Danger

Danger: (n) risk, peril

“Beauty is in the eye of the beholder.”

Perhaps danger is in the heart of the fearful.

There is legitimate danger. Becoming too familiar with a tiger during feeding times is not faith, but rather foolishness lending itself to lethal danger.

But some things are not dangerous. Some things are poorly marked that way, by the timid minds of those who are afraid of human freedom.

My last year of attending church camp was froth with controversy.

The counselors were convinced that the best way to avoid difficulty was to cut any danger off at the pass. “Danger,” in this case, referred to activities which might stimulate teenagers to think about sex.

It is fascinating to me that once people cross the age of twenty-one, they forget that sex, to a teenager, is not a thought nor a temptation but instead, oxygen to breathe. Curiosity, sensuality, raging hormones and immense amounts of energy always collide in some way to manipulate an indiscretion.

We were given five simple rules for high school campers:

  1. Boys and girls were never to be left alone without supervision.
  2. Girls could not wear bathing suits around boys, only knee-length shorts and appropriate tops.
  3. Dirty jokes were forbidden, and if continued, would result in expulsion from camp.
  4. Girls would dine with girls and boys with boys.
  5. When swimming in the lake, a distance of two feet must be maintained between a girl and a guy.

The list ended with this admonition:

“In following these guidelines, we hope to avoid the danger of promiscuity and illicit behavior.”

Yet, nature always makes a way.

That summer, all the guys and girls learned of a cave just outside the camp, which was quickly referred to as “The Humping Hole.”

The girls—adorned in their knee-length shorts—would go in with their favorite guy, and hump through their clothes.

I will tell you—it was much more popular than the class on the missionary journeys of the Apostle Paul.

Girls and guys also learned how to sit in such a configuration that they could hold hands behind their backs, and counselors never saw what was going on.

There was always a way, where there seemed to be no way, for teenagers to be horny.

For you see, the only danger in life is ignorance.

The more you know about a situation and the greater the knowledge you can possess, the better chance you have of escaping tragedy and forming a plan that is blessed by honesty and truly works.

Credits

funny wisdom on words that begin with a C

Credits: (n) a listing of those who create a film

Let me give you a really quick clue on a way to identify a shitty film:

Any movie that has many, many credits rolling BEFORE the action begins—or especially before you even see the title—Is a piece of doo-doo on celluloid.

You can tell because you realize they had too many meetings discussing who would get credit, how it would be phrased, how it should be presented, and in what order it could be placed on the screen, instead of sitting around trying to make a better flick.

The greatest problem with art is that it becomes quite ugly and loses all beauty as those who are trying to push themselves forward insist on struggling to the front of the line.

If a motion picture has more than one director, more than one company, more than one producer and more than one cinematographer, generally speaking, someone is trying to bullshit someone else to gain power, instead of putting the work in on crafting something entertaining and inspirational.

That’s why when you see a great film they get you into the setting as quickly as possible instead of rolling fifty names in front of your face, which frustrates you because you have to remember what movie you’re actually watching.

I have been a part of making some independent films, and I will tell you:

The simpler, the better

  • The director should have a name.
  • The writer should have a name.
  • And the cinematographer and editor should have names.

And preferably, one name for each category, so that egos can get out of the way and the possibility for great storytelling can unfold.

Ironically, movies with lots of credits normally don’t deserve any credit.

 

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Corrigible

Corrigible: (adj) capable of being corrected or reformed:

During a Q & A one night, when the audience had stopped having much interest in seeking any additional inquiries, the host who was conducting the interview with me, asked, off the top of her head, “If you could isolate one thing a person could do to make their life better, funny wisdom on words that begin with a C
what would it be?”

Before I got a chance to answer, comments suddenly arose from the audience, who moments earlier had looked ready to head for their cars.

Someone jokingly piped up and said, “Money!”

This prompted another to offer the word “beauty.”

It became almost like a list of the three wishes you might select if you rubbed the lamp and a genie appeared.

But when somebody intoned the word, “power,” the whole audience groaned in approval.

I turned to the person who made the suggestion and asked, “What kind of power? And how would you get it?”

He was a little surprised that I singled him out, because he was just trying to participate, or maybe just be funny. But it did draw attention back my way, and everyone seemed a little interested at what my response would be.

I replied, “If I could start over again and have one virtue that was sustainable throughout my life, it would be the ability to be corrected without copping an attitude, becoming defensive or making excuses. I would choose to be a corrigible human instead of considered an incorrigible brat.”

My answer was not quite as popular as “power.”

Yet I still contend today that anyone who can stand to be wrong, hear it and set in motion a plan to change it, immediately has beauty, will soon have power, and the money will follow.


