Couch: (n) a piece of furniture for seating

Although I am just as guilty as the next man or woman of what we shall call “greedy” prayers—those wishes and supplications we make to God and the universe to improve our bank accounts—I am also fully aware that some of the best times of my life transpired when I was funny wisdom on words that begin with a C
unencumbered with the desire for finance, and found great joy in simply trying to survive.

There were many aspects of that process. Let me boil them down to three categories:

  • Eat
  • Sleep
  • Escape

When you’re poor, every day there is the need to find something to eat and also a safe place to sleep and something that is more comfortable than a cardboard box to rest your bones upon, and then, to have the intuition to escape creditors, family members, critics and anybody else who would try to “guilt” you into a lifestyle that mirrors their own.

Now right there, friends, is a full-time job.

If you do not have money, finding enough to eat, a place to sleep, and a way to escape the scrutiny of your adversaries will keep every child of God busy until morning’s light.

I learned the simplicity of finding change and turning it into a couple of dollars which would buy enough bologna and bread to make a meal—if I slipped out into the woods and picked myself some wild blackberries.

And I certainly knew how to circle a neighborhood and find a discarded couch which was heading for the dumpster and had nothing wrong with it except some dirt and recent rain that fell while it sat awaiting its execution.

That couch was fair game. It was rejected, left alone and on a public sidewalk. If I could jump out of my beat-up van, lift it in, and take it back to my location of rest, I could have a place to sit and sleep. There were times I broke out in tears over discovering a particular sofa that was so comfortable that it literally “couched” my aching muscles for many weeks.

I was amazed at what people will give away, throw away or discard because in their opinion, it got old too fast.

I was also astounded at how many doughnut places took their mistakes and day-old product and dumped them out every morning at 8:16 A. M.

And I was careful to swoop in at just the right moment, taking as little time as possible to procure a couch or a beat-up box of rejected doughnuts.

Poverty is an adventure in exhaustion which receives no applause for ingenuity.

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Athlete: (n) a person who is proficient in sports and other forms of physical exercise.dictionary with letter A

I often find myself aggravated when I listen to one of the pundits on ESPN or other sports programs talk about athletes having a “God-given ability.”

I think it’s one of the largest cop-outs in our society. It seems to me that when we discover that anything will take effort or demand commitment, we pull out the DNA card and insist that “we are not born with that particular inclination.”

The trouble with ignoring your inner athlete is that you rob yourself of the grace, agility and even healthy lifestyle that are conducive to human well-being.

I think it’s disgusting that we are not encouraging all young people to participate in some sort of team sport actitivity, which would enhance their abilities, so that they would possess the confidence and physical know-how to maneuver themselves through the narrow spaces of life.

Yes, athletes have an advantage, and it’s not just in high school and college. People who are athletic tend to stay trimmer, thinner and in better health than those who aren’t.

As a young boy I was allowed to vegetate, with the most exciting part of my day being breakfast, lunch and dinner. The end result was obesity.

When I finally got old enough to discover my “athlete in residence,” I was already so overweight that it was nearly impossible to return to a normal size. It has to start early–and we have to escape the notion that our five-day-old child has a personality; that because he laid his tiny hand on a ball in the room that he will someday be a superb “baller.”

We are trapping our children in a destiny that doesn’t exist, and in so doing we are robbing them of the power to find the full extent of their athletic ability, which grants them the jubilance and health to be alive and virile.

  • We are all athletes.
  • We are all given opportunity.
  • We are all provided life.

And as soon as we allow our children to tap that energy within them, the obesity rates that have been going up will suddenly drop.

For I will tell you–it’s not about how much you eat.

It’s about how you burn it.

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