Decisive

Decisive: (adj) characterized by displaying no hesitation; resolute

Did you ever notice that we never characterize someone as being decisive if they end up being wrong?

Somewhere in the process of mulling over choices, enough time needs to be taken to increase the possibility of a successful conclusion. On the other hand, if too much time is taken, the juncture of greatest possibility may pass, and the person who failed to step into the historical hook-up ends up not being decisive.

It all depends on three words:

  • Power
  • Purpose
  • Pounce

First, you have to have the power to make the decision.

If you don’t, it’s called an opinion. If you’re not allowed to have an opinion, it’s viewed as an annoyance.

The purpose is the rational common sense that makes the insight viable and necessary for this time.

Without the purpose, we are not just purposeless—we actually end up merely “less.”

And finally, pounce.

The pounce is the exact moment to move on an idea—when to step out and make things happen, doing it with such enthusiasm that there’s no doubt that you and all your teammates have full confidence in the determination.

Without these three working in harmony—like an aging women’s trio from a Southern Baptist choir—the destiny of any project is going to be flawed, leaving the participants wondering why they were so enthusiastic and what in the hell happened.

So don’t favor your power if you can’t generate a purpose.

And don’t over-talk your purpose unless you’re prepared to pounce.

Cross to Bear

Cross to bear: burden or trial one must put up with

It’s not about how much you’re carrying; it’s about how much you’re grunting and complaining.

From an honest heart, I will tell you:

Many of the things we feel we suffer are self-inflicted wounds we’ve refused to treat and therefore, they’ve become infected.

Then we bitch about the infection, failing to notice that we’ve ignored the open wound.

Although there may be validity to the notion that each one of us bears a cross, much of the burden that is upon us is self-induced, self-prescribed and self-contained.

How do we know the difference between a difficulty that requires perseverance and one that is waiting for us to drop it off at the emotional dump heap?

Two quick questions should help a lot:

  1. Have solutions been offered that I’ve rejected because I’ve decided I’m stuck with my predicament?

Because if I get caught in a fire, rather than acting doomed, I’m at least going to try to piss on it to put it out.

It is ridiculous to accept our lot—especially if we believe it’s been divinely thrust upon us by an interfering deity.

  1. Is there any way I can share the weight of a particular responsibility with another person without hurting him or her, or coming across as a complete wimp?

Very often in my life, the box that needs to be carried into the house is much lighter when I ask a friend to help—but often I don’t, Because otherwise, how could I stumble into the room, breathless, screaming for someone to find a table where I can put it down?

There is great drama in believing that we are so important that some tribulation has purposely targeted us.

But for me, I’d rather sit on my big fat ass and think things through to a conclusion than try to find nobility in suffering.

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Concoct

Concoct: (v) to create or devise

I have discovered that I don’t need to concoct as often when I’m not afraid of being honest.

When I am afraid–terrified of reality–I will concoct a scheme to explain my actions, which I certainly hope is plausible to those who hear, or at least is so uninteresting that they will choose not to challenge it.

I believe that concocting is a covenant we make with one another, promising that if you will believe my concoction, I will not question yours.funny wisdom on words that begin with a C

Therefore, we will leave it all to luck–to establish whether we survive fiasco, or whether the plans we’ve made will get their just desserts and play out to a dark conclusion.

This does not sound interesting to me.

I don’t like to lose, but the best way to keep from losing is to fail small, so you don’t screw up big.

And if you fail small and catch it while it still has a pacifier in its mouth, you can keep it a baby problem instead of turning it into an adolescent rage.

But it does demand that you keep your “concoct” to yourself.

 

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Conclusion

Conclusion: (n) a judgment or decision reached by reasoning.

I have come to the conclusion that the more conclusions you come to, the less likely it is that you will actually arrive at a conclusion.

The human race has an inordinate greed to be smart. It’s in all of us.