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Charisma

Charisma: (n) compelling attractiveness or charm

I just finished a performance.

I don’t think the audience liked me.

The money was bad; the response was tepid and nobody was particularly interested in purchasing my books.

So I asked myself, what did I do wrong?

Always our first inclination. Where is my fault in the matter? It is an agonizing process, but without it, vanity can make us intolerable.

You know what the truth of the matter is? The people who sat and listened may have been with their moms and dads years and years ago and heard one of the parents comment or joke about a heavy-set man walking by, portraying that he was less than acceptable.

Maybe that person just never forgot that little drama. Maybe he or she found themselves trapped in a response that was not his or her own, but so ingrained that it popped out without permission.

Charisma is such a wicked maze of misunderstanding.

For after all, one man’s “beautiful” is another man’s “plain.” And one woman’s “gentle” is another woman’s “boring.”

So what’s the best we can do?

Find our gift, work on our gift, share our gift in good cheer.

For lo and behold, anybody who would benefit from knowing us will certainly find us.

 

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Brassy

j-r-practix-with-border-2

Brassy: (adj) tastelessly showy or loud in appearance or manner

How much is enough?

That may be the central concern to human life.Dictionary B

Because in hours of reflection, when opportunity is long gone, the question raised in our soul is either “did we do enough?” or “did we do too much?”

  • In a world of indifference, how much flash does it take for someone to notice your pan?
  • How many cherries before you actually have a bowl?
  • And how many sunrises before someone grabs a camera?

What does it take to draw enough attention to goodness that evil pales in comparison?

I am convinced that the promotion of a great idea is not achieved through a deluge of advertising, screaming, yelling and promotion.

Goodness, gentleness, kindness, righteousness, beauty are all required to maintain a consistency while the world overlooks them until such a time that the planet is prepared to be aware.

Therefore, the quandary is not whether there’s anything good in the world. The issue is whether goodness can survive all of the brassy critique and dark representations to finally get its chance to inherit the Earth.

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Bramble

j-r-practix-with-border-2

Bramble: (n) a prickly scrambling vine or shrub

Is the Universe a sporadic series of incomplete evolutions, or a well-constructed and defined object lesson?

It’s a damn good question.Dictionary B

Because if I were to believe that everything is spawned by chance, then I might be completely unable to make sense of anything around me.

But if there is some sort of reason, purpose or genius behind the way things are placed, then I have the glorious task of unraveling the mystery.

Why do roses have thorns?

And why do bramble bushes have prickly parts that make it difficult to pick the berries which often inhabit their vines?

What’s the message?

Is there a need for us to be discouraged in the pursuit of beauty and nutrition?

Are we to understand that blessing is achieved, rather than guaranteed?

Is the Creator trying to separate the perseverant from the lazy?

Because plucking a rose is risking a prick.

And hunting for berries might tear at your skin.

Is there a message here? Or am I reading deeper thoughts than intended into an evolutionary mishap?

I’m not sure.

But I can tell you, the pursuit of wisdom never fails us … even if there’s very little information to be uncovered.

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Bracelet

j-r-practix-with-border-2

Bracelet: (n) an ornamental band or chain worn on the wrist or arm

I have never been satisfied with my appearance, yet oddly, I have never been dissatisfied.

I have always landed in the “midlands” of being curious about improving my package.Dictionary B

This has caused me to do many interesting things.

When I was much younger I grew my hair out very long. I did it because I thought it made me look cool–and I could. Another wonderful byproduct of having flowing locks was that it seemed to make older folks really pissy.

For awhile I wore jewelry around my neck. I liked the way it flew around when I was walking fast, and it popped and bounced against my pecs, making me feel macho (since I left two buttons unfastened at the top of my shirt).

But most of all, I made a decision to wear an ID bracelet. I forget who purchased it–obviously someone who could afford the adornment, promising that it was gold plated. It is possible that it was, but whatever gold was on my ID bracelet quickly headed for “them thar hills.”

I was left with a two-tone piece of metal dangling from my arm, causing my skin to turn green.

I didn’t care. I continued to wear it because I believed it made me look more attractive.

Then one day I was sitting on a bench and a young lady moved to sit down next to me, and pulled back in horror, exclaiming, “Ooh! Your arm is green!”

She decided to seek a perch elsewhere.

So I scrubbed my arm and returned it to its former beige condition, and stopped wearing my bracelet–reluctantly. I did not feel nearly as appealing.

I realized that I was trusting my two-tone, green-spreading-on-your-skin piece of jewelry to be the spokesman …  for my true beauty.

