Cutting Edge

Cutting Edge: (n) at the forefront or lead

I am guilty of taking my brain on field trips to boring conversations with people who try to turn very old ideas into new concepts.

Or worse, they take something proven to be ineffective and merely rename it.

My brain gets very upset.

My emotions threaten to abandon in protest.

And during the process, my spirit slithers over into a corner and goes to sleep.

I don’t want to hear the phrase “cutting edge” until we’re actually willing to do something that cuts away the unnecessary, the unrighteous and the unworthy from our human paradox.

After all, you can’t have a cutting edge without some severing.

So what should we cut ourselves off from?

Here’s one:

The more highly we think of ourselves, the more elevated our consciousness will become. (Actually, we just become lofty assholes.)

I must give you a second:

Loving people is often impossible. (We adore this assertion—because then we can determine how quickly “impossible” arrives on the scene.)

And finally, a third:

Discovering our cultural differences helps us appreciate our diversity. (Actually, the more we talk about things being different for one another, the less unity we create.)

There is only one cutting edge: Love your neighbor as yourself.

So let us stop making so many goddamn excuses for why it won’t work.

 

funny wisdom on words that begin with a C

Cultural Diversity

Cultural Diversity: (n) the inclusion of diverse people in a group or organization

I was very surprised when I first discovered the varieties of chickens that are available. Matter of fact, it was during a slide show where a renowned farmer and breeder was explaining that “this group of birds over here was like this,” and “this group of birds over there had the following attributes…”

But as each slide passed in front of my eyes, all I could see were chickens.

I understand that’s because I am not an expert on the subject. Someone who studied it for years can look closely and find all sorts of indications that one conglomeration of chickens has a certain temperament, and another grouping is prone to a completely different behavior—not to mention that each one has unique desires for how they wish their parched corn to be seasoned.

I felt very stupid.

I was told that in some cases, an intermingling of these chickens will produce the most profitable and successful flocking.

But the professional also explained that focusing on one particular breed does allow for purity and predictability.

At the end of the lecture my head was spinning as I continued to peer at each slide in the show, forcing myself to notice miniscule differences.

The aberrations were quite important to this professional birdwatcher, but for the life of me, I could not distinguish one culture of “cluckers” from another. There were some unique colors and maybe a slight difference in beaks.

But it was all basically the same.

At the end of the evening, our guest speaker brought out cooked pieces of chicken from each one of the tribes of feathered friends. He explained the individuality we would experience while sampling each culture.

At the end of the demonstration I was very embarrassed.

When he asked me what I learned from the evening, I sheepishly looked at him and said, “It all tastes like chicken.”

funny wisdom on words that begin with a C

Criminal

Criminal: (n) a person guilty or convicted of a crime

If my recollection holds any accuracy of memory, I believe it happened right after my twenty-eighth birthday. I was in a room with a bunch of friends—and some strangers—and a question was posed.

“What was your first job?”

Well, I let three or four people go before me so that I could understand if I was on point, what the question really meant and the best way to answer it.

After the fourth teller finished his story about being a bag boy at a grocery store, I raised my hand and explained, “The summer between my junior and senior year, I joined some sort of national work program for teenagers sponsored by the government, which offered opportunities for local jobs at minimum wage. After volunteering, I discovered that the possibility afforded to me was working at the cemetery, cutting the grass and taking care of the gravestones.

“I was torn between being grossed out and wondering whether anything could be any more boring. But the only other thing available was with a farmer, bailing hay. I did not like hay. I didn’t like heat. I didn’t favor sweating and knew the farmer would be there the whole time, and I’d have to really work hard. I thought that the keeper of the graves might actually trust me to do the job without peeking over my shoulder.”

“I was right. Matter of fact, after about four or five days, I discovered he never showed up to confirm my work. So I started coming to the graveyard, signing in, and then leaving. I was able to continue this practice for about two weeks, collecting my check—until I finally got caught.”

At this point I stopped speaking, thinking I was going to get some laughter and maybe even a round of applause for my tale. But instead, a young woman sitting across the room gasped and said:

“Geez…that was criminal.”

Looking into all the faces around me, I waited for someone to speak up and offer at least some support for my ingenuity.

No one did.

I was angry.

Although I did not stomp out of the room, I made my exit from the party as quickly as possible without drawing attention to my frustration.

I fumed. How dare anyone accuse me of being a criminal? I knew what a criminal was. It’s someone who commits crimes, right? An individual who breaks the law and is tracked down by the police and thrown in jail, to stay there until they learn their lesson or complete their sentence.

Then a horrible thing happened.

My conscience showed up.

For some reason, my conscience was in a mood to talk, in a most accusing way.

Mr. Conscience reminded me that three years ago, I had skipped out on rent that was due.