Each one of us has to press it down a little bit or we would be incapable of standing in line at a grocery store without strangling the person in funny wisdom on words that begin with a C
front of us, who has twelve items in the ten-item lane.

You see, the problem is, we know this person has twelve items because for some ridiculous reason, we counted them.

Yes, the conclusion we must come to is that there’s a certain amount of indifference–dare we say, apathy?–which is necessary to possess in order to live with other humans. Otherwise, we begin to desire to treat them like animals, brought to us for training.

So may I present to you, in all humility, the only three conclusions that matter from the moment they cut your umbilical cord until the day you sever the cord between yourself and the living:

  1. The happiest people in the world do not draw any conclusions.
  2. If they have conclusions, they use them to benefit their own journey and decorate their own space.
  3. A world without conclusions is often chaotic, but does allow for excellence to rise to the top.

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By-stander

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By-stander:(n) a person who is present at an event or incident but does not take part

Most people know what an oxymoron is. It’s a statement or collection of words that seem to contradict one another–case in point, jumbo shrimp.

That being said, I will tell you the little known oxymorons is the pairing of the two words “innocent by-stander.”

Although I admit meteorites do fall from the sky and hit people in the head, most of the time there’s a warning and an opportunity before a conclusion.

The warning can be subtle. Sometimes you need to tune your ears to Mother Nature in order to heed the precaution. Even though we consider people who focus on warnings to be paranoid, they rarely find themselves categorized as “innocent by-standers.”

After the warning, there’s usually some sort of opportunity:

  • A chance to say something.
  • A door to do something.
  • A way of escape–a few seconds where thinking can be clarified.

Shortly after that opportunity comes a conclusion. It is random and always certain. It doesn’t care about our status–it just follows through on the warning.

An example:

Driving in Seattle, Washington one summer, I was returning from a recording session when I looked ahead–almost a quarter of a mile–and saw a back-up of traffic. But worse, smoke was beginning to rise in small puffs, letting me know that collisions were going on between cars.

I had a very brief opportunity to avoid being part of a huge freeway pile-up. My brakes were not going to be useful–the person behind would just plow into me.

So as I saw the chain reaction developing in front of me, I moved onto the berm and traveled on it for about a mile, as cars continued to pummel one another in the calamity.

It was very close, but I was able to get in front of the origin of the collision. There was no traffic and I was on my way.

Do I think I’m a genius? No.

Have I always been so observant? No.

But when I haven’t, the problems have piled up on me. 

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Bother

Bother: (v) to take the trouble to do something.

The solution to all of our problems is wedged between “Don’t bother me” and “Why bother?”Dictionary B

For after all, our unwillingness to be bothered by “the truth that makes us free,” causes us to be cynical about anyone else.

Since I know I am not going to change, why bother changing you?

So we’re convinced we should accept our own inadequacy, and assume everyone else will be equally as inadequate.

It’s really a simple adjustment.

Life is not trying to bother us–it’s trying to teach us the pattern of the Natural Order. And the true essence of greatness is discovering how to enlighten others without feeling the need to act as their instructor.

This leads to a glorious conclusion:

I will change because change saves me.

I will help you find a similar salvation by making the change in my life seem appealing.

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Blockbuster

Blockbuster: (n) a movie, book, or other product that is a great commercial success.

Dictionary B

“Tell me a story.”

This may be one of the first complete sentences that each of us uttered to our parental figures to delay our bedtime, but also procure an interesting tale.

What is it we like about a story?

  • We have to be able to relate to it in some way.
  • We have to feel something.
  • There has to be a surprise.
  • Maybe a conflict.
  • But the resolution needs to satisfy us–even if sometimes it is basically an unsatisfying conclusion.

Movies are made in Hollywood all the time. I can always tell when a movie is going to make lots of money but fall by the wayside and never be mentioned again–the word “blockbuster” is always assigned to it.

So even though hundreds of blockbusters have been made, garnered profit and slithered into the shadows, it is the simple flick that retains our interest and keeps us coming back for more.

