Dealt

Dealt: (v) the result of an action of what was distributed or apportioned

Prostrate on the floor, short moments after tipping on my walker and falling, I was suddenly accosted with the reality of trying to get up.

I thought about all the times that people had joked, “I’ve fallen and I can’t get up…”

Every time I saw one of those commercials, I was cynical, not believing there could be a situation where a human would be unable to, as they say, rise to the occasion.

I was not injured.

I was just in a predicament where the assets available to me—the lack of strength in my upper body and the faltering of my legs, were threatening to hold me in my original splat.

I was not angry. I was not upset.

Dripping with sweat, I continued to try to disprove what my brain had already explained to me as my reality.

“You will need help.”

For today, this was what I was dealt.

I was moving along with my walker, on my way to my music room to write to you and to compose my thoughts for the day.

Then I wasn’t.

Normalcy was gone. For the first time in a long time, the weaker portions of my human existence had taken over, demanding attention and insisting on leaving me vulnerable.

I tried for half an hour.

Candidly, the attempts to lift myself and eliminate the problem were much more painful than the fall.

Those beautiful souls who are my family stood by, not knowing what to do, perhaps full of ideas, but intelligent enough not to turn the project into a committee effort.

This is my status:

  • Life gave me a brain—I developed the ability to write.
  • I persisted in singing until it was stageable.
  • I played piano.
  • I wrote symphonies.
  • I penned thirteen independent movies.

I can’t get up off the floor.

Today, this was included.

Not despaired nor frustrated–more curious how this tale would unfold, and where there would be a happy end.

After tossing it around in my mind from one brain cell to another, I finally surrendered to the need for outside help.

We called the fire department and in less than five minutes, four eager, young, willing, kind, docile and caring young men walked through the door.

It took about five minutes and they had me standing back on my feet and then sitting in my wheelchair.

I bypassed embarrassment and went to gratitude.

I kicked discouragement out the door and embraced humor.

There was a moment in the room when achievement was celebrated, and we all felt better for being part of a winning cause.

You can spend your life hoping for better cards.

Or you can work with what you’ve been dealt.

Cynical

Cynical: (adj) bitterly or sneeringly distrustful, contemptuous, or pessimistic

I can’t imagine what goddamn reason I can come up with for writing these essays every day of my life.

Am I so freakishly insecure that I must beg at the feet of the inconsiderate and preoccupied?

Did I get turned down too many times in high school for dates, causing me to yearn for some glance of approval?

I don’t know.

But it certainly can’t be to win over your affection.

Do you have any? I mean, outside of your great admiration for the mirror and thousands of pictures of your children on your Facebook account.

Is there anything that moves you—except when your dog stands in a cute position just prior to pooping on your floor?

Am I really supposed to survive another season of pretending to encourage the illiterate American public to go to a voting booth to pull the lever for the person they think is the most obnoxious in his or her ads?

I don’t know what possesses my soul—if I have one—to contend that one more feeble attempt from my weary writer’s brain will perhaps dent the surface of the Planet Mars, which is level of the American public’s receptivity.

What is wrong with me?

Who would possibly care about a word from the dictionary which I happen to explore from the perspective of my journey?

Isn’t there another rerun of a remake on Netflix that could provide a binge-watch for bragging rights?

Now understand, this was not written in an effort to be cynical.

It is cynical.

funny wisdom on words that begin with a C

Crapshoot

Crapshoot: (inf) anything unpredictable or risky.

 Very few things.

It used to be that there were very few things we regarded as a “crapshoot.”

The statement was considered comical—referring to something that was obviously beyond our control—like whether it was going to rain or how many potato chips would actually be in our latest bag, since they had begun to steal them from us each and every time.funny wisdom on words that begin with a C

“It’s a crapshoot.”

It was a cynical way of gently admitting that something was out of bounds and therefore wasn’t worth the amount of hair on a worry-nut.

Then something changed.

We found ourselves somewhat comforted by our depression, relieved of the responsibility of trying to solve difficult situations, and so, as time passed, more and more often events, relationships and circumstances were dubbed “crapshoots.”

Once we had stated that this is what they were, we could roll our eyes and walk away, pretending we were victims of circumstance, or swept away by trends and attitudes which had overwhelmed us.

Bullshit.

Below are five questions we should ask before we call something a crapshoot and walk away, giving up on it:

1. Is there anything I can do?

2. Is there anything I can get you to do?

3. Is there any obstacle I can throw in the way to impede the digression of a really bad idea?

4. Can I make fun of it until it goes away?

5. Can I go “over there somewhere” and start a countermovement to this foolishness?

If you ask all five of these questions and still end up helpless, then you may go ahead without condemnation, roll the dice and let the crapshoot begin.

 

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Courteous

Courteous: (adj) polite, respectful, or considerate in manner.

I do not want to be cynical, but I have given up on the concept of trying to call out mankind’s better nature.

