Curtail

Curtail: (v) to prevent, reduce or diminish

Imagine a door.

Standing at the door is a tall fellow—broad shoulders—a bit intimidating.

You are pleased to see that he has a smile on his face.

Yet as you stand back and watch, someone approaches the door. Our guard steps in front of it and says some words to the person that you cannot hear. He responds belligerently. The doorman holds his ground and the visitor stomps away, infuriated.

Now you’re curious.

You wonder what’s behind the door. Let me tell you. Yes, to make the story more interesting, I will let you know.

Beyond that door is joy without shame.

The acquisition of being happy with the world around you and pleased with yourself without being haunted with the regrets of bad choices or unnecessary shortcuts.

Are you interested?

So now that I’ve told you that, are you prepared to approach the door?

Of course not. You just saw someone rejected, and he didn’t look any worse or better than you.

Beyond all means, the worst thing, in our minds, is to be rejected.

Even in the pursuit of joy without shame, it wouldn’t be worth being refused entry, dragging your ass away, refused entry.

So let me give you another clue.

The man standing at the door will only ask you one question.

(Don’t roll your eyes. I didn’t say it was a great clue.)

Just one question.

You still seem perplexed.

Okay—let me give you one more clue. I’ll tell you what the question is.

That perked you up. Here it is:

What are you willing to curtail and change to receive joy without shame?

Be careful, now. Because all the religion, politics, philosophies and entertainment have flattered you and me to believe that we are fine the way we are. Just misunderstood.

Since our youth, we’ve heard it: “Be yourself.”

And now you’re coming to a door where you’re being told that you will be required to deny false gratification, insincere sentiments and dispel lies to come in and find joy without shame.

Are you prepared?

Are you willing to look into the face of politics and say, “There is no hope in you because you lie to me, thinking I’m a liar, too, and will understand your lies?”

You will have to gaze into the glassy eyes of religion and say, “I need more than eternal salvation. I require a human life that is abundant with experience.”

Can you curtail your faith that entertainment will provide the necessary food for your emotions, soul and body, and instead, call it out for failing to recognize your whole person?

And finally, push away from the false comfort of a pop psychology, giving you false confidence instead of challenging you to learn your world.

Are you ready to walk up to this “bouncer?”

Or do you need some time?

Yet I will tell you—the question will always be the same.

Certainly, the smile on his face will always be there, but the choice remains.

The decision is yours.

Are you prepared to curtail foolishness to gain wisdom and peace of mind? 

funny wisdom on words that begin with a C

Culminate

Culminate: (v) to end or arrive at a final stage

Many folks do not get to see how their actions culminate, because they get caught up in the muddle of the middle or the slump of the start.

Is it possible that we’re so afraid of losing that we don’t persevere?

Or do we quit because we get more excited with the energy of starting up?

Do we fail to get started because talking a good game is exhilarating, but responding to the alarm clock is quite difficult?

Yet if you were able to pinpoint one of the major problem areas in society—government, entertainment, education, business or religion…

You would have to say that nothing ever seems to cross the finish line.

Fascinating to me is that everything that does not culminate by coming to a righteous conclusion instead culminates with an excuse. And of course, once we learn to make excuses, we develop a need to embellish. (And embellishing is just another way of setting out to lie.)

So absent fruit born from the seed of our notion, we must quickly provide a story to explain the source for the failure or exaggerate any success.

How courageous do you have to be to line up all your ducks, and without fear, let them go?

What is the source of the anxiety that prevents us from such an action?

Maybe it’s because we believe nothing is ever what it’s “quacked up to be.”

 

funny wisdom on words that begin with a C

Crude

Crude: (adj) lacking culture, refinement, tact

The reason the Golden Rule is so glimmering is that it involves us in each situation by requesting that we consider how we would feel if we were placed in the dilemma. Of course, you don’t have to do that.

No one is being executed for breaking the Golden Rule.

(Dare I say, there are some folks who would applaud you for ignoring it.)

But it reminds me of when I was a teenager in search of adventure in a community that may once have been a one-horse town but ended up selling the nag.

I usually got the car on Saturday nights.

Gasoline was cheap. So I drove around for a long time until I picked up a friend or two. Then we went out and tried to get in just enough trouble that we could escape at the last moment, giving us the exhilaration of danger without the repercussions.

There was a lake right outside the town. I discovered a small, unpaved road that went right alongside the bank of this body of water for about a mile—with bumps, foliage and a sense of “what’s going to happen next?” in every direction.

The road was precarious and scary

After a mile it opened up to gravel, climbing an embankment and placed me onto a well-traveled highway.

We were so thrilled with our adventure that night, we decided to bring along a couple of girls the next Saturday night and do it again. Being adolescents and not having well-formed brains, we failed to recognize the ramifications of the huge rainstorm that occurred in the middle of the week.

