Clarify: (v) to make things less confused

In our attempts to discover right and wrong, good timing and bad timing, and safe or unsound, we have become excellent liars.

Not willing to take a chance on sharing what we feel–out of a deep fear that we might be incorrect–we have developed a series of “wedge
statements” which seem to fit into any given clumsy moment, offering absolutely no insight or means of clarifying.

Things like:

“We have that under advisement”

“That’s something we were just talking about the other day”

“We have a committee checking into that”

“We are collecting data”

“Of course we want to do what’s right for the American people”

“This is no time to make rash decisions”

All of these squeaky-clean, insipid excuses may avoid committment, but have more and more of our citizens ending up committed (mainly to mental hospitals).

Somewhere along the line, you have to clarify your position, even if you happen to be completely out-of-whack.

After all, holding a cough in does not get rid of the foul mucus. Likewise, holding in an opinion does not dispel ignorance. It just allows it to grow like mushrooms in a dark cave.

“Let me clarify my position” is not an attempt to prove your point. It lets those around you have an awareness and sensitivity of the emotional air you are presently breathing–so they will know how to offer you oxygen.


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Caveat: (n) a stipulation, condition, or limitation

A caveat is when we add honesty to a thought.

We come up with something to say, but rather than allowing ourselves to be misleading, we add a phrase–usually on the end–which better
clarifies our position.

It is what makes human beings human, and therefore powerful. We are only foolish when we try to be gods or wallow in the jungle, pretending we are mere animals.

It is hope mingled with the reality that presents who we really are.

Case in point:

  • I love you, but it’s not easy.
  • I will be there, if I don’t get lazy
  • I worship God until He confuses the hell out of me.
  • I am happy until I decide I’m not.
  • I am color blind–except when I accidentally see color.
  • I am reliable as long as you check up on me.
  • I am selfish, but every once in a while, escape the prison.
  • I am getting older, but still have a few steps left.
  • I wish you the best, and I hope I’ll be there to help you get it.

Perhaps a caveat is what we should lead with in explaining our true situation, but I certainly contend that a nice little jolt of optimism sweetens the deal before we have to tell the whole truth.


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