Creek

funny wisdom on words that begin with a C

Creek: (n) a stream smaller than a river.

I’m sorry. That’s hardly a definition.

“Smaller than a river?” Isn’t that a rather broad category?

That’s not my recollection of a creek.

My memory of a creek is that if you waded in, it wouldn’t go much above your knees. The water, that is.

And there were so many rocks, fallen trees and leaves nearby that the flow was pretty brisk, a little splashy, and you could often see all the way to the bottom.

I was always taught that if you couldn’t see to the bottom of the creek or if the water wasn’t moving, you should probably not drink it. (This information was not given to me by a Native American or some scout hunting buffalo. I think it was my older brother, and I can’t count how many times he was wrong.)

But we had a little piece of land outside town that we owned, and we called our “farm.” It was a rather pitiful situation. My dad wanted to get some agrarian roots into our lives, so he tried to raise chickens, strawberries, some corn—and he built himself a little cabin in the nearby patch of woods, so he could occasionally escape, to play the part of Jack London “calling to the wild.”

Right next to that cabin, though, was a creek.

It wasn’t much of anything, but it was certainly shallow enough that every once in a while, when a fish got trapped because it missed a turn in one of the nearby rivers or got distracted from the reservoir—well, you could see it as clearly as if it were staring you in the face.

We had such a fish which I tried to catch on several occasions.

It was extremely odd. I could see the fish moving, imagine what it was thinking, but I still ended up frustrated as the fish stole my bait and wiggled away.

One day I came home from school and my older brother had an iron skillet on the stove and was frying up what ended up being a big fish.

I said, “Hey, Dan, where’d you get the fish?”

He laughed and replied, “You know that big ole’ fish that was in the creek? I caught it.”

I went to my room and cried.

I don’t exactly know the complete reason for my tears, but I imagine it was the mingling of getting bettered by my brother, not catching the fish myself, seeing it lay in the pan as an entrée—or maybe just knowing that my creek had lost its only friend.

 

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Covenant

Covenant: (n) an agreement between two or more persons to do or not do something specified.

 I have neither the time nor the patience to seek out another person to agree with me to seal the deal. So I guess I cannot officially call my rant a covenant.

But I will anyway—because no one is here to stop me.

I do have a covenant with myself. Bluntly:

I’m sick of the shit.

I’m sick of people making a livelihood off stirring up trouble.

I’m sick of politics being given a free pass to be disingenuous and evil.funny wisdom on words that begin with a C

I’m sick of the shit put out by a religious system that hides behind two or three verses of scripture, to attack and destroy two or three billion people.

I’m sick of the shit inside me—which causes me to want to hold back the true essence of my soul for fear that I’ll be found unworthy. Hell—I am unworthy, and so far, still alive.

I’m sick of the shit that makes us believe we can be prejudiced against half of the population simply because they nurture a vagina. Many times we’re grateful for that vagina, so for us to declare it insipid, weak and lesser might be considered hypocritical.

I’m sick of the shit that I was taught as a boy which kept me away from the simplicity of loving my neighbor as myself, but instead, checking skin tone first.

I’m sick of this shit.

And I don’t think I’m alone.

The only problem is, the people who might have enough heart and spirit to be sick of the shit won’t use the word shit. And the folks who are reveling in the shit don’t really think it’s stinky, just historical. (Sometimes historical is hysterical…)

So I may be more alone than I think. But if you’re sick of the shit, just like me, do me a favor and join me in this covenant.

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Cheap

Cheap: (adv) at or for a low price.

It is time, once and for all, to resolve the conflict between what is being cheap and what is being thrifty.

Since there were no smart people available, I have decided to take on the task.

You know you’re cheap when you really want it done for free.

You know you’re thrifty when you know it should cost money, but you’re just looking for the best deal among several pricings.

The problem with our nation is that we’re a bunch of cheap bastards. We’re not really happy unless somebody gives us something. If we have to open our wallet at all, we’re prepared to complain, no matter how reasonable the price may be.

Capitalism is a system that works on the basis of a free market, with businesses competing with one another to gain customers. If you insert cheap people in there–who want something for free–then you’ll get fakes, shams, hooligans, grifters and thieves who come in to hoodwink the selfish masses.

If somebody does something for me, they deserve something back.

I know it sounds ridiculous, but we do live in a time when the anticipation of “free stuff” has driven us to the point that the poor in our country are just as greedy as the rich.

If I go to a restaurant and a server brings me food and drink and asks me if I like the way my hamburger was prepared, that person deserves money from me. Not just from the boss. From me. He or she is serving me.

We need to stop saying, “They’re just doing their job.”

And if the server ends up not being very likable or helpful, he or she should get nothing from me.

Everybody knows that money talks. It’s what we communicate with.

So when you walk around hoping something will be free, then be prepared to be cheated.

Because even though the bar offers free snacks, they just charge more for the watered-down beer.

 

 

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Browbeat

j-r-practix-with-border-2

Browbeat: (v) to intimidate someone, typically into doing something, with stern or abusive words.

I need an answer.

Better phrased, perhaps a definition.Dictionary B

I want to live a life where I freely and honestly input those around me, even if it’s not the common grind or goes against the flow.

I don’t need to be right. But I do need to make sure I speak–so I can tell myself that I’m participating.

Here’s the problem: one man’s “counsel” is another man’s “browbeating.”

