Conflict

Conflict: (n) a serious disagreement or argument

When trying to rent an auditorium, I once had the proprietor of the theater say, “Hold on. We have a conflict.”

We were just discussing dates–but he was right. That is what a conflict should be.funny wisdom on words that begin with a C

I want something. You can’t provide it.

You explain that to me, and we make other arrangements.

But Mr. Webster seems to think that for a conflict to be legitimate, there has to be a serious disagreement.

I, for one, am opposed to serious disagreements.

I am completely uninterested in adult conflict, which lends itself to arguments, pouting and grudges.

So today, I am determined to change the definition of the word “conflict” to a first-stage discussion which is elegantly handled by two or more mature, kindly, intelligent adult people.

Long before we become entrenched and start throwing grenades across the chasm, it is possible to say, “I think, on this point, we have a conflict. ”

Then conflict becomes valuable. It tells us that the circumstances we are pursuing are not suitable for everyone until they’re renegotiated.

It isn’t standing in the mud of a political party and insisting that if the other side doesn’t comply, they are either ignorant, or elitist.

We have a conflict. It is not insurmountable, unless we want to let that conflict lay around and become aggravated.

Let’s not do that.

Let’s immediately share when something is not to our taste, with the hopes that a simple conversation might render yet another possibility.

And may I say that often that third option is proven to be much better than either yours original, or mine.

 

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Cheap

Cheap: (adv) at or for a low price.

It is time, once and for all, to resolve the conflict between what is being cheap and what is being thrifty.

Since there were no smart people available, I have decided to take on the task.

You know you’re cheap when you really want it done for free.

You know you’re thrifty when you know it should cost money, but you’re just looking for the best deal among several pricings.

The problem with our nation is that we’re a bunch of cheap bastards. We’re not really happy unless somebody gives us something. If we have to open our wallet at all, we’re prepared to complain, no matter how reasonable the price may be.

Capitalism is a system that works on the basis of a free market, with businesses competing with one another to gain customers. If you insert cheap people in there–who want something for free–then you’ll get fakes, shams, hooligans, grifters and thieves who come in to hoodwink the selfish masses.

If somebody does something for me, they deserve something back.

I know it sounds ridiculous, but we do live in a time when the anticipation of “free stuff” has driven us to the point that the poor in our country are just as greedy as the rich.

If I go to a restaurant and a server brings me food and drink and asks me if I like the way my hamburger was prepared, that person deserves money from me. Not just from the boss. From me. He or she is serving me.

We need to stop saying, “They’re just doing their job.”

And if the server ends up not being very likable or helpful, he or she should get nothing from me.

Everybody knows that money talks. It’s what we communicate with.

So when you walk around hoping something will be free, then be prepared to be cheated.

Because even though the bar offers free snacks, they just charge more for the watered-down beer.

 

 

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Buffer

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Buffer: (n) something that prevents conflict

A book called Isaiah refers to it as “a repairer of the breach.”

It is an individual–or maybe even group–who decides that holding one opinion or another in reverence does notDictionary B grant the equity and generosity of spirit that is necessary to allow for tender human interaction.

Over the years, such a position has been deemed anemic or ill-defined. We are told that the most important thing is to believe in something and then cling to it in spite of how many people object to the position.

That style of living has left us at odds, seeking out camps of culture, where we pretend to be equal with those around us while secretly feeling that our clan is superior.

God knows we need a buffer.

We need people who know that the greatest accomplishment in the human race is to be a peace-maker.

It doesn’t make us evasive or lily-livered–rather, desirous of the “oil of gladness,” to lubricate all human relationships.

Without this buffer we bang up against each other, and pretty soon we’re so bruised that it takes less banging to bring pain. Eventually we are so angry about any interaction that we either hurt one another or we run away from each other in horror.

It begins with a simple understanding: there is no way at all that I can be better than you.

Even if I believed I was, God, our Creator, is no respecter of persons.

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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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Berate

Berate (v): to scold or criticize someone angrily.

