Cog

Cog: (n) a subordinate, integral part

Hell, I’d love to be a cog, but nobody’s showing up with the damn wheel.

I faithfully tried to learn my part, prepared to insert it into …

Nothing.

Even though it sounds very noble to be a cog in a great experiment of human progress, it does require that everyone bring their part, ready to be put into place and withstand motion.

Since it’s become much more fanciful to complain about lack than it is to pick up the slack, if you arrive with your cog, you could be standing there holding your cog in your hand.

This is why some people have become bitter.

Other folks have given up on the idea that human beings are capable of completing anything.

My solution is to build a cog that is able to link up with other forces, but also can perform some function of its own if necessary.

Even if it’s a simple as cracking nuts, I want my cog to be able to stand alone–just in case other cogs fail to deliver.

For let me tell you, the common way to become cynical is to assume that everyone has your level of dedication. It is mercy that makes the world go around, and mercy requires that we create a cog that works well with others, but also can make a damn good cup of coffee.

 

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Bilingual

Bilingual: (adj) fluent in two languages.Dictionary B

Perhaps one of the better definitions of “honorable” is sharing one’s experience while freely admitting it is limited.

I have an exciting life, filled with many journeys, but most of them have occured within the confines of the United States. I have been to Canada several times, and made a ten-day journey to Haiti.

It hardly classifies me as a world traveler.

I share this preface because I want you, as the reader, to understand that it is fine to offer our testimony as long as we’re willing to warn the hearer of the limits of our scope.

So since Canada speaks English (though some of my brethren in the deep South would disagree) my only true experience of bilingual situations lies in my escapade to Haiti.

The thing I immediately sensed upon arriving in this country is that I wanted to be able to communicate with them in their own tongue. My lack of preparation for such a maneuver left me quite aggravated with myself.

So I set about to rectify the situation by learning as many phrases as possible. Since I was actually doing some public speaking, I was issued a translator. He was a delightful young fellow with a desire to please.

As I gradually assimilated a few words here and there, I realized that this fine youthful translator was editing many of the things I was saying.

So after one of my little talks, I confronted him. A bit red-faced, he candidly replied, “Well, I tried to make sure that everything you said would meet the approval of the audience so they wouldn’t be upset with you.”

I laughed, but instructed him to be more faithful with my content.

We are so afraid of words that even as they are translated into other cultures, there is a gnawing fear that we might say something unacceptable.

The chances of that happening are highly likely.

So that is the reason–whether we’re speaking our native tongue or a tongue that is native to our audience–we always need to remember that humility should precede our words, gentleness should accompany them and a willing spirit should follow.

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Advantage

Words from Dic(tionary)

dictionary with letter A

Advantage: (n) a condition or circumstance that puts one in a favorable or superior position.

“Tall, dark and handsome.”

I never acquired any member of that trio. I do not possess that advantage.

IS it an advantage? I think if you’re tall, dark and handsome, you do get an immediate pass to the front of the line. Unfortunately for you, if you don’t back that up with “smart, hard-working and caring,” you probably will be booted to the curb quicker than someone who is plain-looking.

Why? Because you’re disappointing. You promised SO much with your looks and delivered SO little with your personality.

Therefore what seems to be an advantage quickly can become a disadvantage if you end up thinking you are a fleshly mannequin instead of a real human being.

Yet I will tell you that we all NEED an advantage–something that truly sets us apart instead of us merely “moving our parts” and getting “set in our ways.”

So I worked on ME. Actually, it’s a work in progress, so please do not think that I’m done. Three areas, paralleling “tall, dark and handsome:”

Since I couldn’t muster “tall,” I decided to be faithful. By faithful, I mean true to my own word while sensitive to the needs of others.

I went opposite on “dark.” I decided to be a light–to bring possibilities and hope instead of merely stating the obvious and offering gloom to the room.

“Handsome” out of the question, I chose to be attractive. Now you may think those are the same, but they aren’t. What is most attractive to other human beings is a glorious blend of humor, talent and humility. When you are able to mix those three spices together, you can put them in any dish and create a delicacy.

  • There is no advantage in being good-looking if you’re dumbfounded.
  • There is no advantage in wealth if you’re selfish.
  • And there is no advantage in being popular if you’re not prepared for the day when you will be pushed away by the latest fad.

The greatest advantage any human being can have is to tap your resources … and give a damn.