Clincher

Clincher: (n) a fact, argument, or event that settles a matter conclusively.

I often tell audiences that the best way to refrain from being an asshole and judging other folks is to maintain a profile of realization.

And here’s the realization: when you discover that people are unable to own up to mistakes and make a clean breast of an unfortunate event,
you can quietly walk away so as to not be around when they blow up.

It’s a clincher.

Although some people extol the beauty of morality and others pride themselves on pursuing perfection, those who possess great Earthly wisdom comprehend that failure is imminent and is only survived through repentance.

I don’t argue with people about this. Some travelers think it’s their job to convince others of the error of their ways. Yet there are enough pitfalls, stumbling blocks and quicksand available in the jungle that it is completely unnecessary for me to cut the legs out from under a friend or enemy.

It’s a clincher.

Wait and see what happens when someone falls short of the mark. What do they do? If they choose to rationalize, blame others or try to explain in painful detail why it is not exactly their fault, then you should give them an anemic smile.

Back your way out of the room and get away from the destruction that will soon be their life.

 

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Beacon

Beacon: (n) a fire or light set up in a high or prominent position as a warning, signal, or celebration.Dictionary B

Flashing lights.

No one likes them.

I suppose they’re okay on a Christmas tree. But if you’re in a room for a long time and the decorations are too garish, it can become annoying.

We were taught that flashing lights warn us of danger or at least, pending inconvenience. So I guess we need them.

Yet by the same token, a world without flashing lights is a sudden discovery of disaster without any way to prepare or avoid it.

Therefore a beacon can be one of the more unappreciated necessities in the world. They appear in our lives at a very early age.

For instance, you’re five years old. The first snow has fallen and you want to run outside and play–throw it in the air and maybe make a snow man.

You are stopped.

A beacon–your mother or your father–steps in and feels the need to take at least ten minutes of your precious snow time to don you in garbs which inhibit your free movement, all because they want you to be warm and not get sick.

Who knows if they’re right?

It isn’t like you can look back and say, “Yeah, because I wore my ear muffs and toboggan, I avoided a cold.”

No, it’s just an annoying flashing.

And then, when you become a parent and find the need to “beacon out” some piece of wisdom or counsel, you suddenly realize that you are the annoying, flicking going on in the life of a child who loved you moments earlier, until you interrupted the flow.

Case in point: I just finished seeing family for Christmas. One of my jobs is to be a beacon.

That means if I see something that could be ridiculous, dangerous or lead to unhappy conclusions, it falls my lot to flash out a warning.

God, it’s horrible.

For you see, everybody wants to be a cheerleader and not the director of the cheerleaders, who has to decide whether the skirts are too short.

Yet a world without beacons would probably end up being one big explosion of light, producing destruction instead of intermittent blinking.

 

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Babysit

Babysit: (v) to look after a child or children while the parents are out.Dictionary B

Babysitting would be tolerable, perhaps even pleasurable, if you were actually asked to care for a baby. Taking care of an infant might give you loads of time between diaper changing and bottle giving.

But most people don’t ask you to babysit their infant. No, they want you to take care of children between the ages of two and fourteen, who they know could never be left alone because they’re so out of control.

So as a babysitter, you walk in understanding that you’re at the mercy of the parenting skills of people who are so anxious to get out of the door and away from their sprouts that they barely have time to grant you a courteous greeting.

And of course, the little ones save up their worst antics and lies for the babysitter. Here are some popular ones:

  1. “No, it’s true. Mom always lets us have 4 cookies right before bed.”
  2. “We watch R-rated movies with our parents all the time.”
  3. “My mom and dad don’t discipline me. You’re being mean.”
  4. “I’m allowed to wrestle with my little brother unless he bleeds or screams.”

Well, you get the idea.

Kids are humans, and therefore much too intelligent to merely be “tended,” but instead, require corralling and sometimes, restraint. So babysitting is an arduous, fearful, cautious and often thankless job.

Because to get the kids and the mom and dad to like you means that you must be lenient enough that the children don’t have a vendetta against you … and the parents do not feel that the destruction in the house warrants you being fired. 

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Appease

dictionary with letter A

Appease (v.): to make (someone) calm or less hostile by agreeing to their demands.

“There is a way that seems right unto a man, but the end of it is destruction.”

That’s a damned strong proverb.

  • Why aren’t there things that seem to be right in our present thinking that don’t end up destroying us?
  • Why can’t we use reasoning power to discover paths of goodness instead of falling victim to ridiculous conclusions that render us devastated?
  • Is there nothing good in us?
  • Are we devoid of understanding unless divine intervention snatches us from the pit of delusion?

I don’t think God has given up on the human race. I hope humanism hasn’t given up on God. We just need to remember that appeasing certain aspects of iniquity and stupidity is to become entangled in a web of deceit.

