Claim

Claim: (v) to state or assert that something is the case

I often find myself caught between the emphasis in our society on speaking up for oneself and the wisdom of the ages, which quietly screams, “Shut the hell up.”

I sometimes tremble when I hear people make claims. I especially find it curious when men or women insist they are great lovers. Oh my
God–that’s one that is proven out fairly easily, and can certainly leave you with your pants down.

Why do we need to claim? Maybe Yoda was right. “No try. Just do.”

But for some reason, the braggadocio that precedes our efforts makes us feel reassured. Maybe it’s because we know that when the game is over and the score is tallied, we’re going to lose, so we might as well have some pre-game appreciation.

I don’t know.

But most of the claims human beings make are altered by circumstance, lack of talent, nerves, superior fire-power or just dumb luck. For after all, time and chance happens to each of us.

Recently I was asked at a party, “What is it you do?”

I piped back, “Are you asking what I claim to do? Or what actually gets done?”

They looked at me with a hint of a smile, but perplexed. After all, I wasn’t doing what I was supposed to do–tout the bloated extent of my capabilities.

For what would happen if we claimed less, and then, on rare occasions, ended up doing more? Isn’t that the true definition of a genius? Someone who scores higher than expected. Someone who exceeds expectation. Or someone who fills a need that seemed unfillable.

I don’t claim much.

Maybe my best claim is that I don’t have really anything to claim.

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Acclaim

by J. R. Practix

dictionary with letter A

Acclaim: (n) praise enthusiastically and publicly.

You know what the problem is with “acclaim?” To achieve it you really need to make a claim on something and follow through to completion–and probably even excellence.

After all, when we begin to acclaim EVERYTHING as great, NOTHING is great. And if we acclaim things that are actually poor, trying to convince the public they are adequate, we end up with a very sarcastic populace.

So to a certain degree, acclaim is unnecessary, because if you’ve already made a claim and followed through, you are reaping the benefits and don’t need any other stamp of approval.

So there is a certain amount of dishonesty that goes into requiring acclaim. This is personified by the actor or actress at the Academy Awards who insists that it’s an “honor to be nominated by my peers.”

Supposedly it is a great boost to one’s ego to receive acclaim from those in the same profession or who possess similar motivations. But honestly, when you get to the end of a movie and you’ve played your part, if you have half a brain you pretty well know if you did your job, and the opinion you have of your own performance is much more accurate and important.

So in the pursuit of acclaim, we have made some people famous in this country who should never have left the print of their local, small-town Register.

And nowadays, of course, it’s very possible to achieve acclaim by being notorious instead of glorious.

I am suspicious of acclaim. I will go further. I am aggravated by what our society touts as worthy of “honorable mention.”

If you don’t mind, I just think I will make my own personal claims, follow through on them, discover the rewards included and enjoy a reward ceremony of my OWN making–with the trophy being a sense of satisfaction.