Correspond

Correspond: (v) to communicate by exchange of letters

Dear You:

This is me.

I am writing you for many reasons.

Well, that’s not true.

The main reason I’m writing you is that I don’t want you to ignore me.funny wisdom on words that begin with a C

Each one of us is so busy that we soon will forget people we know unless we purposely correspond with them. We may protest and say that’s impossible, but certainly, “out of sight, out of mind.”

Pretty soon, who knows? In a moment of feeble-mindedness, you might actually fail to recall my name.

I don’t want you to do that.

I’m too important to me for you to forget me. Do you follow that?

And I hope you are too important to you to have me forget you.

This is why we contact one another. It doesn’t make any difference whether it’s done through a letter, an email or a text—just as long as I know that you know that I am here and you are aware.

Yes, all forms of communication, at their root, are insecurity speaking out.

After all, how much time would we spend thinking about God if there were no Bible? And how much Bible would we read if there were no church? And how many churches would have people in attendance if they weren’t going there to meet up with people they hope wouldn’t forget them?

We can either deny selfishness, or we can use it to help us understand the selfishness that exists in others. Once we forgive ourselves for selfishness, we might have a bit of leniency left over to forgive one another.

I correspond because I do not want to be forgotten. In the process I am able to communicate to you that you are well-thought-of and treasured.

How can this system be wrong?

How can this be anything other than the definition of the selfishness of humanity put into good practice?

Dear You,

This is me.

May we never forget us.


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Communicate

Communicate: (v) to share or exchange information, news, or ideas.

Sometimes a gentle breeze of wisdom will blow my way and leave behind a noble idea.

It happened to me recently.

I was at a store, considering buying a product, when I looked down at the instructions on how to put it together. Please understand, I was very impressed with the item–but very put off by the length of the instructions. Matter of fact, I walked away from that particular situation and found something simpler.

Is it better? I don’t care. It’s simpler.

Now the breeze that blew across my brain, depositing a universal precept, was this:

We do ourselves a disservice as human beings when we come with too many instructions.

When people need to be aware that they “can’t do this” or “shouldn’t do that” or “the following subjects are taboo” or “never bring up the state of Hawaii”… Well, after hearing all the instructions and you realize what would be involved in putting together a relationship with this person, the wise choice is usually to move on down the road to less complicated possibilities.

For verily, verily, I say unto you, the most difficult thing in life to do is communicate.

We shouldn’t put ourselves in the position of needing to do it often. The less we have to communicate, and the more that is worked out my mercy, grace, compassion and understanding, the better off we are.

So here’s a word to the wise:

Work with your design until you don’t have a helluva lot of instructions, and ideally, it’s better to show up already put together.

 

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Beside

Beside: (prep) at the side of; next to.

Dictionary B

It took six-and-a-half days to build up the courage to ask.

I was only fifteen years old, and although I was very interested in girls, they terrified me.

So I finally mustered the courage to ask young Judy to go on a date. Well…not exactly.

First of all, I had no car, no money and no ideas on where to go. So more or less, it was a verbal scouting expedition, to see if she would be willing to go out with me if I actually had been capable of pulling it off.

After many gulps, delays and conversational dead-end streets, I finally choked out my request–and lo and behold, she said yes.

So I decided to have my mother drive us to a nearby town where they had a movie theater and drop us off in the shopping area, to pick us up four hours later. We started walking around, and it became obvious that Judy was unable, or unwilling, to stay beside me.

She either walked a little ahead or stayed a little behind.

So when I slowed up for her to catch up, she passed by me, and I had to catch up with her. At no point did I feel that we ever connected. Even when we went into the movie theater, she tried to sit one seat away.

I thought it was due to the fact that she was timid–but at the end of our little excursion I learned the truth.

After grilling her for about fifteen minutes, she finally came out with the information that she only said yes to the date because she didn’t know how to say no. But when we got to the little town and started exploring, she realized that the boy she really liked was nearby, walking around, and even went to the same movie. She didn’t want to discourage him by making him think that she was beside me.

Ouch.

And I mean, double ouch.

I learned that night, though, that the way we communicate tenderness and true interest in one another is not by leading nor by following.

It’s by staying solidly beside one another.

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Babel

Babel: (n) Also called Tower of Babel, a tower presumptuously intended to reach from earth to heaven

Get busy doing the work, or you’ll find yourself busy chasing foolishness.Dictionary B

That’s some sound advice. It does beg some questions: What is the work? And of course, what is foolishness?