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Archive

dictionary with letter A

Archive: (n) a collection of historical documents or records providing information about a place, institution, or group of people.

Making memories.

Just yesterday someone was extolling the beauty of such an endeavor.

It seems noble–to “archive away” the blessings of our lives, to be retrieved at various intervals to enrich our thinking and stimulate our warmth.

During the holiday season, I find myself in the presence of family. Even though I realize the word “family” is a noun by the laws of grammar, in many ways it is a verb–either past or present-tense.

For the danger, as we well know, in getting together with those who were raised in the same house, and who even share genetic material, is that the conversations will drift back to former times instead of truly enjoying the moment or even dreaming of great ideals.

It’s just not for me.

So to balance this out:

  • I must be willing to cease to be someone’s dad in order to press forward and become their friend.
  • They must be willing to abandon obligatory reverence or even some fearful flashbacks, to acquire the tenderness of a “new-wine relationship.”

It takes great maturity to be childlike in our faith. Without that maturity we all have a tendency to remain childish.

I don’t think I would make a very good archivist. I would understand the concept, but I think my mind would push towards making new inroads instead of visiting the museum of my past.

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Ambience

dictionary with letter A

Ambience: (n) the character and atmosphere of a place

I guess some vibes are normal.

For instance, at a funeral home, there is usually organ music, the sickening smell of flowers and people whispering tearful regrets.

At a rock concert, there’s screaming, with people pumping their fists, patting each other on the back and yelling lyrics at a stage which is too far away to hear.

In Washington, D.C., ladies and gentlemen dress up in their parents’ clothes and follow the rules of a Parliament they fought an eight-year war to escape.

And in church … well, sometimes it’s a somber climate with worshipful silence, and in other places, it’s tambourines, drums and modern interpretations of songs written by shepherd boys on a lute.

How important is ambience?

If I walk into a restaurant and the waiters are wearing tuxedos, the food is not necessarily going to be better–just expensive.

I think the aura or overall feeling that best exemplifies our country, though, is a beach on a Saturday afternoon at about 2:30. It is the oddest collage of beauty, beast, coolers, umbrellas, tanning lotion, tossed balls, screaming children, strutting studs and prancing babes.

It is America:  we boldly worship the sun while knowing that it’s slowly killing us with skin cancer, convinced that we have every right to occupy the available space on the sand, which is the width and length of our blanket and also, completely and arrogantly confident that we are just as good as the next bathing suit nearby.

Ambience is a tricky thing.

It’s used to telegraph propriety in a world that no longer knows what a telegraph is.

It’s a bit old-fashioned, it’s a bit presumptuous, and it certainly is often misleading.

Yet each one of us does generate an individual glow around us, which is either inviting or repelling.

And determining what that beam of self turns out to be … will decide our happiness.

Allure

Words from Dic(tionary)

dictionary with letter A

Allure: 1. (n) the quality of being powerfully and mysteriously attractive or fascinating 2. (v) to powerfully charm

One of the things that tickles me about society and human beings as a whole is how quickly we come to the conclusion that we know what we’re talking about, and then actively pursue a path which in the end often proves itself to be erred.

Such is the situation with the concept of attraction, of, if you will, being alluring.

As a man, I was taught that women like muscles, strong bodies, great good looks and sexual prowess. And I believe I can speak freely to say that women are trained to hold dear that beauty, large breasts, femininity and bit of sheepish submission is required in order to allure a man.

Simultaneously, we reject these stereotypes in our more intellectual exchanges as being ridiculous and strident.

But it doesn’t change the patter within the sexes nor has that enlightened view yet reached our entertainment sources.

Here’s what I think is alluring:

1. Don’t be stupid. If you find yourself caught in a stupid situation, quickly laugh at yourself, learn and come out smarter.

2. Don’t be ugly. Everybody has an attribute of some sort which they can play up, as they play down their warts and moles.

3. Know how to carry on a conversation. I call it “the second question.” Most people know how to ask one question, but they don’t know how to follow up on that answer with a second inquiry, which keeps the conversation alive.

4. Be funny. And that does not mean making fun of other people. It actually means that a certain amount of poking at oneself is necessary to create the humility that makes us adorable.

5. And finally, don’t stink. Yes, work on how you smell. Very little is more repugnant in the human experience than an odor which overcomes any desire to welcome closeness.

There you go.

I’m not a particularly attractive person, but I have never lacked friends, lovers and the ability to allure people my way. I will grant you that it doesn’t hurt to be stunningly handsome or gorgeous.

But if you don’t have these other five things lined up in a salute to that physical appearance, your lovely visage can become distasteful very quickly.

How do we allure human beings? By admitting that we’re human … and not ashamed of it.