Cum Laude

Cum laude: (adv) with honor

The pressure to be pressured.

It is prevalent among human beings.

We are little satisfied with satisfaction.

We seem to be possessed with the need to be superior.

It apparently does not help that we are heads and beaks above the animal kingdom in intelligence. No, there is a gnawing desire to be dominant at everything—to be acknowledged as the winner.

So in the educational system they came up with cum laude. This means you graduated just a little higher than the average, and there are no noticeable mars on your record.

At the moment of graduation, every cum laude would like to be at least a summa cum laude. The problem with being summa is that it’s not magna.

No one tries to be summa cum laude—second place.

No one has it as a goal.

They’re shooting for magna cum laude and fall short.

But they’re just a “nose-in-the-air” better—so they require a category to distinguish them from being a mere cum laude.

When the work life begins and the cum laude, summa cum laude and magna cum laude arrive at the company, park their cars and walk in at 9:01 A. M., the grades or the courses that decided the varying degrees of recognition vanish. Now they have to live off their common sense and their kindness.

Yet the human race thinks it really is—a race, that is.

We want someone, somewhere to know in some way that we were a magna instead of a summa, or at least became a cum—not just ending up a “laude-mouth.”

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Cro-Magnon Man

Cro-Magnon Man: (n) an early type of modern man

There is an abiding thought that steers my thinking:

“If I end up being wrong, how can I survive it well?”

Because basically, my life thus far has told me that I’m going to be wrong—partially because I’m a little pig-headed, but also because on occasion, I follow the instincts of others who are likewise oinkers.

I remember one weekend sitting in a seminar in which the pros and cons of evolution were discussed. I immediately felt that the topic was a bit high minded, with low results. But I listened anyway.

It quickly boiled down to a single issue:

Those of a more religious inclination were very upset about man evolving from the animal kingdom.

And those who were less concerned about ecclesiastical matters didn’t seem to care much.

Now, here’s a fact:

None of them knew what the hell they were talking about.

We usually don’t.

Probably long, long ago, when there were Cro-Magnon people walking the Earth, they would have been equally upset to think they evolved from apes, even though the similarity was close enough that a gorilla would occasionally hit on one of the women.

Very early on, we decided what’s ugly, what’s stupid and what’s spiritual.

Yet I never heard a frog object to evolving from a fish, nor a two-cell organism insisting it was impossible to have once been singular.

It’s a fear in our race—that if we are not superior, then it’s just not fair and needs to be changed immediately.

I can tell you the truth—I don’t care.

I personally look nothing like a Cro-Magnon Man.

They were hairy, dark brown and stooped.

I, on the other hand, appear to have evolved from a marshmallow.

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Crime Against Humanity

funny wisdom on words that begin with a C

Crime against humanity: (n) a crime, such as genocide, directed against a large group

I am going to suggest six crimes against humanity which possibly should be considered as legitimate statutes. I am not suggesting there be prison sentences for them—but perhaps reminders to one another on how these six things perpetuate great pain on the human race.

  1. Every human being is better than an animal. To suggest, even jokingly, that somehow the animal kingdom has equivalency, is a crime. (We are worth many sparrows.)
  1. Insisting that every human has a destiny which they should try to locate, is cruel, when we all know that free will is the law of the Universe, and we make our own future.
  2. Flattering people because you don’t know what else to say is a crime against humanity because eventually the factual representation of their abilities will play out.
  3. Any assumption that gender, color, culture, religion, sexual orientation or political affiliation has anything to do with the virtue of a person is the definition of bigotry. This would be a crime.
  4. Anything that we cannot say to someone’s face should never be said behind their back.
  5. And finally, being sure of yourself is the surest way to make sure that no one else can be sure about you.

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Constrain

Constrain: (v) to compel or force someone toward a particular course of action

I stopped being political many years ago when folks pushed me to join a party. They constrained me.

I ceased being religious when I realized that I couldn’t just love my neighbor as myself, but needed to sit my butt down for an hour-long funny wisdom on words that begin with a Cservice of boredom, which I was supposed to pay for in the offering plate. They constrained me to be a church attendee.

I refused to be super-macho in order to prove to all the men and women in the world that I was worthy of consideration, though the constraint to do so was extraordinarily intense.

My thought has always been, if a candidate isn’t worthy to hold office, advertising him or her as one of your party does not increase his or her value.

Likewise, if God needs my money instead of my heart, then maybe He should go out and get a job.