There is an Old Testament story about a tower which was presumably built in an attempt to rendezvous with the heavens and have communion with God. The premise itself is absolutely ludicrous, as most human ploys seem to be when viewed over the distance of time.

But in the moment, it seemed noble.

It seemed regal.

Worse, it seemed righteous.

Human beings are a horrible lot when they become discontented with being human and instead, try to either become animals…or God.

We’re not allowed to just be animals. Our brain is too big for that.

We’re not allowed to be God. Our brain is too small for that.

So what is the work? In the story, God confounds their plans by offering them different languages, so that they had to learn to communicate with each other.

There you have it.

My only work on earth is to learn to communicate with other people.

  • It’s the way I make money.
  • It’s the way I make friends.
  • Hell, it’s even the way I make love.

My only foolishness is to avoid humans, over-love animals or over-worship God.

Aside from believing in God and using the principles of love which He has imparted to me to interact with my fellow-travelers, that “Father Who Art in Heaven” who has the “Hallowed Name” only becomes my concern when one day I breathe my last breath … and He is my new reality.

 

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Aloof

Words from Dic(tionary)

dictionary with letter A

Aloof: (adj.) not friendly or forthcoming

Stupidity always attempts to be clever, but lacks either the pedigree or the intelligence to pull off the act.

Aren’t you glad? Otherwise, stupid ideas could slide into place under the guise of being cool and wise, and overtake our better sensibilities.

But be careful–stupidity will try.

That’s the case with the word “aloof.” Whenever I hear the word used, it is generally preceded by an additional word: remaining.

Yes, the advice you often receive is to “remain aloof.”

You see the trick? Stupidity is trying to step in and convince us that our best profile as human beings is to act like we don’t care–and on top of that, to select that posture as often as feasible.

Here’s the truth: human beings are not naturally aloof. We are taught to do that. We are practically browbeaten into being suspicious, worried and frantic.

Naturally, we are gregarious.

After all, there are only two kinds of kids on the playground: those who are feverishly playing, and those who feverishly want to play. There are no children who want to “remain aloof.”

“Aloof” is the ridiculous contention that by standing in the shadows or perching ourselves on the bench, we will be able to criticize the other players in life simply because we are better than they are–and after all, we didn’t even participate.

Aloof comes in many forms:

  • “Doing your own thing”
  • “I was just being myself”
  • “Our group has more opportunities”
  • “We don’t agree with those folks”
  • “They don’t seem to like us, so we ignore them”

But I will tell you–“aloof” is always the fire-starter for all bigotry. It tells us that we have the right to separate ourselves off from all the other human tribes and offer our opinion … without giving our support.


Ain’t

Words from Dic(tionary)

dictionary with letter A

Ain’t: contraction of am not, are not, is not, will not: e.g. if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.

Every three weeks I experience a ritual. Yes, quite predictable. Every twenty-one days, I get a note from some austere, tight-assed grammarian, commenting on my wording, syntax or style of expressing ideas. These people have three things in common:

  • They’re always sure they’re right.
  • They’re always sure I’m wrong.
  • They are affronted by my lack of understanding of proper writing and suggest that I go back to Hoboken or wherever I last mis-learned my craft.

My thought? The best way to get a pain in the ass is to sit on it too long doing nothing. Thus the critic.

I will tell you this: words are powerful when they communicate and useless when they don’t.

For instance, there are passages from the Good Book, which I am told is divinely inspired, which are incomprehensible. I will wager that most people who teach in English departments and promote the great works of literature have not read those volumes themselves but instead, rely on Cliff notes to summarize the material.

Let’s be honest: “I ain’t gonna study war no more” is the best way to express that sentiment. Other options, like, “I am not going to study war anymore” seem to lose some punch. Or how about this one? “The pursuit of studying war has lost its meaning for me.” I guess at that point it would change from being a Negro spiritual to a Harvard spiritual.

Even though my English teachers told me that the word “ain’t” should never be used and would eventually become obsolete, the truth is, the only thing that became obsolete were my English teachers.

Here are three quick criteria for good writing:

  1. It’s understandable.
  2. It tells a story.
  3. The story lives on.

Anything other than this is just an exercise in futility which doesn’t create muscles anywhere … except in your self-righteous ego.