So I have to ask myself, where am I vulnerable to such lunacy? Where does my desire to get along with everyone place me in the roll of victim instead of victor? How much collaboration is possible before it becomes dangerous compromise?

There are some things we cannot give up, even to appease:

1. No one is better than anyone else.

Any philosophy that tries to teach otherwise needs to be given the chance to change its position, and if not, needs to be abandoned.

2. Men and women are in this together, not as enemies, but as equals.

So even though many of my peers find it extremely humorous to joke about the battle between the sexes, ultimately there must be a peace treaty, or our race will never make progress.

3. Liberty and justice for all.

Especially for those I don’t agree with. Yes, I must caution my spirit to make sure that my preferences don’t cloud the common sense of granting freedom to my neighbors.

4. Lying is wrong.

Even when I do it.

And lying is the spreading of any untruth or misinformation, even if it seems to advance a good cause.

5. And finally, we are not alone and we’re also not helpless.

True spirituality is accepting the fact that there is a God–but He has entrusted us to do His earthly work.

If I find myself giving in to other people on these issues just so we can have a more pleasant conversation and not get indigestion over our Beef Wellington at dinner, then I stall civil liberties in favor of civility.

If you like sausage and onion on your pizza instead of mushrooms and broccoli, I will join you for one evening, munching on your predilection.

If you want to discuss your superiority over another race, religion or orientation…then be prepared for me to disagree.

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Aghast

Words from Dic(tionary)

dictionary with letter AAghast: (adj.) filled with horror or shock: e.g. when the news came out they were aghast

I was trying to figure out what horrifies me.

Like most human beings, I think I’m horrified by violence, destruction, death and mayhem. That’s good. (I mean, it’s bad. But it’s good that I think it’s bad.)

But there are other things that horrify me. I’m talking about that shock that startles your heart and makes your bowels tingle.

  • As I’ve gotten older, I’ve become horrified by the notion of performing activities I am not presently suited for in any way, shape or form.
  • I’m a little bit horrified when I watch television and realize that we have sunk to an era of fantasy, presumption, silliness and self-involvement.
  • I’m horrified by killing. I think I already said that.
  • I’m horrified by pornography. I think what horrifies me about that subject is the notion that women, who consist of half of the population on the planet, can so easily be trivialized and brutalized through a medium which is gaining more acceptance every day.
  • I’m aghast at prejudice–so much so that I’m willing to root it out in myself.
  • I’m aghast when I get around people who are overly confident in their abilities because it shows that improvement is so far from their minds.
  • I don’t think I’ve ever been horrified by a horror movie. That’s rather bizarre.
  • Yet I am truly horrified by death–my own in particular. I know as a person of faith, I should welcome the experience, or at least not be terrified of the journey, but that isn’t really my sensation. I enjoy life and I’m just not relishing the idea of seeing it end, especially since I am fully cognizant that things will be able to continue without me.

I guess what leaves me aghast is the notion of how easy it would be for us to be kinder to one another, yet we make the more difficult choice to conjure evil.

The thing I know above all else is that human beings don’t need any help from the dark regions of hell in order to come up with a way to destroy one another. Yes, I guess that makes me aghast.

For the truly horrifying part of life is realizing how easy it would be to create peace … as we blithely purchase more weapons for war.

ABM

by J. R. Practix

dictionary with letter A

ABM: abbr. anti-ballistic missile.

I’m in favor of that.

Normally, I wouldn’t call myself an “anti” person. But if we were taking a vote on ballistic missiles, I would have no trouble in joining the camp of those who would be against them.

There’s nothing positive about a ballistic missile. If you fired one at someone else, even the most hard-hearted individual would have to consider that human life was being destroyed–not even to mention tainting the land, which you would soon occupy through your conquering.

On the other hand, if someone’s fired a ballistic missile YOUR way, reasons for regret and dismay may be obvious.

One would think that the natural inclination would be to fall into the category of ant- ballistic missile. Isn’t it interesting, though, that the only way we have found to overcome the stupidity of creating a ballistic missile is by inventing another missile, which is shot into the air to prevent the first missile from hitting its target–by making the missile shot off first a new target?

Wouldn’t it just be easier to get RID of the ballistic missiles, instead of spending millions and millions of dollars to come up with a way to inhibit the dastardly original monster?

So let me get this straight–if someone shoots a ballistic missile at me, I now have a missile which I call an ABM, to shoot at their missile. Doesn’t that just open the door for an AABM? An anti-anti-ballistic missile, which is shot off simultaneously WITH the ballistic missile, to hit the anti-ballistic missile, so that the ballistic missile can pursue its mission of destruction?

And we wonder why politics and governments are constantly in turmoil of meaningless and confusing rhetoric. After all, if you are not willing to admit that the original idea of a ballistic missile needs to be eliminated, then you will spend your time constantly coming up with new “anti” plans to outdo your previous “anti” efforts.

Back to the original thought: if  we’re taking a vote–I’m anti-ballistic missile.