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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Cosmopolitan

Cosmopolitan: (adj) free from provincial ideas or attachments; at home all over the world

As he sat down, he stared at me.

It was a very small waiting room in a dentist’s office, so what I was doing was noticeable. It was also quite obvious that he found my activityfunny wisdom on words that begin with a C
humorous.

I was reading Cosmopolitan Magazine.

There were three choices: Popular Mechanics, Highlights for Kids, and Cosmopolitan.

I suppose if I were trying to confirm my masculinity, I should have thumbed through Popular Mechanics, though mechanical things have never been particularly popular with me.

I decided to comment since he continued to stare at my magazine. “I’m reading Cosmopolitan because it was here—and I was curious.”

He nodded his head in disdain.

I ventured one more sentence of explanation. “Don’t you ever wonder what women are thinking about us?”

He didn’t even look up for this question—just shook his head.

While I was waiting my turn to be drilled, I learned three things about women of this day and age, from perusing Cosmopolitan.

  1. Women are much more concerned about what men think and feel than men seem to be about women.
  2. For some reason, a woman thinks it is her fault in some way when she ends up with a man who is unable to communicate or seems to have “lost interest.”
  3. Women feel they can pursue a five-point plan to transform their hopeless situations to better, more romantic results.

I simultaneously was filled with admiration and sadness.

I found the pursuit placed in this magazine to be far from cosmopolitan, since “cosmopolitan” is the ability to function and be successful in any culture or environment at any time.

This magazine more or less was a handbook to explain to women why they are not crazy, insecure or extreme in their misgivings.

What the magazine was trying to impress upon its readership—mainly female—is that men are waiting for the right signals to become objective, interesting and involved.

When it came my time to head for the dentist’s chair, I closed the magazine and thought, I could probably make a million dollars by printing a magazine that encouraged women to be themselves and realize that men will eventually come in their direction since the alternatives are limited…and they do get horny and hungry.


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Cornhusker

Cornhusker: (n) a Nebraskan

It would be much easier to claim that you’re a cow if you’re able to chew your cud and moo. Producing milk would also be a positive.

When I graduated from high school and opted not to go to college because my wife and I were pregnant with possibilities, I realized that I did funny wisdom on words that begin with a C
not want to be the kind of guy who didn’t go to college and worked at the kind of job this kind of guy is forced to take.

I liked music. I thought I had some talent.

No one ever actually sat down with me and made suggestions on how to use my ability or guided me in a direction of turning my existing efforts into some sort of cash flow.

I was told that I was not allowed to do anything but get a job and take care of my family.

I didn’t want to do that.

Now, I’m not asking you to side with me on this issue, nor am I desiring your cultural rebuke. I’m just explaining that if I were claiming to be a singer and a musician, I needed to go “music” somewhere.

So discovering in a very obscure newspaper a notice that there was a coffeehouse opening up in Kearney, Nebraska, I contacted the fellow beginning it on the phone, told him about my little group, and said that we would love to come and share at his new venue. He was thrilled (since we were from Ohio and he was all the way in Nebraska.)

It didn’t even cross my mind to look at a map. Before I knew it, the gentleman invited us to come and sing at the coffeehouse with the promise that he would “help out with gas.”

At that point in my life I had a van which creaked and squeaked just driving around town, threatening to break down at a moment’s notice. I didn’t care. Nor did my three other comrades.

We set out for Kearney, Nebraska. Matter of fact, when I began this essay today, I had to look up how far it was from Columbus, Ohio, to Kearney, Nebraska. I am so glad I didn’t have the Internet back then, because the distance one way is 968.4 miles.

We packed in some soft drinks, made some sandwiches, gathered as much money as we could borrow and pull out of couch cushions, and took off. We joked about “touring to the Cornhusker State,” never realizing that it would be many, many hours—twelve to be exact—before we would be anywhere near those who were traditionally proclaimed “huskers of corn.”

I’m happy to report that we actually made it there.

As is often the case, the opportunity was even smaller than I could have imagined. But the fourteen people who showed up said they were really impressed with our songs and happy we had made the trip. They gave us thirty dollars for our gasoline, a bushel of sweet corn and a peck of apples.

It was my first payday.

The round trip, as you can imagine, ended up being nearly two thousand miles.

But I was young, looking for an adventure, and especially trying to find a way to escape—for one week—from hearing all the town cronies telling me what a deadbeat I was.


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Contact

Contact: (v) to communicate with someone

Despair often follows the conclusion that something is either complicated or perhaps impossible.

Matter of fact, if you want to discourage another human being, just spend too much time explaining the difficulty of a simple task. They will funny wisdom on words that begin with a Cnot only avoid pursuing it, but will be grateful to you for helping them to avoid the bee hive.

