Crisis or Crises

Crisis or crises: (n) an upheaval or upheavals
















These are the reactions human beings select when something happens which they did not want to occur.

A crisis.

I listed the words because some of them will be considered praise-worthy and others, frowned upon as being foolish.

But what really destroys our souls, robs our faith, shatters our hope and shakes the foundation of our love are crises. This is when one unexpected attack is followed by another equally mysterious dilemma.

Now I will tell you, a lot of good folks can survive a crisis, though it may not be the best moment of their lives.

But the crises are what bring us down.

Why? Because deep in our hearts we were trained to believe that when the Christmas tree has no presents underneath, Santa Claus arrives.

If a tooth falls out of our heads, a fairy gives us money.

If we don’t have enough money for college, some family member or friend figures out a way to at least fund our first semester.

And if diagnosed with a fatal disease, Jesus will come and heal us.

Unfortunately, we are in no condition to survive the symmetry of the Earth, which is often invaded by chaos.

Tribulation haunts us. It is upheaval.

So whether it’s a crisis or crises, the only thing that allows us to soar above despair is accepting the fact that these intrusions will certainly come into our lives.

Santa Claus, fairies, rich uncles and even Jesus don’t always arrive on time.

Often the conflict requires us to endure, even to the end, so that we can experience a salvation from the trial.

funny wisdom on words that begin with a C


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Good News and Better News



dictionary with letter A

Amid: (adj) surrounded by, in the middle of

I don’t care.

I once attended a party in Nashville, Tennessee, back in the era when cocaine was the “dandy candy” and never participated, but instead, indulged in conversations with people until they were too stoned to speak, and made sure that folks got home safely.

I’ve been amid conservatives and found myself offering a counterpoint or perhaps an insight that was contrary to the party line.

Likewise, I’ve sat in a room of liberals who sipped their tea and giggled over the ignorance of the right-wingers, and shared with them that many of the folks they were condemning were solid human beings–the salt of the earth.

I’ve had the pleasure of being amid a crisis and remaining calm.

I’ve had the honor of being invited to a special event and discovering that there was no room for me, started to walk away quietly, only to be championed by someone who apparently admired my willingness to avoid fussing.

I’ve been amid a culture for the past twenty years which brags about its technology which only works part of the time, screams the word “exceptional” when mediocre results come tumbling in and argues for self-preservation, when the only way to inherit the earth is to choose a well-intentioned season of meekness.

I have been amid turmoil and proffered humor.

I have been amid misogyny and insisted on equality for all sexes.

I have been amid those who were rejected by society and had the humble privilege of offering a bed, a meal and a bit of hope.

It doesn’t matter what you’re amid.

What matters is what you bring to the midst.



Words from Dic(tionary)

dictionary with letter A

Akimbo: (adv) with limbs flung out widely or haphazardly. e.g.: she fell on the ice, arms and legs akimbo

It happens from time to time.

I think it’s because some people come into a motel room and use the shower for oil treatments, hair coloring or perhaps they have particularly slippery shampoos or conditioners. I’m not sure.

But you will occasionally come across a porcelain surface in a shower stall that is so slippery that you will suddenly find yourself sliding in every direction as you grope for the wall, only to discover that these tiles are equally as slippery–lending itself to the possibility of an uncontrolled sprawl.

The danger here is simple. If you try to correct your tumble too quickly, you actually increase the possibility of ending up akimbo, with parts of your legs and arms broken in the process. After all, usually people don’t really get hurt during a fall. Most of the time we suffer the damage by attempting to correct the spill–inaccurately.

This happened to me recently in one of those shower situations, as I began to slide in four different directions, incapable of handling more than two. My blood pressure shot up, fear gripped my soul and I had the instinct to try to rectify my situation quickly.

But I didn’t.

Instead, I allowed myself to slide to a position where I ceased to fall uncontrollably. I froze for a moment, regaining my wits, and then found a way to simply lean back and land with a safe bounce on my ass.

It was beautiful. It was wonderful. It was controlled. It was creative. It kept me from asking parts of my body that were not suited towards weird angles to restructure their joints and ligaments.

Because even though I may never use the word “akimbo” ever again, I do understand that arms and legs were never meant to be asses.

The ass learned a long time ago that it has a calling in a crisis–to handle all the crap.

Ad lib

Words from Dic(tionary)

dictionary with letter A

Ad lib (v): to speak or perform in public without previously preparing the words: e.g. Charles had to ad lib because he forgot his script.

  • Spontaneous
  • Improvisation
  • Extemporaneous

These are words that pepper our society and the language of those who deem themselves to be so creative, entertaining and intelligent that at the drop of a hat, they can begin to postulate on almost any subject with clarity and beauty, to the awe of the hearer.

Actually, all they do is DROP their hat.

I don’t think there’s anything more ridiculous than believing that things that come off the top of our head has as much value as something thought through and dug out of the depths of our heart.

I understand there are times we ALL ad lib–especially in moments of crisis–but I must tell you that even when we get surprised, to simply leap in to cover nervous energy with more words, explanation or just a series of twitches is no replacement for finding concise expression.

So when I’m surprised, instead of launching into a juggernaut of words or approaching my thoughts as if I were a Rubik’s Cube that has to be wiggled around to a solution, I just like to buy some time.

To me, people who are in a hurry to push me to make a decision are usually determined to establish my foolishness. People who require an immediate answer are more often than not certain that they’ve cornered me in my own defeat.

There are only two things that can happen when you ad lib–three, I guess, if you think you can pull it off. But the main two are that you talk too much or you hem-haw around with a bunch of “ums” and “ahs” which only makes the listener believe that you don’t know what you’re talking about.

I have friends who say that politicians need to pause and reflect before they answer questions, but I think it comes across like they’re searching through their publicity material for something safe to say without going off party lines.

I used to think that going on stage and doing a bunch of improv or ad libs made my show funnier or more organic. Actually, it just made me sound like I was rambling, with the audience trying to keep up with what the subject was in the first place.

As often as possible, put your thoughts together. Even write them down–so people know you put some care into it. And if you find that your notes don’t cover the breadth of the subject, or another one comes before you, take a general pause before audaciously choosing to believe that your magic tongue can weave a spell.

I am not a fan of ad lib and improv. I think it is often done by talented people who have forgotten that they got to where they are by using well-constructed words instead of believing they are “miracle orators.”

And don’t forget–there is always that possibility, if you want to be a really decent human being and escape all politics–of just turning to your audience and saying: “I don’t know.”