Conviction

Conviction: (n) a fixed or firm belief

There is a new rule. If the word “rule” sounds too stodgy for you, then call it a guideline.

If “guideline” is still too restrictive, you may consider it an insight.

If “insight” gives you the creeps, then let’s just call it an idea.

Here it is:

You are allowed, permitted and granted an opinion, as long as you’re willing to be wrong.

The very second that you—or I, for that matter—start insisting that our opinion is really a conviction held by millions and even, maybe, heralded by the heavens, we probably need to be hauled off somewhere to live in a poverty-stricken situation until humility settles into our souls.funny wisdom on words that begin with a C

Discussion would be no problem if we actually discussed. We don’t. We enter discussions with convictions.

Disagreements would still be fine if we were conscious of the need to evolve. But we aren’t, because our convictions arrived to us engraved in stone.

It would even be possible to argue—as long as our convictions didn’t cause us to be arrogant, feeling that we’re pleasing a political party, a science project or a deity by being stubborn.

I used to have many convictions. I used to scrunch my face up when I heard people advance their theories or share their preferences.

Whenever I did this, my ass always found my hole and created an unrighteous unity.

Over the years I have abandoned, ignored, walked away from and giggled at many of my convictions, realizing that the majority of them were hatched in the henhouse of speculation. Let’s be honest—your speculation is as good as mine, and mine is pretty worthless.

So now I listen, I get an idea of what’s going on, and from that idea I develop an inkling which I take into the discussion, only to discover that much of my inkling needs to be trimmed away.

I am not impressed with convictions.

What truly touches my heart is seeing human beings who have the mercy and grace to be wrong while still smiling.


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Conversation

Conversation: (n) informal interchange of thoughts, information, etc., by spoken words; oral communication between persons

I guess I’m trying to understand Mr. Webster’s inclusion of the word “informal” in relationship to “conversation.”

I surmise that he might be thinking that a conversation is different from a discussion, because the minute it becomes a discussion it has an funny wisdom on words that begin with a Cagenda, or at least a main subject. And a discussion transforms into a debate if the two people talking are in disagreement, becoming an argument when each person is determined to stick to his or her guns, trying to convert the other person.

My problem with a conversation is that it often becomes two human beings reciting their resumes to one another, allowing time for the other one to counter with similar information. In other words, “How are your kids doing?” Space of time, space of time, space of time…

Now it’s my turn. “This is how my kids are doing.” Space of time, space of time, space of time…

Because of the social media craze in our world, even the discourses we have with each other live and in person have begun to resemble Facebook with verbal posts.

To me, that’s not a conversation. A conversation is best defined, I believe, by the idea that two people get together yearning for fellowship and hungry for fresh insight.

It’s not a series of soliloquies in which we hope the other person is listening, but rather, dialogue peppered with questions, some indecision, observations and enough incompleteness that the other party feels comfortable contributing.

Conversation is the absence of the deadly five questions:

  1. How are you?
  2. What have you been doing lately?
  3. How are the kids?
  4. Health been excellent?
  5. What’s going on with the job?

If you can avoid these five questions religiously, you can sit down and have an actual conversation, which can turn out to be truly spiritual.

 

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Controversy

Controversy: (n) a prolonged public dispute

It seems to have become a pastime of the human race—to make every statement, thought, feeling and action controversial.

It’s a way for us to feel important, by judging the world and the people around us.funny wisdom on words that begin with a C

But factually, the only legitimate door of controversy—the true opportunity to open a discussion which might warrant disagreement—is when common sense has been broached.

What is common sense?

It’s the glue that holds the dust of humanity together. It’s what we’ve learned from Adam to now—to be functional, workable and pleasing.

Every once in a while, common sense has to be challenged, because it failed to keep the door open long enough to include all of God’s people on the ark of safety.

Then we have a reason for controversy. For instance:

Are black people lesser than white people?

At one time, common sense said they were, so it had to be challenged and amended.

Are gay people perverts?

The common sense at one time, even among the psychiatric community, was that they were. Therefore, some controversy was necessary to embrace our brothers and sisters who found themselves in that situation.

Controversy is not somebody doing something you don’t like.

Controversy should only happen when the common sense we have all accepted needs to be challenged and expanded.

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Contentious

Contentious: (adj) containing argument or strife

There is no human being who is mature enough to recognize differences with another human being without setting up the arena for disagreement and fighting.

We think we are so damn open-minded, when what we really are is insecure enough that if we don’t surround ourselves with those who uplift our flag of opinion, we will soon, in a warlike fashion, start looking for enemies to emotionally punch.funny wisdom on words that begin with a C

The only way to avoid contention is to seek all things in common, so that when variations of thought rise to the surface, it is unusual rather than expected.

