Curmudgeon

Cumudgeon: (n) a bad-tempered, difficult, cantankerous person.

 

Throwing water on the fire of someone’s excitement.

Refusing to discuss an important issue because you find it inappropriate to the surroundings.

Asking people to take off their hat when they visit your church.

Frowning at a young mother in a store because her children are misbehaving.

Failing to respond to “have a nice day.”

Criticizing young people because you do not understand their culture.

Making fun of technology because, somehow or another, you think you were smarter with pencils, paper clips and glue.

Talking about your generation as being superior to another generation.

Refusing to let someone who has two items go ahead of you in the grocery checkout, when you have one thousand.

Acting confused about why young people are “so goddamn horny.”

Telling your mechanic that forty years ago, you got a fuel pump put in your car for eighteen dollars.

Asking the pastor of your church to turn down the PA system and not have guitars during the worship service.

Voting for a candidate you know will keep everything the same because change angers you.

Choosing to go down a different aisle at the department store because people of color are there, and you don’t know how to talk to them.

Yelling at kids because they don’t pick up their toys.

Yelling at the toys that you step on, wishing you could hit the kids.

Claiming that special occasions are not necessary for you because you don’t like all the fuss.

Watching a movie and insisting on talking about another one which you saw thirty years ago.

Sticking your nose up at a new food choice because you think it looks funny or the name sounds foreign.

Seeing old people and assuming they are mean.

There are many ways to be a curmudgeon.

Unfortunately, the list is growing.

funny wisdom on words that begin with a C

Culture

Culture: (n) a particular form or stage of civilization

What if I don’t like your color?

I can’t really say that—it makes me look like a bigot. I can’t let you know that I’ve been raised so sheltered that the hue of your skin gives me the creeps. I associate your color with matters that are not desirable.

All I really want is for you to stay away from me.

I have noticed that insulting you doesn’t cause you to disperse. I can talk behind your back and make you feel uncomfortable, but there’s always a chance you will defiantly remain.

I can insist that you’re inferior, but then every once in a while, you do things to disprove my contention.

What if I just don’t want to change my opinion? If I’m open-minded, my brain might slip out of its casing and wiggle away.

What can I do to make sure you stay away from me, but at the same time not incur your wrath or revenge?

What will cause us to remain separate without making it seem like it’s social segregation?

I do not want to be condemned by the self-righteous souls who think they’re superior because they learned how to tolerate you.

I don’t hate you—I just don’t want you. Shouldn’t I be allowed to get what I want? I mean, America being free and all.

So me and my friends got together and came up with this great idea.

We’re going to pretend that you are different by establishing how unique you are—how outstanding your customs and the climate in your community.

We will admire your cooking without ever partaking.

We will compliment your music without downloading a single song.

We will ooh and ahh over your costuming as if it’s coming from a faraway land, humiliating our beige and brown.

We will explain that you have a way of doing things that’s simply marvelous—as we have a way of doing things that is equally proficient.

We won’t talk about things like racial prejudice or fear of mixing.

We’ll call it culture.

It sounds so…well, cultured.

In doing so, we establish that you have found your way of doing things and we have found our way of doing things and there is no reason for the two paths to cross or for us to talk you out of your preferences and abandon ours.

We have invented a new racism.

It’s friendly, seems educated and is flexible.

You have a culture.

We have a culture.

Now, if you’ll be so kind, take yours over there and we’ll keep ours right here.

funny wisdom on words that begin with a C

Cultural Diversity

Cultural Diversity: (n) the inclusion of diverse people in a group or organization

I was very surprised when I first discovered the varieties of chickens that are available. Matter of fact, it was during a slide show where a renowned farmer and breeder was explaining that “this group of birds over here was like this,” and “this group of birds over there had the following attributes…”

But as each slide passed in front of my eyes, all I could see were chickens.

I understand that’s because I am not an expert on the subject. Someone who studied it for years can look closely and find all sorts of indications that one conglomeration of chickens has a certain temperament, and another grouping is prone to a completely different behavior—not to mention that each one has unique desires for how they wish their parched corn to be seasoned.

I felt very stupid.

I was told that in some cases, an intermingling of these chickens will produce the most profitable and successful flocking.

But the professional also explained that focusing on one particular breed does allow for purity and predictability.

At the end of the lecture my head was spinning as I continued to peer at each slide in the show, forcing myself to notice miniscule differences.

The aberrations were quite important to this professional birdwatcher, but for the life of me, I could not distinguish one culture of “cluckers” from another. There were some unique colors and maybe a slight difference in beaks.

But it was all basically the same.

At the end of the evening, our guest speaker brought out cooked pieces of chicken from each one of the tribes of feathered friends. He explained the individuality we would experience while sampling each culture.

At the end of the demonstration I was very embarrassed.

When he asked me what I learned from the evening, I sheepishly looked at him and said, “It all tastes like chicken.”

funny wisdom on words that begin with a C

Crime Against Humanity

funny wisdom on words that begin with a C

Crime against humanity: (n) a crime, such as genocide, directed against a large group

I am going to suggest six crimes against humanity which possibly should be considered as legitimate statutes. I am not suggesting there be prison sentences for them—but perhaps reminders to one another on how these six things perpetuate great pain on the human race.