So on Saturday night, all four of us, in my Impala, headed down toward this deserted path, only to discover that once we were about a quarter of a mile into the excursion, the region that had once been bumpy, with holes, was now flooded.

There was no way to back up, so stupidly, I decided to go forward into the watery muck.

And, you guessed it—got stuck.

This incident happened long before Triple A and cell phones existed. We realized that unless somebody was going to walk back to civilization, which was about five miles, we were going to have to get out of this predicament on our own. (This included the young ladies who had come along for a lark, and now were on the deck of the Titanic.)

It took an hour of pushing, rocking, splashing, our clothes completely mud-splattered, to get free, but finally we escaped and were safely on the highway again.

It was crude.

For you see, crude is often that pursuit of adventure or comedy that soon must go too far to provide entertainment.

Crude is failing to use your sensibility and sensitivity to provide a safe haven for your friends to come and enjoy your fellowship.

Crude is forgetting the better parts of being a human and settling for jungle fever.

Crude is when, for some reason or another, we just decide to be a rude dude.

funny wisdom on words that begin with a C


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Courier

Courier: (n) a messenger who transports packages and documents

After many years of receiving mail, packages and having messages transferred all over the world, I can probably count on two hands the number of times that something went afoul.

Stop for a second and think about that.funny wisdom on words that begin with a C

Especially in this age of free shipping and orders being delivered to your door, seemingly night and day, how do these companies maintain such a meticulous record of efficiency?

I know it’s popular to attack institutions, religion, politics, business and entertainment, but every once in a while we should stop and consider the courtesy and care given by the courier.

For we certainly believe with all our hearts that if we mail a letter, ship a package or send something overnight, it is going to arrive safe and sound—often within the tiny window of our desire.

There is nothing else I know of that is so constant.

  • The grocery store runs out of sales items.
  • Politicians lie.
  • Religion can leave your soul dry and unfulfilled.
  • Entertainment is hit and miss.
  • And businesses set out to write a book and often get no further than Chapter Eleven.

But the courier stands, perhaps singularly, as the symbol of efficient, merciful, repetitious and tender loving care.

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Correct

Correct: (adj) conforming to fact or truth; free from error; accurate

“Correct” is the favored word for those who wish to appear righteous but are really working a hidden agenda or stoking a deception. For “correct” does not need to be accurate and of course, accurate can fall short of truthful while still maintaining a claim to accuracy.funny wisdom on words that begin with a C

We play this game in religion, entertainment, business and politics every single day.

We, as the consumer, as the public, are offered a few correct statements which fail to address some accurate observations. Since the accurate observations are hidden from us, we will never know the truth.

This is why we sit here today, arguing over a report that was commissioned by our own government, and now is being obfuscated by the same. It’s easier to read the report and find correct statements that jive with a needful political conclusion. We might even want to offer some accurate insights to make it seem that transparency was nearly achieved.

But the truth is a very hard business to open up on Main Street America.

The truth is often feared—and the truth, which is the only thing that can free us of the lying that paralyzes our progress, is hidden away and reserved for those who know it but are damned because they squelch it.

Simply because something is correct does not make it accurate. Accuracy can offer contradictions. Yet it is only when we have studied all of the accurate ideas that we might be prepared to draw some conclusions about truth.

But wise men know that we are not on a search for the correct, the accurate or even truth itself.

No—we are in pursuit of uncovering our own hypocrisy, which clears our eyes, to be willing to honestly see.


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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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Consolidate

Consolidate: (v) to combine a number of things) into a single more effective or coherent whole

It would probably be very beneficial if the business world, religious community, entertainment industry and political marketplace learned the difference between consolidate and compromise.

Compromising is when two ideas collide and neither one has the power nor the backing to be heard by itself–so two of these concepts optfunny wisdom on words that begin with a C
for a third, which neither party is particularly pleased with, but they are convinced is the only way to achieve common ground.

Consolidate, on the other hand, is when one whole thing links up with another whole thing, both remaining intact, and because of the integrity of each, end up complementing one another.

Even though it is popular to insist that marriage is a compromise, unions of that sort, which try to come up with a third way to blend things, usually end up destroying their relationship.

Marriage should be a consolidation. Two whole people with two whole personalities link with one another and become doubly effective.

Two political parties, each with solid ideas, plug into one another. They remain whole, the ideas remain pure, the country benefits.

Two people of spiritual bearing come together, and rather than debating the finer points of religion, they consolidate their efforts over the principles that are most universal and therefore, bless the world.

Two businesses merge, maintaining the individuality of their products, in order to expand their market.

In the entertainment industry, rather than watering down a script until it loses all of its impact and sometimes story line, consolidate great ideas, and sew them together with the magical thread of words.

We are the United States.

We are not the compromised states.

All fifty units bring something to the table, and all fifty have an idea to share which is needed to make this melting pot remain well-mixed.

 

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Mr. Kringle's Tales...26 Stories 'Til Christmas

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