My voice is hoarse, my throat is raspy, and my mind is boggled from the many attempts.funny wisdom on words that begin with a C

I think the approach needs to be different. Rather than trying to convince people that being courteous makes them excellent folk, what we should do is infuse into their awareness that being courteous keeps them from having to deal with bad shit.

For I will tell you—when you are self-centered and discourteous, you will inevitably offend someone and find yourself embroiled in an argument, feud or ongoing hassle.

These kinds of struggles take energy, time and close the door on the possibility of you being free of the interference of others because they offer their opinions openly about what an asshole you are.

Yes—take a moment and realize that being courteous is not the “noble path,” but rather, simply the opportunity to live a private, selfish life, where you don’t have to hear other folks explain to you why you should be more courteous.

So to sum it up in a nutshell:

Be nice

So you don’t have to pay the price

Of constantly being reminded of your vice.

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Bronze Medal

j-r-practix-with-border-2

Bronze medal: (n) a medal made of bronze, customarily awarded for third place in a race or competition

It is easy to be cynical if you’ve never done anything. You can make an assumption that you would be great.

But I have a question–what is the value of third place?Dictionary B

Look at it logically:

  • You decide to go to the Olympics.
  • You get funding.
  • You get up every morning at 5:30 and do your workout.
  • You win at some local competitions.
  • You decide you’re ready to go international.
  • You bolster your confidence.
  • You keep a positive attitude.

The day of the race arrives in the foreign land and you’re suddenly standing side by side with some of the greatest athletes in the world. They do not resemble your local competitors.

They are strong, sleek and more confident than you could even have imagined possible.

More importantly, they’re relaxed.

You aren’t.

You’ve just realized you’re out of your league.

Further complicating your situation is that your nerves are scrunching your bowels and nausea has landed in the pit of your stomach. You throw up, depleting your fluids.

It’s time to race.

You are not going to win.

You try to remember how to be positive, but it’s been scared away.

They sound the gun and you’re off.

At this point, you have given up on gold, mocking the concept of silver, and you’re wondering if you can beat the scrawny fellow to your left, to get bronze.

You are suddenly struggling for the worst medal.

And then, on top of all that, your legs fail you and you come in fourth.

So your story from the Olympics is that you almost got a bronze medal.

See?

The power of the bronze medal is that it complements your ability if you’ve already won gold. In other words, “Bobby won two gold medals, a silver and two bronze.”

Then you have those people who will tell you that second place is just the first loser.

So I guess that means that third place–the bronze medal–is the punchline for the first loser.

 

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Brace

j-r-practix-with-border-2

Brace: (v) to get ready for something difficult or unpleasant

“I’m not alone.”

This statement is the essence of human sanity.

Being alone makes us lonely.

Lonely causes us to think we’re insignificant.Dictionary B

A feeling of insignificance makes us believe our contribution is meaningless.

I am not meaningless.

But I must understand that common sense, compassion, tenderness, fellowship and faith are often isolated on islands, separated from the mainland by cynical thinking.

Brace yourself.

  • You need to be prepared to be considered an outsider if you’re going to bring anything of value inside.

Brace yourself.

  • People are not going to naturally be kind, but instead, are motivated in a mob mentality, to pursue such wisdom.

Brace yourself.

  • What is passed off as logic is often, within a few short months, considered to be harmful and rejected for its ridiculous premise.

Brace yourself.

  • Look for things that are everlasting, and pursue them with vigor.

Brace yourself.

  • If you aren’t considered a little weird, then there’s no reason for you to be in the game.

Brace yourself.

  • Loving your neighbor may be considered to be unnecessary, irrelevant and unrealistic.

It is time for people who do not view themselves as good, but who desire to pursue good … to do good things.

 

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Big Bang

Big Bang: (n) the supposed origin of the Universe.

“Choose your poison.”Dictionary B

I know that sounds like a cynical statement, but the truth of the matter is, if you were going to die by consuming a substance, it might be nice to be able to pick the one that was the least painful.

That’s what I feel about those who believe in Creationism, and others who assert the Big Bang theory.

Both story lines seem comically intricate and equally unlikely.

First, the faith it takes to believe in a supernatural Creator of the Universe is beyond the capacity of any living human soul. We are all perpetually in doubt that God actually exists, let alone holds a viable position.

On the other hand, the notion that some convergence of energy created an explosion which splattered matter across the darkened sky, to begin a festeringly long incubation towards life, which culminates with a kidney in a human body which knows how to regulate poisons out while maintaining blood pressure, is equally wild and wacky.

So for me it becomes a case of whether it’s all of one, a combination of both, or even the aggravating “neither.”

I do gyrate toward a belief in God simply because I am hopeful of seeing humanity grow sensitive to itself and one another, in order to prolong our stay on Earth instead of hastening our departure to unknown shorelines.

Yet I will never reject the discoveries of science, which help me to understand how our Universe came to be.

So when asked if I believe in evolution, my response is, “Evolution seems to believe in me. Thank God.”