  1. Every human being is better than an animal. To suggest, even jokingly, that somehow the animal kingdom has equivalency, is a crime. (We are worth many sparrows.)
  1. Insisting that every human has a destiny which they should try to locate, is cruel, when we all know that free will is the law of the Universe, and we make our own future.
  2. Flattering people because you don’t know what else to say is a crime against humanity because eventually the factual representation of their abilities will play out.
  3. Any assumption that gender, color, culture, religion, sexual orientation or political affiliation has anything to do with the virtue of a person is the definition of bigotry. This would be a crime.
  4. Anything that we cannot say to someone’s face should never be said behind their back.
  5. And finally, being sure of yourself is the surest way to make sure that no one else can be sure about you.

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Crick

funny wisdom on words that begin with a C

Crick: (n) a sharp painful spasm of the muscles, as in the neck or back

We listen for it very carefully.

For you see, if we are not bigoted by color nor prejudiced by culture, we certainly become the Ku Klux Klan when it comes to word usage.

I have had the honor of traveling all over the United States of America many, many times. I am never ashamed of my education nor embarrassed by my lack of knowledge, but I am fully aware that if I decide to use certain terminology in certain regions of the country, I am certainly judged.

There used to be about four dialects of the American English language.

There was the Southern accent, the Midwestern homogenized version, the West Coast speed-talk, and the East Coast Brooklynese.

Of course, there were other accents you could encounter, but those four endured nearly everywhere.

And each culture, tongue and pronunciation was fully aware of itself, and could tell when any syllables or phrasings were introduced that came from a “foreign” United States.

Yes, a United States that was part of our country in map only.

For instance, if I went to the West Coast and said, “I have a crick in my neck,” all the people around me would assume I was a raging conservative, against all plans to aid poor people and that I traveled with a huge King James Bible in my suitcase.

Likewise, if I was traveling in the South, eating at a truck stop, ordering “Twelve Lookin’ At Ya’” (which is a dozen eggs sunny-side up) and then requested a Mocha Latte, I would suddenly be surrounded by whispers.

People from Brooklyn are not, generally speaking, vegan extoling the wonders of humus, but rather, talk about “picking up a slice” on the way Uptown.

In the South, “picking up a Slice” would mean resurrecting an old canned, carbonated drink and before heading toward the softball diamond.

Each culture has its own little way of saying thing,

But there are words that are certainly forbidden in nearly every quarter. Therefore, I do not know many places where discussing a “crick” in anything would be accepted—unless it was complaining backstage at the Grand Ole’ Opry while eating a pulled pork sandwich with Memphis barbecue sauce, while sippin’ your Jack Daniels.


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Couth

Couth: (adj) showing or having good manners or sophistication

 I never get a chance to do anything couth because I’m too busy trying to correct my uncouth behavior.

I also think that we could make great advancements in our society and also in the human race simply by agreeing with each other about what truly is couth—and therefore being able to identify the patterns of action that would be uncouth.funny wisdom on words that begin with a C

What would be the top five attributes of being couth with people of every culture, from every nation, every religion and every predilection?

1. Learn how to listen by making eye contact and at least imitating interest.

2. Lead with kindness, even if you expect it to be rejected.

3. Smile more, even when you’re not taking selfies.

4. Contribute your talent where it will help—not where you wish it will help.

5. Be grateful.

I offer these five to you today as the Couth of Truth.

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Counterculture

Counterculture: (n) the culture and lifestyle of those people who reject or oppose the dominant values and behavior of society.

Take any thirty years.

Yes—look back in your history book and isolate off a thirty year period and you will realize that every group of people who was deemed to be “counterculture” was ignored for ten years, rejected for the next ten, but by the third decade had gained position, if not predominance.

It also holds true for our common values. Case in point:

Divorce used to be never spoken of—ignored, if you will. Then for a while it was rejected as unacceptable. And now, it’s not only a part of our society, but it is generally assumed that any human being over the age of thirty-five has divorced at least once.funny wisdom on words that begin with a C

An obvious example is the gay community, which was at first ignored, then heavily rejected, and now appears deeply rooted in the fabric of our culture.

Yet there are two outstanding exceptions to this theory—black people and women.

Our American citizens who happen to have black skin seem to have stalled somewhere between rejection and inclusion.

And women continue to be bandied about as sexual objects instead of living, breathing sisters in our fight for sanity.

’Tis perplexing. It certainly gives some food for thought.

For when I was a young man, the war in Vietnam was a symbol of courage and American will to fight communism. Enter the counterculture of anti-war. Now, the Indochina conflict is basically a very dark joke.

I, for one, am going to be very careful to reject to anything as counterculture—because even the faith I hold dear, which proudly meets in churches every Sunday, was once condemned to be a counterculture, secretly fellowshipping in the tombs.


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