very derogatory sense–even though we believe the creature to be a best friend.

But I think the chicken suffers the most with “afoul,” don’t you?

So not to become some sort of PETA zealot, I do feel empathy for my fellow-earth-creatures who are unable to speak for themselves and express their displeasure over our characterizations.

After all, we also insult amphibians sitting on their lily pads by referring to our death as “croaking.”