Confrontation

Confrontation: (n) a hostile or argumentative meeting or situation between opposing parties

Sometimes I think Mr. Webster’s had a bad day.

Yet I guess those who put together the dictionary try to reflect the mood of the society in which we live. Somewhere along the line we’ve begun to believe that “I don’t agree with you, I don’t appreciate that, I don’t understand,” and “I hate you” all mean the same thing.funny wisdom on words that begin with a C

They don’t.

Each one signifies a different human emotion. Therefore, each one has to be handled at the level of confrontation it presents.

Let’s start with Number 1.

  1. “I don’t agree with you. “

Honestly, this is a confrontation. It may limit immediate harmony but it is not without the potential for conversation, compromise and resolution. Matter of fact, we might consider it essential to the climate of a democracy.

  1. “I don’t appreciate that.”

This is a different level of confrontation. It is objecting to how something was handled. It is not terminal to a relationship–it merely sets a timeclock for interaction, sensitivity and reconciliation.

  1. “I don’t understand.”

Also a form of confrontation. This states clearly that what was stated is not clear. It is asking for additional information. It is not a personal attack, nor is it a judgment of the original idea. Clarification.

  1. “I hate you.”

This is what Mr. Webster envisioned when offering his definition. But “I hate you” has little to do with a desire to create an exchange of ideas and a communion of souls. It is a giant leap into the fiery pit of hell where all hatred dwells.

I believe in confrontation.

Without it, we live in a world of insincerity, in which gossip becomes the only way we express our true feelings.

 

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Clash

Clash: (n) a violent confrontation

Does it really need to be violent?

Have we reached a point in our society where we think if arguments and struggles remain non-violent, then they’re perfectly acceptable?
Because a clash can take a toll without ever breaking a bone or cutting the flesh.

A clash is when we go into a time of interaction with our fellow-humans, believing we are right instead of being open to the possibility of being a little wrong.

In that situation, it doesn’t matter what the subject matter is or the circumstances. People clash because they think they know there’s a fight coming–so when there’s a hint of a skirmish, they’re ready to explode.

This is why people of the black race who come out to protest the Ku Klux Klan have already envisioned a fist fight between the two parties long before any such confrontation crops up.

A husband and wife who return home in the evening grouchy, having had a bad day at work, will pick at one another until they create a clash.

A clash always occurs when ego, meanness, self-righteousness and circumstances collide at the same moment. If any one of these is removed, the clash can be avoided.

Is anyone willing to do that?

Am I prepared to consider a life where I bring ideas–minus opinions–to gain deeper understanding?

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Bewilder

Bewilder: (v) to cause someone to become perplexed and confused.

Dictionary B

Every situation has to come to a head or we won’t find the brain.

One of my most shocking realizations was that the Hollywood endings I saw in the movies, where everybody reconciles with one another and there’s a sense of joy and peace, was just pure hogwash.

Feuds, grudges, hurt feelings and misrepresentations continue to exist and even thrive until we confront them and risk the possibility that we might make the situation even worse.

It is bewildering.

It bewilders me that we think living a passive-aggresive existence, where we create universal niceties to say to one another’s faces while simultaneously dredging up old manure from the sewer of our past to share in private moments, is actually an acceptable lifestyle.

To bewilder is to stymie human thinking with something that generates fear or confusion.

We cannot continue to think that the wounded parts of our being can heal without treatment.

I have several “relationships” in my life which are no more than uneasy truces.

  • They are evil.
  • They are dark.
  • They are sinister.
  • And they are dangerous.

They bewilder me because I passively agree to ignore the obvious aggression.

Will I continue to be so foolish?

If I’m not, I risk coming across as cantankerous and confrontational.

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Authentic

Authentic: (adj) of undisputed origin; genuine.dictionary with letter A

I remember it like yesterday because when it happened, the combination of surprise, disappointment and confusion nearly overwhelmed me.

I met an older fellow who happened to be in my line of work and I immediately took a liking to him. I struggled to get his attention so we could become friends and maybe end up doing some projects together. But try as I might, he had absolutely no interest in entwining our efforts.

I was offended.

I was upset.

I thought this guy was cool, and the fact that he didn’t think I was cool just wasn’t cool.

