Charity

Charity: (n) the voluntary giving of help, typically in the form of money, to those in need.

“I’m no charity case!”

It is a statement often flung in my direction when I’m attempting to be generous to someone who obviously could use some bolstering.

The statement is prideful statement, and unfortunately, doused in ignorance. For truly, there is not a soul among us who does not
occasionally require the charity provided by strangers.

In viewing my abundant life, there have been many times when I have possessed finance to fund an unnecessary, extravagant dinner–and also specific occasions when a dollar bill lit up and danced before my eyes because its arrival was truly divinely inspired.

If we go with the Old English definition of charity–which is love–the desperation each of us possesses to be loved is incomprehensible.

Denying it makes us look like foolish, pouting children.

Demanding it too often has the whiff of the charlatan.

So I have a simple saying in my life:

“May those around me who happen to arrive at just the right moment to come to my aid find me busy doing my best, unaware that they are on their way.”

 

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Block

Block: (v) to make the movement or flow in a passage difficult or impossible.

Dictionary B

It is easier to get coverage on the news of evil than it is to receive attention toward even an intriguing good.

The media would argue this point, and would stubbornly insist that they are merely providing what interests the public, and therefore, stimulates their advertisers to contribute revenue.

But meanwhile, many things are being blocked from the common good.

We don’t ever hear the best music because it mingles the melodies of the past with innovative tunefulness. Too risky.

We’re blocked from the best inventions because they don’t necessarily appeal to immediate marketplace requirements, but instead, address longer-lasting concerns.

And we’re blocked from the best people to govern us because they cannot pass the scrutiny of purity, or haven’t learned how to lie about it.

So we settle for the mediocre, discussing levels of inadequacy, assigning excellence to the more promoted portions.

I suppose at this point I should offer some alternative to this paradox.

I have none.

As long as finance is the determining factor in what is paraded, we will have to learn to hang to the rear to escape the clowns.

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Bad Debt

Bad debt: (n) a debt that cannot be recovered.

“Free credit report dot com.”Dictionary B

I have never seen a time during my human history when there is such obsession with one’s credit report.

It used to be a subject whispered in the hallowed halls by those who were fairly confident that they had achieved acceptance in the realms of financial security but still occasionally wondered if their unknown credit score might someday, like a nasty asp, lurch up and bite them in the ass.

Now all we have to do is punch a few buttons and discover how well-accepted we are in the banking community.

As one who has had a very high credit score number and a very low one, I will tell you that neither numeral enhanced my being.

I didn’t become a better person when I soared to the heights of reverent dollar-wise security, nor did I become a devious devil when the same number plummeted, flirting with entering the gates of hell.

To me, it falls under the universal banner of what seems to be so important in our society today: shallowness.

  • Let’s not talk about important things because they’re too serious.
  • Let’s not consider our frailty because that’s too depressing.
  • And please, dear God, give me a number that confirms that I am four points higher than the son-of-a-bitch sittin’ next to me.

So rather than excelling at goodness, gentleness, kindness and creativity, we have selected to be evaluated by a mythical number that can be accidentally changed … through a clerical error entered by a high school graduate who got a D in data processing. 

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Arithmetic

dictionary with letter A

Arithmetic: (n) the branch of mathematics dealing with the manipulation and properties of numbers.

Arithmetic is definitely one of them.

It is one of the four basic skills required to maintain an adult life without constantly looking inept.

I wish I had known that when I was in high school. But fortunately, I did learn enough addition, subtraction, multiplication and division to handle my finance and everyday activities without always requiring a calculator in my hand, with numbers too tiny to punch.

Would you be curious about the other three?

Number 2. Reading.

Yes, often people ask us to read aloud–and if we stumble over words or are too slow, it is immediately surmised that we are mentally challenged.

3. Writing. Although grammar can be a naughty mistress or a nagging wife, there are certain qualifications necessary to be part of the human family. One should know that “you are,” as a contraction, is spelled y-o-u’r-e, not y-o-u-r.

If you are not familiar with several of these common mishaps-in-print, you will be laughed at by the snobs and bewilder the kinder folk.

4. Can you make a two-minute speech on your feet without spending 72 seconds of it explaining why you’re not good at it? We are a gregarious race, and demand that those around us have the ability to articulate their feelings without having too many a-a-h-s, umms, or … what was I saying?

Arithmetic is very important. Without it, things just don’t add up.

