Crass

Crass: (adj) without refinement, delicacy, or sensitivity; gross; obtuse; stupid

How does one write in such a way as to communicate that the thoughts being shared are in a whisper?

Great question, huh?funny wisdom on words that begin with a C

Well, if you would imagine that I am whispering, I will tell you to calm your spirit and listen carefully.

There is one secret to life and one alone. It is the thing that prevents us from being crass.

After all, crass is when things go along real well until someone threatens our sacred cow, never actually having any intention of killing it.

And at this point, people argue. They challenge. They bicker. And more often than not, it ends in some uncomfortable stand-off, where the footing is slippery, and the grudges begin to ice up.

We are all crass until we learn one valuable idea:

Don’t be defensive.

If someone makes a statement in your direction that offends you, don’t immediately leap to share explanations of your motivations or calibrate the correct insult to fire back.

It is really what is meant by “turning the other cheek.” It is not allowing somebody to punch you and then giving them permission to beat the hell out of you. No, it is refusing to become defensive, and instead, measuring the moment to see if you want to put yourself in the middle of a lengthy discussion, or would rather just go home.

Candidly, wasting time is more aggravating than being insulted. Consider the source, consider your heart and soul, consider your time.

We become crass when we feel it is necessary to defend ourselves whenever anyone darkens our countenance with their disapproval.

But crass by its very nature always leads to an overblown objection that makes the other person defensive, and then two defensive people defend themselves until everybody’s offended.

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Countenance

Countenance: (n) appearance, especially the look or expression of the face

She swore she could tell.

She believed with all her heart that she could look at the countenance of another human being and tell you their whole story.

She claimed to see “auras”—colors within the cloud of confidence or deceit that surrounded the face of each person in front of her.

You see, I liked her, so I didn’t argue with her about it.

I also know for a fact that whether there’s a coloration involved or not, each one of us does exude from our countenance much more than we often realize.funny wisdom on words that begin with a C

Now, I will tell you, my friend who believed she saw colorations was usually much harder on people she didn’t like than people she did. I never discovered that she said any one of her enemies seemed to be ‘in the pink.’

But the light of the body is the eye—our eyes and faces reveal much of what is going on in our brain.

It doesn’t take us long to recognize when someone’s lying if we have the time just to study their expression.

It certainly does not require much effort to perceive when a brother or sister is struggling with depression or burdened with difficulty.

We probably don’t realize how many decisions we make about others based on their countenance—and I’m not talking about whether they are pretty or handsome.

No–it’s whether they have enough illumination from inside to light up their outside.


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Clause

Clause: (n) a stipulation

Recently, I had a new grandson born. Everyone was so excited. After all, it’s a new life.

The proclamation was, “Welcome to Earth, little Julius!”

But Julius, my dear little friend, you need to read the accompanying clause. The actuary tables tell us the average person lives about seventy-seven years. Let’s
break that down:

The first eighteen of those seventy years are spent living in a house under rules and regulations, taking orders from everyone over twenty-one years of age, dabbling with all sorts of shit you shouldn’t, and confused because the front part of your brain literally has not grown in.

The next twelve years leading up to the age of thirty, you find yourself on the hunt for education, occupation and romantic elevation. There is too much experimentation, frustration and degradation involved in that process. You will often be bewildered because your original elation over obtaining your freedom has been deflated by reality.

Then you reach your thirtieth birthday–a whirlwind of messy nastiness, some of which you’re already trying to pay off in installments.

Now it’s time to have some kids of your own. You decide on two, and end up with three because someone forgot something. These three children begin the life process, impudently resenting all authority figures over the age of twenty-one, primarily you and your mate. They possess more opinions than intelligence.

You feel love but also occasionally diminished–because what you planned to do with your life has been hijacked by others telling you that you’re already old, decrepit and dead, and it’s their turn.

This takes you to about age fifty. At this point, you are greeted by doctors. They tell you that everything you’ve done in the first five decades has created some unhealthy results in your body. Probes, operations and sometimes diseases kick in to remind you of your mortality.

