Daddy

Daddy: (n) diminutive of Dad

Approaching my produce man at the grocery store, I asked:

“When is watermelon season?”

Without thinking, he replied, “When the watermelon show up.”

I suppose when you practically live in a grocery store, you judge the seasons by what comes off the back of the truck.

In the midst of being a parent, there is a brief vapor of time when your child recognizes you, proclaims you and refers to you as “Daddy.”

It is such a safe, sweet location that you’re tempted to encourage it to expand its borders to broader vistas.

But you can’t mess with it.

It happens during a child’s perfect age–when “Dada” has been abandoned and right before you become the generic “Dad.”

Just hearing the word lets you know how valuable you are to the child.

It gives you a reassuring hug in your soul that he is not plotting, smoking, drinking and thinking of new ways to download pornography.

For after all, you are “Daddy”—”Dada” who has become so familiar that you have gained shape and presence.

Sometimes the word “Daddy” is followed by the young child climbing up on your lap, and without being prompted, giving you a hug around the neck, which lasts a little bit longer than you thought possible.

The little one calling you Daddy believes you to be a god (or at least, Santa Claus’s right-hand man).

He is astounded at how you leave the house and come back with treasures—toys, pizza rolls and little tiny things you promised you’d get if you had time.

Daddy—a word that brings tears to the eyes of any father who knows that soon his power and authority will be challenged by the revolt of adolescence.

But for now, it’s Daddy.

For now, there’s a desire to be close.

For now, the child believes he has come from you and never wants to leave.

Maybe that’s why the Bible tells us that we should approach God by saying, “Abba, Abba.”

Which, by the way, translated from the Greek, means “Daddy, Daddy.”

 

Dachau

Dachau: (n) a city in SE Germany, near Munich, the site of Nazi concentration camp.

We forget how dangerous populists can be—because they always say such popular things.

It would be difficult to be critical of a man proclaiming the delicious virtues of chocolate until you realized he was advocating only the consumption of chocolate—to the exclusion of everything else—thus leaving his followers to many dangerous acquired conditions.

Adolph Hitler was a populist.

Long before he was a dictator—perhaps even before he became maniacal—he was a public speaker touting the exceptional nature of the German people.

He explained to them how they had been mistreated among the Europeans after World War I and that it was necessary, for the good of their heritage, to rise up and be counted.

That’s how he started.

It was difficult to disagree with him. Germany had been devastated by the First World War. There was a need for some sort of pep rally, to inspire a renovation.

But as I said, long before populists become dictators, they seem to be prophets of possibility and messengers for magnification.

When does it change?

When do populists–who seem harmless–need to be recognized for their vicious natures and set to the side or pushed out of our lives, so we don’t elevate them to positions of authority, where all of their overwrought ideas can be manifested?

That’s easy.

When the populist starts making a group—a nationality, a gender, a lifestyle or a race—the source of all difficulty and preaches that the situation could be greatly alleviated by targeting these offending individuals.

For Hitler, it was the Jews.

Candidly, he would never have gotten away with killing Jews if the German people didn’t secretly harbor a deep-rooted prejudice against them. Going back to the music of Wagner and the lesser works of Martin Luther, there was an abiding notion in the Germanic tribe that the Jews were responsible for most evil things.

For you see, no populist could have brought about such a dastardly genocide of an innocent people without feeding off the nervous apprehension of those who came to hear.

The end result is Dachau—a prison camp organized for one purpose: to find unique and efficient ways to torture and annihilate the Jewish race.

Perhaps we should do ourselves a favor in this election season.

We should acknowledge that there are populists who desire to rule our country. Their messages may seem innocuous at this point. Matter of fact, it may appear that they are merely extolling the value of American purity or standing up for the poor and disenfranchised.

But listen carefully.

Are they whispering words of disdain, or even hatred, in the direction of a particular group of people?

What is it they are saying about humans with brown skin?

What is it they’re intimating about citizens with a lot of money?

What is their stand on gender equality?

What do they think about those brothers and sisters around them who are different?

I never listen to a populist—no matter how humorous or inspiring the message might seem.

For a populist who honors fat people will eventually do so by portraying that skinny people are evil.

And a populist who regales the beauty of being thin and healthy will eventually encourage you to hate the obese.

We can prevent Dachau.

We can remove the fuel from the ovens that killed millions of souls.

Stop feeling the need to constantly be encouraged, or eventually you will steal someone else’s dignity to supplement your own.

 

Crawl

funny wisdom on words that begin with a C

Crawl: (v) to move on the hands and knees

It is a story found in the Good Book. What makes that book good are the tales that enlighten us, inspire us and cause us to question our mediocre choices instead of covering them with the doctrine of grace.

She was a woman.

This particular lady in this specific story had been crippled for eighteen years. The passage has a detailed description of her problem—she was bowed over, couldn’t walk, and basically found herself uncomfortably situated in some sort of heap, lying on the ground.

Jesus comes upon her. She is some distance away from him, and the assumption is made by everyone in the room that he would walk over, talk to her for a few minutes, and then do some of his jim-dandy magic and heal her. But that’s not what he does.

He calls her to him.

Yes, he requests of this disabled, disheartened woman, that she make the journey across the room, pulling herself along on her arms, elbows and thighs—inch-by-inch making her way to his side.