I don’t know how many times I’ve watched The Princess Bride.

How about Shawshank Redemption?

I’m a sucker for Forrest Gump.

Meanwhile, the blockbusters don’t seem to carry the intrigue–because they ask me to watch instead of feel. I’m a human. If I don’t feel, I move on until I find something to feel.

So I completely understand Hollywood–they have worked out a system to make expensive movies minus some heart, which have great opening weekends and procure tons of money.

But even though it won many awards and was a blockbuster, Ben Hur just does not have the lasting appeal of It’s a Wonderful Life.

 

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Bleeding Heart

Bleeding heart: (n) a person considered to be dangerously softhearted

Dictionary B

Human understanding might be possible if we would just come to the conclusion that it’s not our right to decide for others.

As a conservative might be willing to explain how certain types of people have cultural differences which cause them to react in unacceptable ways, a liberal will turn around and decide that the same people are victims of a greedy culture which does not care for them at all.

Here’s the truth: human beings are not nearly as organized, sinister or motivated as we would like to believe.

If I were comparing the average person to a substance, I contend that Play-Doh would be most appropriate. It sits on its can and does nothing until somebody frees it.

Free, it then becomes part of the playtime experience and is able to be molded into something that at least resembles a possibility.

I find myself at a disadvantage when I am in a roomful of conservatives because they are too damn sure of themselves to be smart.

And I am equally as uncomfortable when the bleeding-heart liberals target the rich as the offenders of the unfortunate poor.

Here’s what I know:

If I found myself extremely wealth, I would have to learn how to use my wealth productively, intelligently and generously–or else I would end up feeling like a big pile of rhinoceros poop.

Likewise, if I were suddenly homeless, I would have to tap the same initiative to find the best soup kitchens, odd jobs and warm, inexpensive places to sleep–to ensure that I didn’t turn into a belligerent mental case.

We will make progress when we realize that people do better when they are neither judged nor pitied.

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Anchorman

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Anchorman: (n) the man who presents and coordinates a live television or radio news program

Can there be anything more awkward than the word “anchorperson?”

There are so many entrenched ideas in our society that when you try to edit them with more appropriate language, you end up looking like a buffoon.

But there are also so many talking heads on television of both genders, that we sometimes forget the voices and demeanors that are required to deliver the news of our day with the correct level of gravitas.

I think there are three preferred approaches. (Of course, I admit that this may be generational, and younger viewers may wish for a bit more variety. But I think sometimes what you get with variety is a lack of definition.)

What happens in our world is serious enough that we need the report imparted to us in such a way that we can be impacted without being destroyed, and educated without being influenced. (Once again, my opinion.)

So the three approaches I think work in this position–whether it be male or female–are:

1. Flat and monotone.

There are very few things in life that work with this blending, but I remember watching Huntley and Brinkley as a kid, and being totally convinced that neither one of them were capable of a frown or a smile, but that they had their features cemented in place prior to the broadcast, to ensure they would not communicate any emotion whatsoever during their assignment.

2. Fatherly.

Certainly Walter Cronkite comes to mind. Watching him was kind of like having your dad explain the facts of life to you, using a combination of scientific terms with generally accepted colloquialisms, while all the time patting you on the shoulder to comfort you over some of the more shocking details.

3. Bemused and sardonic.

I always find Brian Williams or Diane Sawyer to be this way. With the squint of an eyebrow, you feel that they are a bit confused about what’s going on with the planet, but the little smile at the corner of their lips tells you not to take things too seriously.

On the other hand, the new batch of anchor people, who sport anger, frustration, sarcasm, a political leaning or just disdain for anyone who disagrees with them, leaves me cold.

Yes, I think an anchor man, who often is a woman, needs to give us a chance to absorb what’s happening, assimilate it through our minds, and arrive at some form of conclusion … that resembles our own thinking.

 

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