You suddenly find yourself carrying a pill case. You try to make it unobtrusive or even decorative, but you are now hooked on meds for the rest of your life.

This takes you to seventy. Of course, in the meantime you’ve become a full-fledged grandpa or grandma–with more little children who have found even meaner, egregious ways to ignore you. They are instructed to hug you, kiss you and send you thank-you notes including unidentifiable pictures which they’ve drawn. You learn to acquiesce and call three lines scrawled on a piece of paper “great art.”

This leaves you seven years.

You can’t walk as well anymore. You have to stop to recall your password for your Facebook account. And when you look in the mirror there seems to be the face of a troll emerging from your countenance.

The purpose of this essay is to remind us all that life comes with a clause. It’s a simple one. It’s not even in fine print.

Welcome to Earth (where you better make sure you enjoy what you do, or else what you do will take away all your joy–and that’s for sure).

 

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Butt

j-r-practix-with-border-2

Butt: (n) the posterior

It is time once again for this well-seasoned traveler to admit his limitations and the true extent of his ignorance.

I do it willingly, because if I don’t, someone will do it anyway, against my will. So here we go:

What is all the damn interest in the butt?

I just don’t get it. Does anybody remember when a butt was an ass? Now it seems to be a symbol of sexual presence, if not prowess.

The other day, I heard somebody comment about the attractiveness of a particular woman, saying, “You could bounce a quarter off her ass.”

Not only does that sound like a rude game, but I don’t understand the significance. Maybe that’s because I was taught that a hardass was negative.

What is all the interest in the back door?

I use mine to stink. Matter of fact, that’s what it seems to do the best. I’ve heard people describe different applications, but I normally found myself wanting to run, terrified, from the room.

Do other people besides me also wonder why the posterior has suddenly become acceptable to discuss with the interior?

Does anybody else think that a woman’s face or a man’s countenance is more attractive than their caboose?

Or might the thought be that if you have a nice trunk space, then there’s a good chance the engine works?

I’m really confused. I don’t often want to go back to former times, nor do I feel especially nostalgic.

But I think it might do us well to return to a season when the butt had clearly established its seat of power.

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Bra

j-r-practix-with-border-2

Bra: (n) an undergarment worn by women to support the breasts

When I look in the mirror I see some wrinkles.

But also, I peer at the countenance of experience.

I have people who call me Dad and also Grandpa.

After years and years of relationship, there are souls who come to me for counsel.Dictionary B

I have even been referred to as “wise.”

I have awards which proclaim that I am a creature of merit.

But still–when I see a bra, I get giggly

There is a little boy inside me who has a childish view of a garment.

I could pretend that I don’t.

I could force myself to look at a bra and think it was similar to a t-shirt. But I would be lying.

I think it is fruitless to pretend that we ever escape the first inclinations of our youthful lust, but instead, just gain the insight to run away from them … before they take us down tawdry paths.

 

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Bludgeon

Bludgeon: (v) to beat someone repeatedly with a heavy object.

Dictionary B

All she said to me was, “I need help.”

I think it was probably the tone of her voice which let me know that my young friend on the phone was in trouble.

She had married a man who certainly had a reputation for being psychologically imbalanced. But she insisted she loved him, and truthfully, he seemed to thrive in their relationship, losing some of his waywardness.

But then he got used to her.

She wasn’t magical anymore.

She was available–maybe too available.

So since it was impossible for him to beat on a mirror, he started beating on her.

Little infractions at first (if there is such a thing).

But I could tell by listening to her on the phone that she was in deep trouble and I needed to get over to her.

My car wasn’t fast enough. By the time I arrived, he had bludgeoned her, making her face appear to be twice its normal size. Blue, black, purple and strains of red began to surface with the swelling.

As I tried to calm her down, I watched the damage grow right before my eyes. She was so wounded.

I had never seen it up close and personal, just portrayed on TV with make-up and tricks. But this was real.

I felt pain just looking at her face.