Otherwise, a Baptist having lunch with a Catholic is prepared to play Bible superiority. A Republican going to a movie with a Democrat is already determining that his or her opinion must differ—otherwise, what’s the sense of being Republican? And men and women, who certainly find joy and pleasure in one another, are prodded by the entertainment industry and countless books, to find occasions to be at odds.

It is very difficult to be contentious with someone who agrees with you.

So, if you set out to find points of commonality and humanity, then, whether you think there should be a pipeline running through the middle of the country or not, it has much less possibility of turning into a bloody war of mayhem.

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Conflict

Conflict: (n) a serious disagreement or argument

When trying to rent an auditorium, I once had the proprietor of the theater say, “Hold on. We have a conflict.”

We were just discussing dates–but he was right. That is what a conflict should be.funny wisdom on words that begin with a C

I want something. You can’t provide it.

You explain that to me, and we make other arrangements.

But Mr. Webster seems to think that for a conflict to be legitimate, there has to be a serious disagreement.

I, for one, am opposed to serious disagreements.

I am completely uninterested in adult conflict, which lends itself to arguments, pouting and grudges.

So today, I am determined to change the definition of the word “conflict” to a first-stage discussion which is elegantly handled by two or more mature, kindly, intelligent adult people.

Long before we become entrenched and start throwing grenades across the chasm, it is possible to say, “I think, on this point, we have a conflict. ”

Then conflict becomes valuable. It tells us that the circumstances we are pursuing are not suitable for everyone until they’re renegotiated.

It isn’t standing in the mud of a political party and insisting that if the other side doesn’t comply, they are either ignorant, or elitist.

We have a conflict. It is not insurmountable, unless we want to let that conflict lay around and become aggravated.

Let’s not do that.

Let’s immediately share when something is not to our taste, with the hopes that a simple conversation might render yet another possibility.

And may I say that often that third option is proven to be much better than either yours original, or mine.

 

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Arguable

dictionary with letter A

Arguable: (adj) able to be argued or asserted; open to disagreement

“I like to argue,” he said with a smile.

It was obvious that he found himself extraordinarily engaging. He believed that disagreement, even to the point of dissension, was often necessary in the human family, in order to bring about the compromise that pushes ideas forward.

It’s a very popular notion–matter of fact, we think we need Democrat and Republican Parties to create the tension that fosters our tenuous democracy.

Would we have television if we didn’t have arguments?

Many of these impasses are considered to be natural and healthy. For instance, the notion that men and women can understand one another and come to any mutual tendency seems absurd to the masses.

We have relented to a discourse which favors disagreeability.

  • I am uncomfortable with it.
  • I have lost the passion for my own opinion.
  • I am no longer enamored with the mere sound of my voice.
  • I do not feel strong by making others weak simply by overcoming them with my sentiments.

I think somewhere along the line those who argue need to understand that there are truths that exist, which must play out and be honored. Otherwise, merely winning the day in debate is a victory with little meaning.

Simply because someone can form the words to disprove my assertion does not make them right. It’s also not honorable when I over-think some issue and develop a presentation which counters good reason just for the sake of proving my prowess.

I think some folks would be happy with disaster as long as it was their idea.

Not me.

Sometimes I just like to shut up and see if there’s a still, small voice in the universe … that’s whispering wisdom.

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Altercation

dictionary with letter A

 J. R. Practix

J. R. Practix

Altercation: (n) a noisy argument or disagreement

I just found another oxymoron.

Whenever I find one it gives me a chill. How ’bout this one?

A quiet argument.

Certainly I’ve been around people who keep their voices down during altercations, trying to pass on the impression that they weren’t pissed off, but it usually failed miserably because they were biting their lip or exhibiting other behavior that was full of animosity.

Let us understand what an argument truly is. It will also help us to understand an altercation.

An argument is a disagreement between people who believe they can convince the other party of the merits of their opinion, and when they fail to do so, they reach for the closest childish tantrum still roaming around in their souls, and exhibit it.

If we actually did have discussions with the goal of finding balanced thinking on some issue, that would be great–filled with outstanding potential. But most of us are truly convinced that we can wheedle our will into someone else’s mind, either through intimidation or the use of our supreme intelligence.

I will not discuss anything with anyone unless both parties involved will admit that the reason the discussion has occurred is because each of us is ignorant in some way.

I don’t believe there is any such thing as a quiet argument. So an altercation is the posture we select when we feel that our egos haves been besmirched by the cunning efforts of our adversary … who is equally as egotistical.