Charlatan

Charlatan: (n) a person falsely claiming to have a special knowledge or skill; a fraud.

Even though I don’t believe there’s any secret to life–otherwise God would be a nasty uncle playing a game of hide and seek so He can take a nap–I do believe there are markers along the way, telling us how to make this passage of Earth-Time much more plausible.

One of those gems is to make sure you never critique anyone unless you’ve already scoured yourself to uncover the same condition.

If you call somebody a fake, you’d better make sure you’re not faking something yourself.

If you refer to somebody as a liar, you might want to precede that with an honesty session and unburden yourself of all your half-truths.

And if you claim that someone is a charlatan, you should be fully aware that the false claims you place on your qualifications–the additional bullet points you may slip into a resume–might equally define you as being a charlatan also.

Here’s a powerful message: take aim at yourself first, and then see if you can help somebody else.

Dirty people with dirty hands who come across other dirty people and try to help them end up just transferring much of their dirt onto the person in need.

God forgive generations of ministers, politicians, businessmen, counselors, teachers and even parents who voraciously took on the job of correcting…except where it came to straightening their own path.

 

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Charity

Charity: (n) the voluntary giving of help, typically in the form of money, to those in need.

“I’m no charity case!”

It is a statement often flung in my direction when I’m attempting to be generous to someone who obviously could use some bolstering.

The statement is prideful statement, and unfortunately, doused in ignorance. For truly, there is not a soul among us who does not
occasionally require the charity provided by strangers.

In viewing my abundant life, there have been many times when I have possessed finance to fund an unnecessary, extravagant dinner–and also specific occasions when a dollar bill lit up and danced before my eyes because its arrival was truly divinely inspired.

If we go with the Old English definition of charity–which is love–the desperation each of us possesses to be loved is incomprehensible.

Denying it makes us look like foolish, pouting children.

Demanding it too often has the whiff of the charlatan.

So I have a simple saying in my life:

“May those around me who happen to arrive at just the right moment to come to my aid find me busy doing my best, unaware that they are on their way.”

 

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Best-seller

Best-seller: (n) a book or other product that sells in very large numbers.

Dictionary B

I would be a complete charlatan if I told you I did not use words to my own advantage.

I try never to lie and do attempt to avoid excessive exaggeration.

But I have, from time to time, taken advantage of the cloak of ambiguity to leave the impression that something I was promoting had greater attention than it perhaps actually did.

That’s why, as an author, I’ve always loved the term “best-seller.”

As long as you avoid connoting that you’re speaking about one of your books ending up on a list somewhere, displayed in print for the elite to peruse, you can simply tout that your particular sales show that this volume you’ve published has sold more than a previous one.

Now the numbers may be miniscule–certainly not up to the figures accumulated by Stephen King or J. K. Rowling, but nevertheless, the statement “my best-seller” can stand proudly in the columns of all time as truthful.

Even if I only sold four of them.

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Angel food cake

dictionary with letter A

Angel food cake: (n.) a light, pale sponge cake made of flour, egg whites and no fat, typically baked in a ring shape and covered with soft icing.

Even though many people are possessed with the notion of eternal life, streets of gold, heavenly reward, bliss and mansions, I have a simple and short wish list for any afterlife that may or may not exist.

No calories.

That’s it.

When I finally finish this journey, I will have spent my entire life in the pursuit of weight loss, which at times teases me with a semblance of progress, only to later taunt me by having the lost pounds reappear as if I had deposited them into an account instead of squandering them in Vegas.

I am not angry, frustrated or giving up on the idea of trying to be trimmer and slimmer. But after many decades of maintaining a similar weight and actively pursuing different approaches to my eating habits, I gradually realize that if life was a poker game, I am sitting at the table with a pair of eights. (In other words, just enough to keep you thinking you should continue to play, but very little prospect of winning the hand unless you can bluff your opponent.)

This is my problem with angel food cake.

It is a lower calorie choice to devil’s food cake, but not absent caloric intake and so light that you feel you can have a second or third piece, which then brings it to equivalency with the satanic version.

It’s so cruel.

It’s like all diet foods. They are lower in calories, but the body immediately knows that the density and depth of quality is absent, so therefore requires more, making things equally as tubafying.

