Death Wish

Death wish: (n) having a desire for one’s own death

Life is the opportunity to live.

More life is what we get for solving our problems.

But I have to be honest with you—continued life is not very interesting if it doesn’t possess purpose.

I’d rather be dead than bitchy.

I’d rather be dead than bigoted.

I’d rather be dead than poked and probed for the rest of my days by young doctors who are trying to make their reputation by discovering something wrong with me.

I’d rather be dead than harm a little one.

I’d rather be dead than remain silent as the world flirts with annihilation—simply lacking the common sense of cordiality.

I’d rather be dead than live without knowing if another human being finds me hopelessly attractive.

I’d rather be dead than be religious.

I’d rather be dead than be an atheist—although that’s problematic.

I’d rather be dead than continue to curse after I’m blessed.

I’d rather be dead than live in a country whose people believe they’re better than everyone else.

I’d rather be dead than find myself buying into the idea that lying is just a human thing we do.

I’d rather be dead than sit around all the time, wondering how and when I’m going to die.

Dying doesn’t look very complicated.

But once its accomplished, it does alter your social calendar.

So having a death wish is really wanting a decent burial for what is already dying inside.

Cry

Cry: (v) to weep or shed tears

Sometimes we grumble that nothing is getting better.

It may seem that the surrounding world is out of control and we are stuck moving at about 30 miles per hour.

So it is refreshing to allow oneself to consider the things that have improved and progressed us, instead of maintaining a cave-man attitude, wearing better clothes.

One of those things is crying.

We used to believe that crying was for women and small children. Men either didn’t cry or cried so quietly that you could not tell they were actually weeping.

It was considered a sign of weakness.

Then something changed.

Maybe it was the realization that three or four dozen football players working their asses off to win a game, only to lose it by one point in the last three seconds, did evoke tears—and there was nothing to be ashamed of.

Yes, we did become a better race when we realized that men cry as much as women. They have just learned how to mask it and not completely break down sobbing.

I cry.

I like to cry.

I’m trying to learn to cry without needing the stimulus of feeling sorry for myself. There’s a certain nobility to mourning for the needs and losses of others. I mean, I know what to say when I’m around a fellow human being who’s hurt.

But I’m not satisfied with how little I feel.

For instance, I am still very much relieved that it’s not me who’s going through the trouble. I want to express my sentiments of support and hope but not turn it into an all-day affair.

Mainly, I would like to do more to remove tragedy, sadness and despair from the world around me, so I don’t have to try to work it up inside myself or fail to do so and feel like a jerk.

I cry.

Unfortunately, most of the time I cry for myself.

But every once in a while, the Spirit that lives within me breaks through, wins the day and allows me to feel what it’s like to be another—and be tragically damaged.

Blessed are those who mourn, for they shall be comforted.

I never thought of it before, but until we allow ourselves to cry, we’re not putting the troubles out of our lives.

We’re just putting them out of our minds.

funny wisdom on words that begin with a C


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Cripple

Cripple: (n) a person who is disabled or impaired in any way:

Webster considers the word “cripple” to be offensive.

I wonder if we have reached a point in our play-it-safe-society where, in trying to pursue what we might refer to as neutral language, we’ve actually ended up becoming more offensive by pointing out that this particular language which we now eschew is forbidden because the people it refers to are constantly perceived as underdogs.

Honestly, I never gave the first thought about someone in a wheelchair until I found myself in one.

I suppose I assumed that they were paralyzed, or perhaps had been so stricken by disease that they were unable to stand and walk.

Certainly, my training as a good Midwestern Christian let me know that such individuals required healing, and if Jesus were really here, he would quickly get them back on their feet.

But you see, what is really offensive is believing that because a person can’t walk, he or she is less than someone who can, and therefore we must be careful not to offend them with some misused term.

After all, there was a time when the word “retarded” to the average person meant exactly the same thing in exactly the same spirit as the word “challenged.”

Is it less vicious to call someone challenged than to call him or her retarded?

I don’t know and neither do you. We just follow the temporary whim of society’s need to imitate inclusion.

Then again, the “N word,” which is now considered to be abominable, was derived from the romance languages. For in Latin, the word “black” is “niger.” In Spanish, it is “negra.” Perhaps that’s where they came up with the “N word.”

What is offensive is a condescending belief that we must defend people because we have decided they are incapable of speaking for themselves. Is that not truly the most prejudiced thing that we can possibly do?

So if you come to see me and you want to find out what difficulty I’m having with my legs, you can relax.

Because crippled, weakened, impaired, challenged, hobbled or blessed all sound basically the same to me.

funny wisdom on words that begin with a C

 


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Core

Core: (n) the center of anything.

“At the core…”

I’ve used this phrase all my life.