In other words, some people can listen to my opinions, take them into consideration, use the more valuable parts and be appreciative for the encounter. But there are other folks who thrive on the elixir of confirmation and encouragement and consider any contrary view to be a personal attack.

And it doesn’t do any good to say “it’s their problem.”

Because in the long run, how we treat people is not based on our intention, but is solely determined by their reaction.

We may not like that, but it isn’t up to us to decide for another human how they should invest our pearls of wisdom.

What is browbeating?

I think I’ve finally come up with a conclusion:

Browbeating may very well be bringing up the same subject that was discussed earlier with greater intensity, because it wasn’t applied after the first conversation.

I don’t like that rendition, but it is a way to keep my opinions viable … but also extracted when they cease to be of any consequence.

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Blame

Blame: (v) to assign responsibility for a fault or wrong.

I’m always looking for a true definition of maturity.Dictionary B

Having rejected the possibility of “old, experienced, educated or powerful,” I have decided that true maturity is when human beings finally reject the futility of blaming.

Blame–the extra step we add in the process of allegedly solving problems while actually manufacturing a maze that takes us deep into the jungle of confusion.

We exhaust ourselves trying to find out why stupidity happens by generating new stupidity through the investigation.

  • Sometimes blame is obvious. Then mercy is in order.
  • On other occasions blame is shared. At that point, some candor would be nice.

But blame is often a mystery. As the great and wise Solomon said, “Time and chance happens to all.”

Yea, we all take our turn in the fast lane–and also stalled in the traffic jam.

For of a truth, maturity is when we finally realize that pursuing the source of the difficulty often hinders the solution.

And unfortunately, it also turns us into self-righteous, judgmental black holes.

 

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Beggar

Dictionary B

Beggar: (n) a person, typically a homeless one, who lives by asking for money or food.

I was always curious what was meant by the word “chooser.”

You know–the classic closer on the phrase, “beggars can’t be…” culminating with the object, “…choosers.”

So much is made of choice.

We extol it as a symbol of our control, prowess and independence. But an amazing percentage of the events that transpire in our lives provide us no opportunity to choose, and often make us look like beggars.

People diagnosed with cancer have certainly not been given a chance to select a disease, and suddenly find themselves beggars to the doctor–and if they happen to be individuals of faith, on their knees, begging the heavens.

I guess we’re afraid of the word beggar, because no one wants to be beggarly. As Webster has proven in the definition provided for us today, we relegate being a beggar to the bedraggled homeless element in our society, who should be grateful for our pocket change, while no real change is ever offered to them.

Are they just destined to be poor?

I don’t think anyone is a beggar unless we treat him like a beggar.

If you have a five-year-old child and you take him to the store, and you haven’t provided a plan to give him a treat, you will end up with a little beggar on your hands.

If you’re a well-employed, successful individual who wants to purchase a house, but find yourself a few points deficient in your credit score, you may very well turn into a beggar in front of your loan officer.

So perhaps a beggar is not a position, but rather, a judgment we lay on each other when we want to feel superior and make another feel inferior.

For instance, my children will still come to me, asking for money. I have a choice. I can roll my eyes and be disgusted that they have the audacity to request finance from me, or I can make sure to remove all the elements of “beggar” from their consciousness, and let them know how delighted I am to be of assistance.

Last week I gave five dollars to a gentleman sitting alongside the road. Feeling he had a role to play, he began to grovel and feign tears in an attempt to prove to me that I was his superior and he, the dependent.

I refused to be part of the play.

I told him it was my blessing–that I hoped that in some small way he would be able to use it to brighten his day.

I took the “beggar” out of the definition … and gave him the chance to just be a man who I was able to assist.

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Apple-pie order

dictionary with letter A

Ap·ple-pie or·der (n): perfect order or neatness.

When I read today’s definition, I realized I had no recollection or information on this terminology, and since I am a writer on the Internet, I am fully qualified to expound on it in great detail.

For I will tell you–I like the phrase “apple-pie order,” and I realize that it is never used in our generation simply because we find that a certain amount of disarray is necessary to convey our individuality.

If you want to lose friends and not influence people, just suggest they initiate organization. It is the classic definition of “buzz kill.”

Because even though people cannot argue with your assertion that a certain amount of prioritizing is essential, they feel very American and freedom-minded by continuing their chaos in bliss.

What is the apple-pie order of life? Does it vary from one situation to another? Or has the evolution of the human experience shown us exactly how we work best?

I think that we, as human beings, are heart, soul, mind and body creatures.

When we make our decisions based on our bodies, we normally end up in some derivation of excess or hedonism.

If we decide our life goal based on what we think, we borrow too much from our training and parents’ philosophy and never gain our own sense of purpose.

Even those who feel they’re very spiritual by promoting prayer and God-seeking in the forefront tend to sprout too much piety and not enough practicality.

So we must begin with the heart. If we don’t deal with our feelings and rectify them with reality, they will hang around and kick us in the butt if we turn our backs.

So I think the apple-pie order when attempting to place things in a realistic framework is to start out with:

  1. What do I feel about this?
  2. Is there abiding knowledge or wisdom on the issue?
  3. Can I think of a way to take what I’ve just discovered about my feelings and universal truth and come up with a great idea?
  4. Can I motivate this old bod that I’ve carried around and encourage it to perform the functions that make me appear adept instead of inept?

So it turns out that the apple-pie order is so much like the dessert itself: it works better if you take some time to seek out an a la mode.

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