Bongo

Bongo: (n) a pair of drums held between the knees

One of the more annoying aspects of pursuing a Christian philosophy of life is the need to at least attempt to treat every person kindly. Even though it works out Dictionary Bin the end, the journey to get to the destination is often arduous, if not exhausting.

Randy was a tag-along.

When I was in high school, our church youth group decided to start a coffeehouse, and Randy volunteered his services to assure his place in the historical moment.

Here was the problem: Randy had no vices–just faults.

A fault is a difficulty someone possesses which you really can’t harp on too much because it doesn’t do any harm–it’s just mind-numbingly frustrating.

  • Randy talked too much
  • Randy had really bad ideas
  • Randy’s breath smelled like he had been licking the bottom of a birdcage.
  • And as it turns out, Randy played bongos.

This came out when we were discussing musical possibilities for our newfound venture.

We had located our guitarist, a piano player and some singers, and were ready to close our discussion when Randy suggested that what we lacked was a “bongoist.”

Quite certain there was no such word as “bongoist,” I explained that not every song needed rhythm. He agreed–and promised to only play the bongo when it was warranted.

On opening night Randy sat with the bongo between his knees, and determined in the moment’s anointing, to play on every song, including a very confusing interpretation of Kum ba yah.

He was oblivious to his intrusiveness and lack of timing.

Everybody expected me to tell Randy to “de-bongo.” I couldn’t. He was so enthusiastic. Matter of fact, after our first meeting, he explained, with tears in his eyes, that he thought he had found his calling.

I’m happy to report: fortunately he became an accountant.

 

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Boast

Boast: (v) to talk with excessive pride and self-satisfaction

Dictionary B

If doing it doesn’t give you an adequate boost of joyful satisfaction, then stop.

If you believe you need recognition, appreciation, applause or even space to perform your due diligence, you are destined to a life of sour despair.

There has to be joy in the doing, or the doing will become the burdensome chore of the malcontent.

I find that I’m only tempted to boast when I’m doing a job that really does not suit my taste and therefore needs to be bolstered by the admiration of others.

For instance, I was a writer long before I was read.

If I didn’t enjoy being a writer, I would have been absolutely miserable and would have made everyone around me fidgety as I complained about the arduous task of putting words on a screen.

I enjoyed it so I continued. If others end up finding purpose or pleasure in my phrasing and placement of notions, it’s just a magnificent manifestation.

If you find a boastful human, you will discover a soul who is not only insecure, but fearful that what they’re doing is a heap of meaningless.

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Between

Between: (prep) the space separating two objects.

I spend most of my life “between.”Dictionary B

And it certainly isn’t between a rock and a hard place. (What a self-piteous scrap of frumpy thinking…)

Actually, the choices afforded me are matters that I consider easy, or options that loom in the distance, appearing to be hard.

If I develop a lifestyle of choosing only the easy possibilities, I will always wonder what I missed, or will wear out the patience of simplicity.

On the other hand, if I project myself to be adventurous and always select from the menu of the more arduous entrees, I may just end up in a bunch of Herculean tasks–with indigestion.

Since I live my life between, I certainly should build a home there–a place where I am satisfied to be challenged by new ideas, as I also add a bit of spice to my common daily gruel.

Yes, human life is about learning how to be content and overjoyed with the decor of the modicum, yet knowing when to wisely move from “between” … to the next castle in the sky.

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Babysit

Babysit: (v) to look after a child or children while the parents are out.Dictionary B

Babysitting would be tolerable, perhaps even pleasurable, if you were actually asked to care for a baby. Taking care of an infant might give you loads of time between diaper changing and bottle giving.

But most people don’t ask you to babysit their infant. No, they want you to take care of children between the ages of two and fourteen, who they know could never be left alone because they’re so out of control.

So as a babysitter, you walk in understanding that you’re at the mercy of the parenting skills of people who are so anxious to get out of the door and away from their sprouts that they barely have time to grant you a courteous greeting.

And of course, the little ones save up their worst antics and lies for the babysitter. Here are some popular ones:

  1. “No, it’s true. Mom always lets us have 4 cookies right before bed.”
  2. “We watch R-rated movies with our parents all the time.”
  3. “My mom and dad don’t discipline me. You’re being mean.”
  4. “I’m allowed to wrestle with my little brother unless he bleeds or screams.”

Well, you get the idea.

Kids are humans, and therefore much too intelligent to merely be “tended,” but instead, require corralling and sometimes, restraint. So babysitting is an arduous, fearful, cautious and often thankless job.

Because to get the kids and the mom and dad to like you means that you must be lenient enough that the children don’t have a vendetta against you … and the parents do not feel that the destruction in the house warrants you being fired. 

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Arduous

dictionary with letter A

Arduous: (adj) involving or requiring strenuous effort.

Are you ready?

I’m gonna pitch you a movie idea.

Fade in:

Man wakes up in the morning, discovers he doesn’t have a razor to shave his beard. Rather than complain to his wife or go out into the world unshorn, he gingerly reaches into the shower, removing his wife’s Lady Bic, peering around the room cautiously to make sure he’s not observed.

He slathers his face with shaving cream and carefully runs the precious object across his face, freeing himself of jungle fuzz. He rinses the borrowed object with great intensity, placing it back into the shower, smiling into the mirror as he splashes his face with his favorite cologne, turning and heading out the door with a smile.

What do you think? Are you ready to invest?

Of course not.

No one would make this movie, because it is a tale of a human being finding a way to work things out without becoming exasperated, frenzied or completely debilitated by circumstance.

Somewhere along the line we’ve convinced ourselves that if our lives are not filled with arduous tasks, then we’re really not grown-up and we haven’t proven our mettle. With that desire to appear mature, we’ve taken things that should be simple and made them as painful as possible, whether politics, business, family life or religion. The more hot coals we can walk over, the more we are convinced of achievement.

If there is a line being formed by those who are looking for less arduous ways to approach life, I would like to get into it.

I’m never proud of myself when I become exasperated. I don’t feel manly swearing at traffic or frustrated because my hammer decided to hit my thumb instead of the nail. Cursing doesn’t strike me as a sign of strength, but rather, evidence of the little child that failed to die sometime after puberty.

There may be arduous tasks. Most of them are not what we perceive them to be.

The greatest gift you can give to yourself, or anyone else, is having a mechanism in your soul which sucks up problems that seem insurmountable … and spits out simplicity.

 

 

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