He also brought up the fact that I copped some money from a drawer when I was at a friend’s house.

There were four or five examples that my goddamned nosy conscience decided to dredge up. Each one could be individually explained away—and had been, by my glib nature.

But collectively, they showcased an individual who felt he was superior to everybody else—certainly high and lifted above the rules—and therefore could do what he wanted.

The conclusion was simple. I was a criminal because I committed a crime by breaking the law, which was really a rule set by those who have the uncomfortable job of trying to make things run smoothly by seeking common ground among diverse people.

I was thoroughly ashamed.

Since that day I have not lived a faultless life, but I’ve never been a criminal again. Because even though I don’t always agree, I always know that agreeable is necessary.

funny wisdom on words that begin with a C

 


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Celebrate

Celebrate: (v) to acknowledge a significant or happy day or event with a social gathering

The reason needs to be larger than the plan.

I have often attended celebrations where the actual organization of the event overshadowed the purpose for us gathering.

I sometimes feel that way when I go to church. We forget that the real significance of clumping is to strengthen one another, build up our
confidence and share a common testimony of faith. Yet by the time we get done with candles, musicians, sound systems, bulletins, announcements and special music, the beauty of the conclave seems to get swallowed up.

What is it I’m celebrating?

I would agree with Kool and the Gang that I can celebrate good times.

Celebrate another day of living.

I love to celebrate that evil viciously appears to be dominant until it’s suddenly snuffed by its own greed.

I like to celebrate that something can be non-existent and because I’m alive, the creativity I’ve been granted can make freshness appear.

What are we celebrating?

Some of the holidays that hang around baffle me. I’m certainly grateful for the Armed Forces, but how many times are we going to salute them every year? And does every celebration in America have to be accompanied with a protracted exercise in gluttony?

I celebrate that even as I write this, all across the world there are people I will never know who read it–and out of their English grammar propriety, feel completely licensed to rip it apart.

What a wonderful world.

That’s what we can celebrate–with all its madness, diversity and pending doom and gloom, life still manages to give us a daily clean canvas, available for beautiful painting.

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Barring

Barring: (prep) except for; if not for.Dictionary B

Democracy is a bitch.

Just about the time you think she’s going to be faithful to your cause, she turns her back and flirts with other suitors not to your liking.

It’s the nature of allowing free will to have its way. Democracy refuses for you to steal choice from others.

Barring a miscarriage of justice, gay people in this country will be given complete rights and eventually be absorbed into the consciousness, to become either contributors to the common good or aggravating irritants.

There’s nothing that can be done about it, nor should anything be done. Otherwise, my freedom might get attacked by jerks.

Barring us becoming a religious nation guided by only one opinion, the United States will always fuss and fumble its way to granting the leniency of opinion to all of its citizens.

Such consideration does not eliminate prejudice, it just points an accusing finger in its direction.

Religious folks just need to understand that when it comes to the Christian way of thinking, the founder of our faith, Jesus, freely admitted that there are matters that are solely the concern of Caesar. And there are also decisions which can only be rendered in fairness by considering the love of God.

Barring insanity taking over our country, we will be a confused, arguing clump of often-grumbling citizens who in the long run, reluctantly agree to allow diversity.

 

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Thank you for enjoying Words from Dic(tionary) —  J.R. Practix

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Abelian

by J. R. Practix

dictionary with letter A

Abelian: adj. {mathematics} (of a group) having members related by a commutative operation (i.e. A x B = B x A)

Sometimes I wish we didn’t live in an A and B world. Actually, most of the time.

And if we insist on living in that separation, I wish we all would be more Abelian. In other words, find out that A x B does equal B x A.

There is a great chicanery going on in our society today. It is presented under the magnanimous banner of diversity. But if you look carefully, you realize the reason we want to extol our differences is in order to publicly or privately refuse equality to those who dare to vary.

It’s really sneaky.

Once you determine that somebody is unique–or at least off the beaten path of your lifestyle–you can smile at them, pretending that you appreciate their choices, while internally feeling superior that your particular inclinations are better.

No, we need to be more Abelian in our approach. Long before we discuss differences, we need to establish the certainty of equality. In other words, you are equal with me. Now, let’s sit down and learn about our individual choices.

If you don’t establish what’s equal first, you will use people’s differences against them.

Case in point: women are not different from men unless they’re first equal. THEN we can study, appreciate, argue, celebrate or even fuss about our variations. The discussion will be fruitful because it will be done in an atmosphere of “even-Steven/Stephanie.” If we joke about the differences before we’ve established an Abelian equality, we will never grant each other the dignity of justice.

Tricky, isn’t it?

Let’s find out what’s equal. We’ll have plenty of time to discover what isn’t.