 

 

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Apex

dictionary with letter A

Apex: (n.) the top or highest point.

“Getting high.”

It’s too bad that phrase has been sullied by the drug culture, because it is so rich in truth and promise.

Everything in life has an apex, even though we often settle for the valley.

  • The apex of politics is a decision to be responsive to the needs of the people instead of chasing their whims.
  • The apex of the military is to convey a strength which discourages our enemies instead of using new weapons to experiment with their lethal carnage.
  • The apex of friendship is really honesty–having someone in your life who will tell you when your breath is bad.
  • The apex of spirituality is “love your neighbor as yourself” instead of debating “who is my neighbor?”
  • The apex of education is infusing knowledge which is workable to the student who wants to go out and pursue a craft.
  • The apex of sexuality is mutual pleasure.
  • The apex of finance is having enough for your needs, a little for your desire, and the balance to help others.
  • The apex of athleticism is the payoff of being in shape, whether you win the trophy or not.
  • The apex of commerce is to make a decent profit while feeling soul-satisfaction because you’ve delivered a quality product.
  • The apex of parenting is seeing the good parts of yourself in your children and allowing them to rebel against the bad.
  • And the apex of faith is working towards having the will of God done on Earth instead continually speculating on heaven.

I am in favor of getting high–just not chemically induced.

For finding the apex in life may be the true definition of “the high road.”

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Annotate

dictionary with letter A

Annotate: (v) to add notes of explanation to a text or diagram

It is my contention that education is knowledge followed by experience. It can even be experience that gradually garners knowledge.

But the idea that the more information imparted to us, with a variety of opinions, insights, notes, complete with bibliography, will make us smarter, is a bit erroneous.

I’m not so sure we learn until we take something that we kind of basically understand–and then try it ourselves.

Does anyone really become an engineer when they graduate from college, or does that actually occur some Thursday morning three years later, while working on the job?

I think this is particularly annoying in the fields of business and religion. So many books, commentaries, opinions and guides for the novice are penned in these categories, with the aspiration that an insight from someone other than ourselves will give us an edge.

Of course, we need to know what we’re talking about, and have a basic understanding of what we’re doing. But candidly, it is in the handling of circumstance and difficulty that we discover the true wisdom of each and every endeavor.

I grow weary of a culture that creates a learning class, which receives more finance than a working class that actually pulls the load. And not only finance–but status.

Case in point:

  • I studied music. It didn’t make me a musician. Somewhere in my third set, playing keyboard in a dive, discovering a new bridge chord, I gained the confidence to have the music in me.
  • I studied the Bible. It didn’t make me a Christian. It was a series of encounters, where I chose to think for myself and selected to bless instead of curse, when the mind of Christ actually inhabited my cranium.
  • I even studied sex in an attempt to become a better lover, but it was on the 121st attempt to please my partner through sensitivity that I actually had the words “Don Juan” whispered in my ear.

Notes are good. Testimonies are interesting.

But none of us are saved by someone else’s experience. The salvation of our lives … is the word of our own testimony.

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Analyze

dictionary with letter A

Analyze: (adj) relating to or using analysis or logical reasoning.

Perhaps we should print signs.

It may be a bit cumbersome but certainly would be helpful in reminding us what exactly is the right procedure in a given situation.

One sign should read: Analyze

The other sign should warn: Please do not analyze.

Mixing these two up is what creates some of the more awkward and even tense moments in our day.

For instance, if you come home and your ten-year-old is sitting in his soccer uniform, dejected and pouting, and you use your laser insight to realize he must have lost his game, it is probably not the best time to sit down and become analytical about the game of soccer or go outside to practice kicks and moves. It is time for a bowl of popcorn, a hug and a funny video.

Likewise, if you were to return to your abode and your wife asked you to sit down and discuss a problem she was having in the household, it would be unfortunate to decide to launch into a tickle-fest.

Do we analyze or do we just allow ourselves to feel? The right answer brings understanding; the wrong one lends itself to retaliation.

For after all, trying to be flippant over things that need an analytical touch makes us appear calloused and useless to those who are hurt or abused.

  • Waranalytical
  • Kissingnot
  • Abortionanalytical
  • Parentingnot so much
  • Financea little of both

So you can see, the true definition of maturity is knowing when to be analytical and when to allow yourself to escape the prison of logic … and run free as long as you possibly can.

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