It looked as if she would never be able to totally reconstruct her features again. As I comforted her and we waited for the arrival of family and a police officer, I told myself to register the image of her countenance in my mind for all time.

For you see, sometimes violence has a slight sniff of propriety.

Maybe we think it’s a good way to get even. But any time you lay your hand against another traveler, the human body displays the vulgarity of your efforts with the horrific image of swollen pain.

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Bearer

Bearer: (n) a person or thing that carries or holds something.Dictionary B

“Here he comes,” said the gathered as they notice me arriving in the distance.

What will they say next?

What whispered comments will be exchanged as I make my way into the room?

What do they really think about me?

What is my value to the clan?

What gifts do I bring to the tribe?

Am I viewed as a bearer of good news or a naysayer?

Am I critical?

Do I balance my comments with positive reinforcement?

What do those who love me appreciate and what do they merely tolerate?

Even though most of us would insist we want to know the truth about our value, some of the discoveries might be depressing, if not completely debilitating. Because with every spoken word comes a tone of voice and a facial expression.

We only remember what we say, not how we said it.

And we certainly are not privy to the output from our countenance.

Are we considered valuable to the cause, or just someone plays devil’s advocate?

What kind of bearer are we?

Is it possible to be too positive?

Is it plausible to insist that everything is going to work out well and come across idiotic because we did not adequately count the cost?

What is the balance?

Whether we like it or not, we are all bearers of something … and in the minds of others, have a caption written beneath our memory.

 

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Baleful

Baleful (adj): threatening harm; menacingDictionary B

Happiness is not an expression. It is actually a way of expressing how much we are unwilling to give up on believing.

I often sit on a bench and watch people go by. I love people. There are certain things I don’t like about people, though–and primary among those distasteful portions are the facial gyrations they create to communicate their sense of maturity.

It often is a baleful etching across the features, to let me know that I’d better be careful, because they are tough and dangerous.

Matter of fact, we seem to be going through a political season where the candidate with the most crunched-up, contorted features, exhibiting great piety, becomes the rallying frown for the angry mob.

One day I was sitting in my van and a young man walked by, stomping along. When he came into my view I flashed him a smile, and he glared at me.

I couldn’t help myself. I laughed.

It was so silly, so contrived and so obviously unmotivated that a giggle just popped out of me. My window was rolled down so he asked me, “What’s so funny?”

“Everything, young man. Everything.”

He squinted and shook his head like he had encountered his latest crazy man and plodded away.

When no one’s looking, what does your countenance say to the world around you?

Because we have to realize–there’s always someone looking.

 

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Abubble

by J. R. Practix

dictionary with letter A

Abubble: (adj.) with great happiness and enthusiasm.

Gosh, I wish I could use that word. Wouldn’t that be fun, if you could walk into your house and turn to your family or friends and proclaim that “everyone seems abubble tonight?”

I certainly don’t want to begin this Monday with a lamentation; it’s just that sometimes it seems to me that if you use really colorful words or intelligent expressions, people look at you like you’re hoity-toity or maybe even a little fruity. Or worse–perhaps British.

Abubble is a great term.

There are certain occasions that should be abubble. People walking out of a movie theater should be abubble if they’ve seen a comedy, bouncing around from one foot to another, excitedly talking to their friends about what they’ve just viewed.

When the doors of a church open to release the congregants into the parking lot, there should be folks abubble with excitement, blessing and a celebration of God’s wonderful grace.

I think husbands and wives should be abubble. I know there are serious times and difficulties, but generally speaking, if we’re working out our problems instead of tabling them like we’re at the United Nations, the by-product of glee and gladness should seep forth.

But some words are deemed to be overwrought or old-fashioned. For instance, I told a group of people yesterday that they were proclaimed to be “contemporary” because they were laid-back, unmoved by the circumstances around them. When did the evidence of youth become a countenance unaffected? I don’t get it.

Even though we may never be able to return to commonly using the word “abubble” to describe the happiness coming from our hearts, we do need to find some word that allows us to celebrate the beauty of surviving difficult moments of humanity and coming out the other side …  victorious.