Can you can imagine the reaction of the room? “This is gross. He’s making her crawl.”

The woman does not complain.

The prospect of being made whole, improved, or even just included was worth it.

She crawled to Jesus.

He did not make her do this because he was a son-of-a-bitch. He wasn’t trying to showcase his authority.

He was giving her a chance to be an intricate part of her own miracle. “Crawl over here and get your blessing.”

Even though each one of us may feel it is cruel or unusual, there are times that we cannot heal the psychological burden of our pain unless we feel as if we are making the crawl to our solution.

I have crawled.

I have made the crawl in joy.

I have crawled, knowing that without the crawl, I would not be able to overcome the anxiety in my soul.

After the crawl came the miracle.

Now…imagine that.

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Constructive

Constructive: (adj) serving a useful purpose; tending to build up

Unfortunately, the word “criticism” seems to have been welded onto “constructive.”

Matter of fact, people frequently talk to me about constructive criticism–how powerful it was for them in honing up their project or beefing up their efforts.

I am not convinced.

So let me be the first one to say that these two words need to be disconnected from each other once and for all.funny wisdom on words that begin with a C

There are things that are constructive and there are things that are critical. There is no such thing as constructive criticism.

If you’re trying to be constructive, there is no need to be critical.

And if the intention is to establish your value to another person by criticizing, be prepared: it is unlikely that this will have a constructive result.

You can feel free to have constructive remarks, constructive questions, constructive concerns–but once you enter the cave of criticism, you’ve already darkened yourself as an authority to whom others need to bow.

If you really want to be constructive, here are the three questions you should ask someone if you think what he or she is pursuing needs another point of view:

  1. What is it you are trying to achieve?
  2. This is what I got off of it. Is that all right?
  3. Is this what you were looking for?

You can ask these three questions any time, and unless someone is dealing with severe anger management issues, they will be responsive and listen.

But if you change this to “constructive criticism,” which, by the way, is merely altering the questions into statements–(for instance, “I don’t know what you’re trying to achieve,” “I didn’t get it” and “I don’t think other people will comprehend your message either”)–these statements are bruising.

You do not need to agree with me on this, but I contend that merely switching the statements to questions does not take away your power of input.

It merely removes your position of superiority.

 

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Conquer

Conquer: (v) to overcome and take control of

I have actually lived long enough to be in a society where seemingly intelligent and even well-educated men are bragging about how high their testosterone numbers are.

That is because, as a people, we have embraced the notion that conquering is achieved by domination.

If that were so, there would still be a Roman Empire. No one ever put together a more formidable force or intimidating presence than Rome.  funny wisdom on words that begin with a C

But eventually they were dominated and therefore, conquered.

Yet enduring throughout all that shifting and shaping, the simple words of a Nazarene carpenter not only survived, but prospered–becoming arguably the most powerful message on Earth.

It all spawned from the notion that it is possible, and even necessary, to be more than a conqueror.

A conqueror, as he monitors his testosterone level, is only content when he is dominating and victorious.

But to be more than a conqueror is to find ways to be useful, powerful and on point–even when the strength and authority is not in your control.

This is the message that will survive all the huffing and puffing of the big, bad wolves.

This is the brick house of hope.

It is the principle which states that merely conquering people does not change them to your way of thinking.

So gradually changing them to your way of thinking is perhaps the only way to truly conquer.

 

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Combative

Combative: (adj) ready or eager to fight; pugnacious.

No one who has been to war is anxious to get back.

No soldier who’s seen his buddy explode next to him is convinced that the flag is worth such a horrible sacrifice.

No general yearns to put his plans to the test in the field of blood and gore unless he is completely out of his mind.

But in the same theme, none of us should ever walk into a room knowing we haven’t had enough sleep, haven’t worked out a conflict in our lives or are reluctantly participating in an event–and subject those around us to our combative nature.

In a gathering of a hundred people who are circling around and fellowshipping, it only takes three individuals slipped into the mix, who have shown up in bad moods and ready to argue, to turn the remaining ninety-seven into either frightened victims or triggered their angry monsters.

The human race is combative.

Somehow or another we have convinced ourselves that war changes boundaries or establishes authority.

All war does is steal away a generation of fertile, creative and productive minds.

 

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Baron

Baron: (n) a member of the lowest order of the British nobility.Dictionary B

In America we call it “middle management.”

It’s a big clump of human laborers who have been promoted to a salaried position with no real power to make executive decisions. They are a little higher than the ground forces, but not worthy to take the boots off the general.

They are also usually very obnoxious.

Because privately, these middle management “barons” are aware that they are powerless and somewhat insignificant, so they choose to usurp great authority over the ones they consider to be “lesser.”

You can always identify them because they tout their status:

  • Assistant Manager
  • Junior Vice President
  • Floor Director
  • Second in Command
  • Project Manager
  • Chief Inspector
  • Shift Representative
  • Deputy Director

They have titles which have no real definition–only letters which fill space.

Because they no longer want to be common laborers but do not have the passion to be uncommon laborers and ascend to true management, they establish turf which they are willing to guard with their very life blood.

They are barons.

And they are barren of thought, they are barren of authority and often they are barren … of any future in the company.

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