Couch

Couch: (n) a piece of furniture for seating

Although I am just as guilty as the next man or woman of what we shall call “greedy” prayers—those wishes and supplications we make to God and the universe to improve our bank accounts—I am also fully aware that some of the best times of my life transpired when I was funny wisdom on words that begin with a C
unencumbered with the desire for finance, and found great joy in simply trying to survive.

There were many aspects of that process. Let me boil them down to three categories:

  • Eat
  • Sleep
  • Escape

When you’re poor, every day there is the need to find something to eat and also a safe place to sleep and something that is more comfortable than a cardboard box to rest your bones upon, and then, to have the intuition to escape creditors, family members, critics and anybody else who would try to “guilt” you into a lifestyle that mirrors their own.

Now right there, friends, is a full-time job.

If you do not have money, finding enough to eat, a place to sleep, and a way to escape the scrutiny of your adversaries will keep every child of God busy until morning’s light.

I learned the simplicity of finding change and turning it into a couple of dollars which would buy enough bologna and bread to make a meal—if I slipped out into the woods and picked myself some wild blackberries.

And I certainly knew how to circle a neighborhood and find a discarded couch which was heading for the dumpster and had nothing wrong with it except some dirt and recent rain that fell while it sat awaiting its execution.

That couch was fair game. It was rejected, left alone and on a public sidewalk. If I could jump out of my beat-up van, lift it in, and take it back to my location of rest, I could have a place to sit and sleep. There were times I broke out in tears over discovering a particular sofa that was so comfortable that it literally “couched” my aching muscles for many weeks.

I was amazed at what people will give away, throw away or discard because in their opinion, it got old too fast.

I was also astounded at how many doughnut places took their mistakes and day-old product and dumped them out every morning at 8:16 A. M.

And I was careful to swoop in at just the right moment, taking as little time as possible to procure a couch or a beat-up box of rejected doughnuts.

Poverty is an adventure in exhaustion which receives no applause for ingenuity.


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Choosy

Choosy: (adj) overly fastidious in making a choice.

Oh, there goes Webster again.

For some reason, the dictionary feels it’s important to offer a certain amount of social commentary in describing the words that are showcased.

Here is the truth of the matter as far as I know: if you are not choosy, eventually you don’t get to choose, and you’re stuck with what’s chosen for you.

Welcome to Earth.

So portraying “choosy” as a negative attitude is the propaganda of governments, religionists, politicians and Madison Avenue agents, who would really like to plan your entire life, but feel that saying this bluntly might scare you away. So instead, they connote that you are “choosy” if you do not choose what they want you to choose on any chosen occasion.

If the dinner menu for the night is barbecued baked beans with barbecued beef and barbecued corn bread with barbecued pudding for dessert, folks might frown at you if, in a choosy way, you insist you prefer not to “go barbecue” tonight.

The problem in our world is not that people are too choosy. The difficulty lies in the fact that we’re not given enough choice.

  • Politics is divided into two major parties, with a whisker’s difference between the pair.
  • Churches insist they offer varieties of services, while simultaneously delivering the same spiritually tone-deaf message.
  • And the clothing in the department stores settles into shades that are determined to be this season’s preference, with stylings which are the “hit of the catwalk.”

What would happen if Americans actually did become choosy?

If we decided not to let the critics determine the best motion pictures?

If we didn’t leave it up to aging librarians to pick out the top books?

What if we had an open marketplace, an open discussion, an open spirit and an open mind–to give things a platform and see how they fared?

What if the whole world were a blind taste test? How would McDonald’s, Wal-Mart, Apple, Democrats, Republicans and the religious system chart?

I’m choosy–and pretty proud of it. I often disagree with other people about my choices, but never in a disagreeable way.

But I’m not about to believe that something being popular gives it any more credence than I am to think that the hula-hoop was meant to last forever.

 

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By-gone

j-r-practix-with-border-2

Bygone: (adj) belonging to an earlier time.

Outdated.

It’s a word we use to curse any idea, event or style which is not presently considered in the prowl.

In the process, we not only decide that red is the color of the future and blue the hue of the past, but we also marginalize supernal attributes which should endure for all time, but suddenly find themselves being panned by the critics.