And if hair on your head, hair on your face and hair on your balls is the symbol of manhood, then I would prefer to languish in the animal kingdom.

When anyone tries to constrain you to do something, using intimidation or threatening that if you don’t, you won’t belong, you won’t be saved or you won’t “get the chicks,” then you should smile and say, “No, thanks. See ya’ later. I have an appointment to talk with myself.”

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Mr. Kringle's Tales...26 Stories 'Til Christmas

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Clue

Clue: (n) a piece of evidence

“There is a way that seems right unto a man…”

So true.

Even people who are crazy do things that honor what they think is right. That’s why right is often so wrong. Right does not need to prove
that it has a universal quality–just be sensible to one person.

That’s why we have laws. We can’t have three-hundred-fifty-million interpretations of right in the United States and think that we’ll be able to function. Yet even though there are rules, regulations and guidelines, human beings still feel what they think–is right.

Then they spend their whole lives searching for clues to prove their conclusions.

The problem? It’s not difficult.

If you want to step out today and establish a case for white people being stupid, there’s enough data available on the subject to support your claim. It certainly won’t be impossible to gather clues.

If your goal is to assert that men are different from women, and women from men, you will absolutely be able to find adequate examples to undergird your proclamation. There will be clues.

So there has to be some other way to determine actual value and lasting quality other than running it through our own personal prejudices.

What might be the clue for that?

I think perhaps the greatest clue to help us understand life on Earth is that no creature gains supremacy–just opportunity.

Even though humans may be more intelligent than other creatures, these other members of the animal kingdom certainly have an edge on survival instinct. And since Earth runs on a delicate balance between survival and intelligence, then each one of us can take a clue from the cockroach.

The greatest clue in the Universe–we are welcome to participate, but not encouraged to control.

 

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Birth

Birth: (n) the emergence of a baby or other young from the body of its motherDictionary B 

So when women on television programs were pregnant, it was usually for only one episode, and then the baby would miraculously appear, beautifully swaddled and powdered.

So when I leaped into the real world of birthing humans, I was astounded at how much of the animal kingdom we maintain–both in the process of conception and the juncture of evacuation.

Because even though we talk about the glories of romance, human sexuality, when it’s in the process of performance, doesn’t look that much different from two dogs in the back yard, which we try to separate by spraying them with the hose.

And when I was present at the birth of my sons, I was astounded at how much blood, fluid, tissue, smells and general frightening ugliness occurred, just to remove a human being from the body of another human being, so we could all utter a very nervous cheer as we stared at the helpless glob of flesh.

It was terrifying.

No wonder Jesus suggested that since we had no control over our birth, no planning over how it was to be executed, and certainly no vote in the genes that we retain, that it might be nice somewhere along the line, to welcome an opportunity … to be born again.

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Arboreal

dictionary with letter A

Arboreal: (adj) chiefly of animals living in trees.

Intellectualism often frightens me because it is willing to be stupid for the cause of alleged progress.

To me, one of the ways this shows up is the penchant that the intelligentsia often has in placing the human being into the animal kingdom.

Matter of fact, if you are of a mind to be ridiculed, just walk into a party at a university anywhere in America and suggest that human beings were created instead of spawned from the jungle, hanging in the trees.

Let’s just deal with the arboreal. I’m not even gonna discuss our lack of a tail, our superior intelligence and our deep-rooted emotional and spiritual capacity.

Setting all of that aside, I remember as a child the idea of climbing trees with my friends. It was never very successful. There was always one small child (who might have actually been ape-spawned) who could scurry right up the tree and look down at us mere mortals (yet human) who were standing on the ground, terrified to take the first step.

Most of the people I knew who tried to climb trees ended up with a broken something-or-other. I may be speaking out of school, here–literally–but I don’t think monkeys fall out of trees very often.

Humans, on the other hand, are far more likely to choose that descent.

So based just on tree-climbing ability, unless we have attributed that to the Missing Link, Homo Sapiens have neither the footing, the tail nor the grasp to achieve it very well.

One of my chimpanzee-like friends actually built a treehouse. The rest of us took about two weeks to get up into it, and eventually devised a ladder to acquire participation.

I think it’s good for us to study science, discovering as many different truths as possible. But we also must deal with the reality and the distinctions that exist between us and the animal kingdom.

Then, rather than mocking one another … we can celebrate the blessing of our uniqueness.

 

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