Angel food cake is delicious, but as you can see from the definition, the baker feels the need to add icing. Most people want a bit of strawberries or whipped cream, and then, because it’s a more prudent choice, additional slices are required, are they not?

I do not know what the secret is to weight loss. Anyone who tells me they do I know to be either a fool or a charlatan.

But I do know this–simply calling something angelic does not mean it came from heaven. 

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Amen

dictionary with letter A

Amen: (exclam) 1. uttered at the end of a prayer, meaning “so be it.” 2. used to express agreement or assent

Turning my TV channels in the wee hours of the morning, I stumbled across a whole series of religious programs, proffering their view of the holiness of God and the varying degrees of the depravity of man.

Although they were quite different in appearance and style, their content was similar in one remarkable way: every once in a while, as the speaker was touting his or her revelation, they would stop and say, “Can I get an amen?”

After a while, it lost some of its charm and spontaneity and began to reek of desperation. It was similar to pausing in the middle of a romantic encounter and asking your partner what she thinks of your lip technique. Or going to have a new tire put on your car and having the attendant insist that you come and watch him and grunt your approval during the process.

It just isn’t very attractive in the human experience to be so needy that you feel compelled to demand reinforcement.

I know we’re supposed to tell people we love them, but honestly, after a while, it sniffs more of platitude than it does gratitude.

An “amen” should come forth when the audience spontaneously feels energized by a notion or a prayer that causes them to give voice to their support.

I don’t like to go to a concert and have the group onstage, before they have even sung a note, insist that we all begin clapping. I don’t like being forced to stand up and I don’t want to be “rallied” to a cause which is either not clear to me or has not stimulated much enthusiasm in my soul.

If we do too many charlatan actions in our lives, faking our zeal, we soon will forget what it’s like to be overtaken by joy, overwhelmed by blessing and swept along by the magic of great ideas.

As I watched the shows last night and the camera scanned the audience, they were a strange mixture of bewilderment and submission.

If God needs me to merely perform the function of a pawn which He pushes across a chess board to generate the appearance of movement, then honestly, I’m not particularly interested.

But I am fully prepared to be affected, stimulated and rejuvenated … at any time.

Adjudicate

Words from Dic(tionary)

dictionary with letter A

Adjudicate: (v) make a formal judgment or decision about a dispute

Courts freak me out.

I suppose there are very few people, except lawyers who make $750 an hour, who find them appealing. I guess a judge might enjoy the atmosphere, since he or she gets to wear the robes. But if you’re not making the bucks or not getting to judge, that particular arena can seem like the Coliseum in Rome on a lions-chomping-Christians mid-afternoon.

I sometimes think about the fact that even though I am a law-abiding citizen, toeing the line and trying to be faithful to my responsibilities and as honest as I can possibly be, I do realize that if someone had a vendetta against me, they could probably dig up something which could be misconstrued as criminal.

Isn’t that weird?

Sometimes in life, it’s not the piss in the pot that gets you in trouble, but rather, who you piss off.

About seventeen years ago, I took three children into my home. They were going through a rough time with their father, who certainly had some difficulties and struggles, and was not treating them up to par. I thought I was being generous. Damn–I thought I was being Christian. I thought I was helping a lady out, who was being abused, and her children, who were being somewhat neglected.

But this fellow took the legal system and used it against me, making up stories and twisting situations to get those in authority to adjudicate against me, forcing me into a courtroom to explain my actions.

As his lawyer sat in that room accusing me of everything except the Kennedy assassination, I realized how fragile we all are, and how we should never become so arrogant as to believe that our actions could not possibly be viewed as questionable.

So even though this gentleman was proven to be a charlatan, I still had to go through a grilling process which made me empathetic to a two-inch sirloin steak.

So what is my point?

None, really.

It’s just that legalities are filled with so much legalism that no one could ever escape if the law was determined to get them.

That’s why I tip my hat to policemen, stay away from downtown areas where there are lions sitting next to lots of steps in front of courtrooms, and I try to keep all of my disagreements simple, discussed and resolved.

Because if I ever started being adjudicated … I don’t know how well I’d hold up.