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Belittle

Belittle: (v) to make someone or something seem unimportant.

Dictionary B

Those who belittle be “littler” than them belittled.

More and more as I age, in a season when conversation is salted with pepper, I realize that the absence of legitimate talent causes us to attack contributors out of a fear that we, ourselves, are nothing.

Even when I find myself being cynical, I realize it’s because I am jealous of those who have received attention, while my efforts have been relegated to the position of backstage storage.

We belittle because we be “littler.”

That’s the truth of the matter.

There isn’t a great idea ever hatched in the mind of a mortal that has not been forced to endure the ridicule of the ignorant.

It is why we suffer from a dearth of inspiration.

It’s not because the inspiration is unavailable. Those inspired lack the emotional armor to survive the gauntlet of the unrighteous condemners.

It is too bad that goodness is plagued by sensitivity–because for it to gain voice, it needs to escape temporary damnation.

I swear to myself that I will never belittle again. And then, because of my insecurity, I attack in order to protect my ego.

When it’s over, I feel bad.

But unfortunately, the moment has passed, and the chance to embrace beauty has been scared away … by my beast.

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Bail

Bail: (n) the temporary release of an accused person awaiting trial, guaranteed by a sum of moneyDictionary B

Once upon a time in a delirium far away, I considered myself to be a crusader for good. Matter of fact, I made it known to those around me that I was out to make my community a better place, one human soul at a time.

God, I felt noble. I actually sensed I was infused with supernatural energy and purpose.

In the process of walking through this cloudy-mindedness, I became known in my community as someonoe who would assist those who found themselves in trouble with the law, or even temporarily jammed into a jail cell.

So when Carrie called me at two o’clock in the morning, explaining that she had been falsely arrested for shoplifting and she needed help, I arose from my bed, put on my pants, grabbed my car keys and drove down to the city jail.

They allowed me to talk to her and I discovered that she had been shopping. apparently forgot that she had tried on some garment and was headed out of the store and was detained by security and placed under arrest for stealing.

It’s not so much that I believed her story as the fact that being under the influence of this false bravado of mission, I felt it was wrong of me to be cynical.

Her bail was $75, so I decided to pay it and let her come back to our house, where I intended to help her rehabilitate herself and become a fine citizen of the country that Washington and Lincoln built.

I noticed on the drive back to my house that Carrie had transformed from a repentant, teary-eyed lass of misfortune into a rather mouthy, self-centered and cautious individual, who wasn’t so sure she wanted to stay in our home. Matter of fact, by the next morning, she got itchy after breakfast, went out the door and I didn’t see her again until two weeks later, when I showed up for her court date.

She once again had donned her damsel-in-distress profile and succeeded in getting off with only community service for pinching the garments. Shortly after that, she disappeared.

I learned something through the process: nothing has value to any of us if we don’t have memory of possessing it and losing it.

$75 didn’t mean anything to Carrie, and the fact that I paid her bail was irrelevant. It had been some time since she had seen $75 and she certainly had never paid the bail for someone else.

It’s not that poor people are pernicious assholes–it’s just that they have no point of reference of what you’re giving up to help them, so it’s easy for them to walk away…without a thank-you.

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Bag Lady

Bag lady: (n) a homeless woman who carries her possessions in shopping bags.Dictionary B

Our society has become obsessed with converse thinking.

In other words, if you have the boldness to make a statement or take a stand on an issue which you feel is particularly important, there is always some cynical, perhaps even jaded, passerby, who will pull an obscure point of reference to disprove your contention and try to show it to be ridiculous or foolish idealism.

I mean, you can walk in a room and say to the gathered that we all should learn to love one another, and at the end of half an hour, the denouncing voices will explain that this kind of general affection among humans is impossible because of the dangers of crime and even terrorism.

Never is this more true than on the subject of the homeless.

I have often presented the theory to those around me that it doesn’t hurt one little bit to pull a dollar out to help folks on the street, without feeling the need to inquire of their intentions or plans on using your 100 pennies.

I am frequently argued to the mat by those who present a contrary view, insisting that I am emboldening these individuals to remain without solvency.

Sometimes I am informed how crazy they are.

A certain handful of detractors cite statistics concerning the criminal records of those without a place to sleep.

They will also point out that the homeless and the bag ladies are a blight on the community and needn’t be so because there are agencies to assist them in finding their place in society.

Yes, I will tell you, we live in a converse world.

Those who have decided to become our leaders feel it is essential to present the darker side of every issue as a precautionary tale, lest we become too open to one another and end up with messy conflicts through our generosity.

I am weary of it.

I don’t want to know what the bag lady is going to do with my dollar. If she needs a cheap bottle of wine to get her through the day, then God bless her.

And God damn me if I forbid it out of my self-righteous, superior attitude.

If we don’t get out of our converse thinking, we’re going to begin to believe that there are no absolutes which lead us to goodness.

Instead, in trying to find the potholes… we will cease to build roads. 

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