Dictionary B

My wife’s parents didn’t like me.

They had good reason.

I lied, cheated, misinformed and did a bunch of crap which forced them into the role of being critical defenders of their daughter.

Yet I had the excuse of being intoxicated by adolescence. They were supposed to be mature and understand my weakness, but instead, berated me, telling me I would never be anything of quality.

Being very young, I felt it was my duty to verbally attack them also, leaving a chasm of misunderstanding, which I believed would be taken care of over time. I thought that once their daughter and I were married and had children, matters would miraculously transpire to turn us into a family, laughingly remembering former days of conflict.

It never happened.

Matter of fact, I can recite several events in my life when I was berated–or was the berator of others myself–where those relationships have never healed, but have instead settled into an uncomfortable silence of unacceptability.

We are civil.

I suppose there are even moments of kindness.

But the grudge that is still carried leaves both parties breathless, if not hopeless.

So what I have learned with each passing birthday is that the less I confront those around me, the greater the possibility of maintaining the warmth of fellowship.

I suppose we should be a race that is forgiving, gentle and free of resentment.

We are not.

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Bauble

Bauble: (n) a small, showy trinket or decoration.Dictionary B

Conflicting opinions not only create conflict, they often permanently stall progress in favor of those conflicted getting along.

Because of this, we are never quite sure whether we have arrived at any sense of reason or compromise which has thrust the human race forward.

This is why we’re so enamored with baubles.

They are the little confirmations, given significance, which make us feel we are doing well.

  • After all, what would a contest be without certificates of participation?
  • Can we have a competition without a trophy?
  • And I do believe that most athletes would quit if statistics about their accomplishments were not being jotted down in a book somewhere.

Why do we need a bauble to dangle from our tree of life to confirm that we are well decorated?

It would be much more intelligent for the human race to pursue things that are fruitful instead of merely awarded.

I, for one, would love to see the entertainment industry allow their movies to be judged by the common man and woman instead of being lauded with praise by the elite before they’re even released to theaters.

Would we end up with different choices? God forbid, would the masses deem a Disney flick about penguins more popular than an avant garde project about a female dancer who secretly believes she’s a penguin?

Baubles are often the trinkets that convince us of truths that are not necessarily in evidence. Yet we will always pursue them … because we are captivated by things that sparkle.

 

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Agent Orange

Words from Dic(tionary)

dictionary with letter AAgent Orange: (n) a defoliant chemical used by the U.S. during the Vietnam war

I don’t trust the press.

I don’t trust the government.

I’m a child of the 60’s.

What is the problem with mistrusting the government and the press? They seem to control almost everything. It puts me in danger of not trusting anything.

Matter of fact, many people my age have rejected spirituality because it appears to be a heavenly government with a press corps, promoting the Bible.

This is what I think about when I hear the words, “Agent Orange:”

As a kid I went to school, had friends, flirted with girls, tried to play football and attempted to keep my grades high enough that I didn’t get kicked out of the National Honor Society while all the time my government was spewing poison all over the countryside of Vietnam, which not only killed vegetation but also ended up destroying human life.

By the time I discovered it, along with everyone else in the country, we were already in the midst of an elongated conflict which ended up costing the lives of hundreds of thousands of people.

To achieve what? A Vietnam which is now united under one government–basically Marxist–which after all these decades, is accepted by our nation as a friendly and fertile climate for commerce.

What can we learn from the Agent Orange stupidity that exists in all aspects of our society? What are we trying to defoliate today, which in the future will become acceptable and those who live long enough to walk in that future time will look back to wonder “what in the hell we were thinking?”

There are three things you must have if you’re a human being:

  1. A sense of history. Try not to repeat the stupid stuff.
  2. An enjoyment of the present. Today’s all we’ve got.
  3. An eye on the future. In other words, what is this going to look like in twenty years?

If we had thought that way, many of us would never have worn lime-green leisure suits … and probably would have avoided any agent that was called orange.