Cruel

Cruel: (adj) willfully or knowingly causing pain or distress to others.

You do know that your clock doesn’t say, right?

I’m talking about when we casually cite, “The clock says…” and we note the time.

Since clocks can’t speak, they can’t say.

Some folks would say that’s being picky. (Actually, it’s a little trick you learn in writing to make sure you don’t have grumblers and complainers instantly mocking you because you claim to have a talking clock.)

But two nights ago, I caught my clock reading, “2:53 A.M.”

Suddenly I was wide awake.

It’s amazing that during some of these midnight stirrings, it feels like you could get up and build a bridge. And then, five hours later when you’re supposed to get up and bridge something, you can barely move.

We are strangely constructed, curiously functioning and unfathomable in our conclusion.

But since the clock read “2:53,” I decided to ask what the plot was. Yes—my brain always has some sort of idea it’s brewing, contrary to what I might think about during the day, and also frequently critical of my self-assured attitude.

The question on this particular awakening was, “How have I been cruel?”

When I’m better prepared—after the selection of my favorite shirt and a good breakfast—I would probably insist that I’m not cruel. But my brain was reading something else at 2:54 in the morning. So I stayed quiet and listened.

This is the lecture I received:

You are cruel when you withhold appreciation simply because you believe you’ve already expressed your favor.

You are cruel when you know someone requires a hug and you supply a handshake instead.

You are cruel when your friend has contacted you by text or email, and you arbitrarily decide to return it—the next day.

You are cruel when you hear an ignorant statement made in your presence and you let it go without comment, thinking it’s none of your damn business.

You are cruel when you turn into cement over an issue of spirituality, politics or morality because you think it makes you appear more righteous.

You are cruel when you comply to the mediocrity of a situation or the indifference of a room because there’s no need to be a boat-rocker.

You are cruel when you no longer believe you’re capable of being cruel.

I don’t like it when my clock reads.

I guess I’m just like everyone else:

I would be completely satisfied with an ignorant time piece.

funny wisdom on words that begin with a C


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Charger

Charger: (n) Archaic a large, flat dish; platter

Long, long ago, when an epidemic of the simple common cold could kill people off by the thousands, a flat serving tray was referred to as a “charger.”

It has very little significance to us, as we now view a small cord which attaches to our phone as the only charger of note.

But long ago, when a young girl breathlessly finished a dance, nearly naked from her exuberant efforts, her step-father, a king, greatly
aroused by her choreography, promised to give her anything she wanted as payment for her little strip-tease.

He was obviously staring down at a beautiful temptation, and also at the evidence that she had succeeded in waking up the “little king.”

She was a nasty little vixen, with a mother who had been trained to be ruthless and cruel. So the two of them got together, and the girl requested the head of John the Baptist–“on a charger.”

(This is origin of the slogan, “I want his head on a silver platter.” I assume that the request for the platter was to express extreme indifference.)

But it is a warning.

For the Prophet John made the mistake of generating enemies of souls with no conscience.

And the young girl, who had been raised by a bedeviled mother to use the lust of men to her advantage, was able to take the Baptist’s indiscretion in judging a queen, and the queen’s fury over his insolence, and turn it into a tragedy.

It teaches us all that we should choose our words carefully — and avoid making enemies of people who really wouldn’t mind putting our fate on a plate.

 

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