So to avoid going crazy, I decided I would ask him about his indifference towards me.

I had just finished sharing my talents at a meeting and the two of us were sitting over a cup of coffee at a restaurant when I worked up the courage to pose the question.

“Why don’t you like me?”

He looked at me with a perplexed expression, hoping, I assume, to avoid any confrontation. I challenged him and begged him not to be insincere.

So, taking a big swig of coffee for courage, he explained.

“You are dangerous. At least, dangerous to me. You see, I do what I do because I’ve always done it, gotten pretty good at it, and see it as a way to make money without hurting too many people. Honestly, I don’t believe everything I say. And you probably have noticed–I don’t live everything I believe. You, on the other hand, are frightening. You are authentic. You are real. You have a childlike heart when you talk about your faith. It scares me. Actually, it convicts me because it makes me wonder why I don’t want that for myself. So of course I don’t want to work with you–and I never will. You remind me that what I preach can actually be done, and honestly, I just don’t want to work that hard.”

To my surprise, he downed the last bit of coffee in his cup, stood to his feet, shook my hand, and walked out of the restaurant.

I never saw him again.

In that moment, I temporarily wished to be a little less sincere.

I wanted to be friends with this friend.

But the power of being authentic is that it gives you a storyline that you don’t have to memorize because it’s your own.

But it also alienates you from those who just want to tell stories.

 

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Anschluss

dictionary with letter A

Anschluss: (v) the annexation of Austria by Germany

Have you ever wondered what would have happened if somebody had caught little Jack before he became the Ripper, and told the lad never to play with knives?

Or maybe if there had been somebody in the house of little Johnny of the Booth clan, saying that black people aren’t really meant to be slaves?

It would have been nice if someone would have caught Jeffrey Dahmer yelling at a cat and mistreating one before he went on a killing rampage.

There are moments reserved for the brave.

They happen to all of us.

Yes, each and every one of us have “crazies” in our lives.

For instance, several people were responsible for Adolph Hitler–and because they didn’t want to interfere or be judgmental, they decided to let him proceed in his growing insanity.

It would have been wonderful if the British and the Americans would have made a big deal over Hitler annexing this little piece of Austria. Why? Because Hitler wasn’t ready for war at that point.

He thought he was. But what created his war machine was the confidence that grew in his troops as they conquered Europe.

Yes, by the time he got to annexing France, he became nearly unbeatable.

I thought about this a lot when I was a father, raising my children. Sometimes I was tired and it was easier not to make the object lesson, calling out bad behavior. Matter of fact, sometimes it seemed noble to “let one slide.”

But I rarely did.

Because facts are … the little confrontation you have today always eliminates the war which could rage later.

 

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Abelard

by J. R. Practix

dictionary with letter A

Abelard: Peter (1079 – 1142) French scholar, theologian and philosopher. He is famous for his tragic love affair with his student, Heloise.

“Tragic love affair.”

You know what’s tragic about it? Old Pete and Heloise let circumstance keep them apart and decided to pretend they were in love at a distance instead of chasing each other down and living together for the rest of their lives.

You see, that’s the problem with romance. At first, it’s just too romantic. It later becomes real. Then it often ends up disappointed. There’s nothing wrong with having a silly infatuation filled with love letters, flowers and candy. To say anything against that would be like storming the gates of heaven with a butter knife.

But you can add one thing to your romantic tizzy when you’re first getting started with a new possibility. The two of you can sit down in a moment of non-sexual blur and decide how to handle confrontation–because confrontation is essential in a relationship. This may shock you, but it ends up that we really don’t love our lovers “just the way they are.”

So rather than being five years down the road and waking up one morning realizing that for some unexplained reason you have fallen out of love with your former-hot-mama, it might just be a good idea to deal with the smaller problems when they come up–and have a way to talk them through instead of just tolerating them because you’re horny.

Yes, if Old Pete and Heloise had said to one another, “We’re in love, but we’ve got some problems here with people interfering and both of us are a little bit chicken to fight the critics, so maybe together we can come up with a backbone between us…”

Well, if they had done that, they might have ended up together instead of being listed in the  Dictionary as a “tragic love affair.”

It is true that love is a many splendid thing–but it becomes even better when you find your voice and you’re able to share, fairly candidly, your heart’s desire.