To me, the core has always represented the purity—the genesis—of an idea or substance.

Yet an apple core is tossed away.

The core of the Earth is ablaze with fire and molten rock.

But without the core of the apple, you have no seeds for future apples. And from my understanding, without the molten core of the Earth, the whole balance of our ecosystem is upset.

I’ve heard people talk about core values. What are core values? Are they things I think are important, that you might not? Or are they things that are important to everybody? And what would those be? And if they do exist, why aren’t we talking more about them?funny wisdom on words that begin with a C

For instance, are there a variety of ways to tell the truth?

Is there a core approach to being accepting of others?

I would love to sit down and chat about what produces the seeds of life inside us and keeps the fires burning.

I have two core values—two cores to my center, two central intelligence agencies within me, which are irrefutable and cannot be changed.

The first one is that I am often wrong.

Without this core, I naturally begin to believe I am right. This is not only obnoxious but has historically proven to be dangerous.

The second core is no one is better than anyone else.

I have been around people who argue this point. They believe some people are born evil, others blessed.

But I contend that allowing ourselves this piece of nonsense always leads to bigotry, anger and war.

Yeah—I guess those are my two core values:

I’m often wrong.

And we’re all the same.


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Blessed

Blessed: (adj) made holy; consecrated.

Dictionary B

To lead a blessed life, one must be aware of how to bless.

Even though the Christian experience extols the power and virtue of “doing good to those who do evil to us,” the typical human reaction is to duplicate what has been done to us–with a 20% increase in rage.

In other words, it’s not really “an eye for an eye and a tooth for a tooth,” it’s more like “an eye for a popped pimple” and a “tooth for a sneer.”

With that in mind, we must learn that true progress cannot be made in our lives if we’re constantly plotting or dodging revenge.

To be blessed is to bless.

And to bless people is to balance the beauty of challenging and encouraging.

So to be blessed, we must be willing to be challenged, and receive our encouragement as fuel instead of awards. Yes, I take your words of appreciation and fill my tank so I am prepared to dole out the challenge and encouragement to others.

I also take your challenge as a way of improving my ability to relate to humankind instead of constantly finding myself an irritant.

The “Abrahamic” principle of “eyes and teeth” is not going to be rejected by the human race. It is firmly established in most of the religious people of this world.

But if you want to be successful, free of fear and devoid of the need to even the score, then find a blessed life … by knowing how to challenge and encourage those around you.

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Be

Be: (v) to exist.Dictionary B

Since we all exist because our parents got horny, we may want to come along and glamorize the story a little bit. Otherwise, we occasionally are overwhelmed by the futility of life, and may even wonder why we were born in the first place.

This demands a certain amount of arrogance.

Since having a baby is so easy that even dumb people accomplish it, we can’t exactly stomp around and claim that we are part of some sort of cosmic eruption or heavenly proclamation.

Finding a “be” is what is necessary to make us content.

And without contentment, we stop being happy, which makes us annoying and causes other people to wish we’d never been born,

I’m not quite sure which is worse–is it my self-doubt concerning my value, or whether everyone around me doubts my value?

So how do you find your be in a C minus world?

How do you discover how to translate a collision of chromosomes into a beautiful, chromatic, climbing scale of living glory?

1. Never think you’re better than anyone else.

Since we all came from an egg, we should all work on being “good eggs.”

2. Don’t be satisfied with your talent.

Use it and multiply it. Otherwise, you’ll wonder why people don’t appreciate you for doing the same thing you did last year.

3. Be aware.

There is nothing sexier or more powerful, intelligent, profitable and viable than noticing what’s going on around you.

If you take these three things and put them into practice, then you have a chance to not only live a blessed life … but to be instead of not to be.

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Balk

Balk: (v) to hesitate or be unwilling to accept an idea or undertaking.Dictionary B

I guess the classic phrase is, “He who hesitates is lost.”

I don’t know exactly what that means. Lost in what sense? I think it would be better stated, “He who hesitates is last.”

Probably the most useless attribute that you can press upon your children is caution.

Yes, I know we want them to be careful.

I know we live in a generation which now believes that bicycle riding requires helmets.

But by the same turn, there is very little in life offering a pocketful of surety.

Whether it’s pursuing a romantic relationship or praying for a miracle, there is a certain wild, abandoned faith that needs to be in place to give us an opportunity to end up as winners.

A calculated risk is fine as long as we don’t use too much time calculating and realize there still will be some risk.

In the same manner, a well-thought-out plan is noble if the “well-thought-out” doesn’t take up all the time which might have been used to enact the plan.

  • Have I ever been blessed by balking?
  • Have I ever received insight by waiting to be informed instead of seeking out confirmation?

As I sit here today, I must say no … and feel that if I take any more time considering it, I would just be balking. 