To a major degree, that is what has happened over the past fifty years, as our sociologists have turned racial relations into trigonometry.

Forsaking the notion of the commonality of all mankind and the idea that additional contact would soon eliminate our predilection for looking on the outward appearance, these learned fellows and ladies have concluded that our species prefers to clump into heaps of mutual culture.

Once we establish that somebody is from a different culture than us, our job is to respect them–which we think means to avoid them.

A lack of contact forbids having a “contact high” when we get around a person who looks different, speaks uniquely and dresses to taste.

You suddenly realize that all cultures have families.

Every culture has a potato derivative.

Every culture has their own hamburger.

And indeed, every culture, when contacted, can offer the same warmth and gentleness of love.

 

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Mr. Kringle's Tales...26 Stories 'Til Christmas

(click the elephant to see what he’s reading!)


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Constellation

Constellation: (n) a group of stars forming a recognizable pattern

Christmas: when the nays and yeas get together to discuss a baby born in the hay.

To me, It is the only wearisome part of the season. One group tries to convince the other group that the Christmas story from the gospels of Matthew and Luke is not only possible, but also historical.

The other contingency works really hard to dismiss the whole, ridiculous notion of a virgin birth, a Star of David and “angels we have heard on high.”funny wisdom on words that begin with a C

I take a different approach.

I like to consider what the world needs and what the Earth craves, and then find things in the perimeter which feed that urgency.

The world desperately needs all of us to become human instead of men, women, gay, straight, family, country and culture.

So I flip to Christmas: “We bring you tidings of great joy. Peace on Earth, goodwill toward men.”

The Earth also desires respect. Yes, we are a bratty species which thinks the environment is our personal roll of toilet paper.

And then we have the story of the Star of Bethlehem. Somewhere out there in the constellations there emerged a star. The popular belief is that this would have to be a huge star–not necessarily true since the people who followed it were star-gazers, and would not need to be “star-struck” in order to be intrigued with a particular heavenly body.

The elements of the Christmas story are concepts that we, as humans, would have to pursue even if there was no God. For example:

  1. Be prepared to do what is unusual, or expect the usual results.
  2. Don’t expect everything to come the way you predicted it. Maybe a woman will be the hero of the tale.
  3. Look to the stars. Look for some light. Look for some hope. Follow it.
  4. Listen for the better angels, who tell us to try to get along.

My only regret at Christmas time, as an author, is that Matthew and Luke beat me to the publisher.

Because I’ll tell ya’–I would write that story any day of the week, knowing that it was not only needful, but destined to be a hit.

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Mr. Kringle's Tales...26 Stories 'Til Christmas

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Consensus

Consensus: (n) general agreement

Consensus is a general agreement to handle major issues in a way that causes us to become captains of our fate.

It is escaping private opinions.

To say we are desperately in need of consensus on many of the issues of Earth-life might be the greatest understatement ever spoken–next to “Do you think thatfunny wisdom on words that begin with a C
iceberg is going to give the Titanic any problems?”

There are six categories, and I am going to venture, nobly but humbly, to give my consensus on six of these common Earth circumstances:

  1. Earth

The Earth is not yours, it is not mine. It runs on a system. It rewards those who diligently learn the technique and the nurturing of Mother.

  1. God

No one knows. Stop pretending you do. Certainly stop pretending you don’t. God is an unknown quantity which will end up being of great benefit to us if we want to continue the energy of our existence after death–and always points us to the beauty of His Earth and how it works if we’ll respect Father’s opinion about Mother.

  1. People

They are neither a hazard nor a blessing, but rather, a necessity. You will be completely incapable of getting your Big Mac at three o’clock in the morning if there are no people. Our best consensus on dealing with people is to cease looking at them by color, religion, culture or sexual orientation and begin to embrace them as the cousins they are.

  1. Work

Human beings are at their most harmonious when they put labor and effort of twenty-five hours into each week. That’s five hours–Monday through Friday. If we became accustomed to that work schedule we would not only be happier, but also most efficient.

  1. Love

Love is neither an emotion nor is it a sentiment. It is the atmosphere that fosters the cooperation necessary for work, people, God and the Earth to hum. It is a committed affection.

And finally:

  1. Romance

Although there are many barriers that come to play with venereal diseases and unwanted pregnancies, those who attempt to deter romance, boxing it up into neat little units of propriety, historically end up looking like supreme assholes.

A little romance does a lot of good. Often a lot of romance does very little good.

I present my consensus on these issues. Of course, yours is just as good as mine.

And where they overlap, may we join together in hilarious fellowship.

 

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Mr. Kringle's Tales...26 Stories 'Til Christmas

(click the elephant to see what he’s reading!)


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