Some things do not belong in a by-gone era, but must be toted to our next location. I shall give you a few words that seem to be nostalgic, but are really the sign-posts of peaceful existence:

Kindness, observation, toleration, good cheer, gentleness, surprise, humility, creativity, curiosity, manners, courtly, caring, teachable, sharing, color-blind, contented.

Idealism? Most definitely.

Yet without them, virtue is gobbled by the arrogant monster of pessimism.

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Build

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Build: (v) to construct something by putting parts or material together

What should the question be?

Is it what I build?

How I build?

Where I build?

When I build?

Or why I build?

Let’s start with why I build.

I build because there’s a need. There’s an absence of a landmark which proclaims an important truth.

When I build.

Two ingredients are always necessary–labor and money. If people are not motivated to build, the money will quickly be eaten up. If the mDictionary Boney is not available, the labor will be disgruntled.

How should I build?

Without strife. I’ve seen people begin projects and absolutely destroy their relationships just because the deadline or the goal superseded the appreciation of one another.

Where should I build?

There’s an axiom that something built on rock will last longer than something built on sand. Sometimes we build on sand because we think what we built will be so appreciated that there won’t be any attacks against it. That’s a mistake. Our building should be able to withstand the onslaught of nature and critics.

And finally, what we build.

We should always build to sufficiency, with a vision for growth. We should never place a one-acre building on a one-acre property. There’s no place to go. But we should never be ashamed of a humble beginning. The secret to success is not to begin big, but rather, realistically, so people can constantly see our growth.

Yes, what should we build?

What is it we need?

 

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Blew

Blew: (v) past tense of blow

Dictionary BThere is great human wisdom in refusing to allow others to rob us of our moment of honesty.

If they need to extract the truth from us, we will lose all the brownie points from uttering it.

If we’re at the mercy of the scrutiny of critics, we will suddenly find ourselves living in a society in which critics have as much prominence as those who create.

The most powerful statement I will ever make in my life is, “I blew it”–especially if I’m able to squeeze in that confession before others leap upon my carcass.

Matter of fact, let’s look at the conjugation of this process:

  • I blow things.
  • I blew this.
  • It is blown.

A delightful process.

First of all, to have the courtesy to warn people that we are capable of blowing it.

Then to inform the tourists that the journey will be interrupted by the fact that we blew it.

And finally, to have that intelligence to know that something is blown and beyond repair, instead of reaching for the duct tape.

It’s inevitable.

I will need to admit that I blew it so I will not continue to chase the tail of what ends up being a dead dog.

Therefore, be careful.

When you think something is going to be a breeze, you are more likely to “blow it.”

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Blasé

Blasé: (adj) unimpressed or indifferent

Dictionary B

What is the difference between blasé and meek?

“The meek shall inherit the Earth.”

Those who are blasé inherit reruns.

There is a tendency to believe that if we are not ranting or raving, we are not passionately involved. Nothing could be further from the truth.

Blasé  is a condition that infects the human heart when we cease to believe that quality, further growth or excellence can be achieved.

We think we’ve seen it all, when we haven’t even opened the catalogue.

Meek, on the other hand, is knowing exactly what you want to do, but realizing you’re surrounded by critics and those who are blasé  … and merely waiting until they leave so you can get started.

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Betterment

Betterment: (n) the act or process of improving something.

I spend a lot of time considering the difference between the words “satisfied” and “content.”Dictionary B

Although I am sure others could come along with much better analysis of the situation, I believe the true way to live a full and abundant life is to be content while you pursue better ways to be satisfied.

If I’m going to wait for others to point out my weaknesses, my lacking will be so obvious that I more than likely will be overwhelmed with the option to improve–or worse, offended that these critics have challenged my holy turf.

That’s why I hired Jack-o.

Jack-o is my invisible friend who comes along with me on my journey to remind me of better ways to do things when I start compromising or settling for mediocre choices.

I make sure that Jack-o is fairly nice–even comical–so my feelings don’t get hurt. But he is there, poking me in the side, telling me that the second mile is ahead, and is only 5,280 feet away.

He wants my betterment.

He keeps me from being subject to the microscope of those who would love to disembowel my efforts.

He is my best friend.

And even though he occasionally arrives with an opinion when I am tired or frustrated, I am still grateful for the input … and benefitted by the counsel.

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