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Anti-septic

dictionary with letter A

Anti-septic: (adj) of or relating to substances that prevent disease-causing micro-organisms.

They put a sign on my door.

Apparently, my condition was common enough that these signs were readily available for ordering from some medical supply house.

The sign read, “This patient is septic.”

Nurses and doctors started walking into my room wearing gloves and masks. I felt like I was in a horror flick and had unfortunately been cast in the role of “the horror.”

What they discovered was that I had an infection which had spread throughout my bloodstream, and therefore every excretion from my body, including my sweat and spit, was toxic.

It was weird.

It made me appreciate the term “anti-septic.” Because when I was anti-septic–completely against the concept–people liked me a lot more and didn’t have to bundle up like mummies to be in my presence.

They put me on a treatment and within a couple of days they were able to remove the sign and my practitioners stripped themselves of all necessary protection.

Now…without becoming too philosophical, we can be septic in many ways, including emotionally, spiritually and mentally. All “septic” really means is that we are poisonous to those around us. It would be good to engage an anti-septic at that point, don’t you think?

So when I am emotionally septic–in such a bad mood that I’m not fit to be a caretaker of snakes–I quarantine myself so as not to spew unrighteous feelings into the air to infect the general populace.

When I’m spiritually septic i spend some time thinking about how blessed I am, and then, with tears in my eyes, apologize to a generous Father in heaven, who is waiting for me to come to my senses.

And when I’m mentally septic–promoting my own prejudices instead of truth–I allow myself the grace of shutting my mouth until some healing can happen in my thoughts.

Anti-septic is a good thing. Because septic kills.

And we certainly have too much of that going around, don’t we? 

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Anthrax

dictionary with letter A

Anthrax: (n) a notifiable bacterial disease of sheep and cattle, which can be transmitted to humans, causing severe skin ulcerations or a form of pneumonia.

 

People often demand that sensibility requires a certain amount of fear.

Matter of fact, one of the easiest ways to portray yourself as an idiot is to suggest to a roomful of people that they stop all worrying, relax and enjoy the journey.

There are just certain words that evoke terror in the human spirit and cause us to reject all common sense in deference to abstract horror.

Anthrax is one of those.

It’s not really clear to me what happens when you have anthrax, but it is the substance of theatrical tale and myth, which leads us to believe that an outbreak of this disease could wipe out the planet, and more importantly, harm us.

I do not know what is adequate apprehension to make sure that you do not accidentally kill yourself with a condition or calamity that smacks you in the head during your season of unawareness.

But I grow weary of being warned more than enlightened, cursed more than blessed, alerted more than informed and frightened more than loved.

Is there a balance?

Is there a correct amount of information imparted to us which allows us to be knowledgeable without becoming irrational?

Here’s the approach:

1. Explain to me what the danger is.

2. Freshen my mind with ideas of how to avoid the danger.

3. Balance it by letting me know what power I have to prevent, alleviate or eliminate the pending doom.

To me, if you don’t include all three of these in your announcement of Armageddon, you will find yourself failing to really enjoy the days leading up to the end of the world.

(By the way, the most dangerous condition passed on by sheep and cattle is heart disease…)

 

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Anecdote

dictionary with letter A

Anecdote: (n) a short and amusing or interesting tale about a real person or incident.

There are things that are true–yet truth has a responsibility to stay contemporary.

What I mean is that simply because something was true in a certain way a hundred years ago does not mean it can be heard as truth in our present society by pursuing the same method.

For instance, people used to tell stories.

Back before radio, television, Internet and downloads, the bearer of news relied on speech instead of Podcasts.

Folks actually sat around a fire for hours, spinning one yarn after another, giving examples, and in the process, created both understanding and fellowship with one another.

Don’t get me wrong, I’m not trying to get nostalgic. I’m perfectly satisfied living in a world where the anecdote has been set aside, or only applied as a means of an opening monologue for a Rotary Club speaker.

But in the pursuit of truth, we have to learn how to take the better parts of the past and mingle them with the new awakening. The only danger, of course, is losing the intimacy once possessed between human beings, and ending up with phones that have their own “I”-dentity and think they’re “smarter” than us.

So what should we do?

I think it’s the responsibility of the creative people in every generation to keep the warmth of great ideas and heat them up on the burners of our time.

It’s one of the reasons I write this essay. I can take words, insert my anecdotes on subjects a bit beyond the realm of my true perception, and therefore interact with you blessed people.

So the next time you come across some grandfatherly individual who begins his conversation with, “It reminds me of the time when I was a young man…”–instead of rolling your eyes and quietly texting under the table, find an ingenious way to come up with two questions to ask him about his experience, and see if it doesn’t change a mere story … into an encounter.

 

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