Darker

Darker: (adj) having less light

Let us take a moment to consider, or even analyze, the law of attraction. It works on a simple premise: whatever attracts is pursued to gain the interest which brings, through the majority, that which rules.

For instance, I realize that the writers of the Declaration of Independence, the framers of the Constitution, the authors of the Bible, and those who penned music or dreamed about the ideals of a novel…

Well, you know who I’m talking about. People who were trying to be entertaining and inspiring, while lacing it with a bit of the eternal.

These pioneers are often shocked that their message is trimmed down to the darker portions.

I would assume if you went through the Constitution, that most of the precepts were meant to be positive, granting justice and opportunity for all.

But what fun is that?

Likewise, how enduring would the Bible be if it only talked about “loving your neighbor as yourself” instead of isolating off the reasons for damnation?

One year I bought a plastic bowling set for my son on his eighth birthday. I envisioned the children at his party setting up the pins and rolling the plastic ball, keeping score and competing with one another.

Yet when I walked in a half hour later, I found them all, each one with pin in hand, hitting one another. Occasionally, one of them would toss the black ball at a friend, just to vary the pain.

It isn’t that they didn’t understand.

All of them had seen people bowl.

It’s just that the pins made excellent weapons—and since they were plastic, the children could pull up short of lethal without being severely punished by their parents.

It takes a lot of initiative and determination to bring out the better parts of any idea. For it seems the inclination of the human race is to take something that was meant for good and find the darker twist.

I’ll tell you of a certainty—if we had used the deep fryer for French fries, fish, chicken and onion rings, the delicious coating would have been permissible and probably wouldn’t kill us.

But we found the darker side and decided that if fish was good fried, why not chocolate cake?

 

Cro-Magnon Man

Cro-Magnon Man: (n) an early type of modern man

There is an abiding thought that steers my thinking:

“If I end up being wrong, how can I survive it well?”

Because basically, my life thus far has told me that I’m going to be wrong—partially because I’m a little pig-headed, but also because on occasion, I follow the instincts of others who are likewise oinkers.

I remember one weekend sitting in a seminar in which the pros and cons of evolution were discussed. I immediately felt that the topic was a bit high minded, with low results. But I listened anyway.

It quickly boiled down to a single issue:

Those of a more religious inclination were very upset about man evolving from the animal kingdom.

And those who were less concerned about ecclesiastical matters didn’t seem to care much.

Now, here’s a fact:

None of them knew what the hell they were talking about.

We usually don’t.

Probably long, long ago, when there were Cro-Magnon people walking the Earth, they would have been equally upset to think they evolved from apes, even though the similarity was close enough that a gorilla would occasionally hit on one of the women.

Very early on, we decided what’s ugly, what’s stupid and what’s spiritual.

Yet I never heard a frog object to evolving from a fish, nor a two-cell organism insisting it was impossible to have once been singular.

It’s a fear in our race—that if we are not superior, then it’s just not fair and needs to be changed immediately.

I can tell you the truth—I don’t care.

I personally look nothing like a Cro-Magnon Man.

They were hairy, dark brown and stooped.

I, on the other hand, appear to have evolved from a marshmallow.

funny wisdom on words that begin with a C

 


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Contempt

Contempt: (n) the feeling with which a person regards anything considered mean, vile, or worthless

I listened intently as the gentleman closed his argument by proffering, with a sneer on his lips, “Just because you’re swimming doesn’t mean you’re a fish.”

The point he was trying to make is that no white person could ever understand what it’s really like to be a black person.funny wisdom on words that begin with a C

There was applause in the room when he spoke the words. I, on the other hand, sat quietly, seething in my soul, feeling nothing but contempt.

I have complete contempt for racism.

My contempt is also full for culturalism—the assertion that certain groups of humans react differently from others due to their location or skin color.

I have great contempt for ancestry.com, which propagates the idea that because my family members from the past were of a certain ilk or style, that this characteristic influences my decisions.

Anything that tries to break us down into a category other than “human” shall always receive my contempt.

I do not care if I am alone in this position—it doesn’t frighten me if people find my thinking to be insensitive to what they would refer to as “the natural divisions among people.”

It is wrong.

If God did not tell us what color Adam was or what preferences Eve had in salsa, I think the message is clear: The human race is, and evermore shall be, one family that just wants to squabble about who’s superior, so that they might receive better seating in the living room.

 

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Chandler

Chandler: (n) a dealer in supplies and equipment for ships and boats.

Looking back, I realize my oldest brother was a chandler. He was only in his twenties when he decided to open a marina. He sold boats, fixed boats, tied boats, and also sold boating equipment.

I remember as a young man, being very impressed, surprised and intimidated by his success. (My greatest success at that time was getting two A’s in a row in
chemistry–neither of which I deserved.)

My oldest brother was a chandler. I do not know if he loved boats or not. I don’t recall him talking incessantly about watercraft. He did like to fish.

But what prompted him to take the big leap of faith in his youthful years, to establish such a business for the folks who wanted to sail the waters of Hoover Lake, near Columbus, Ohio? (We called it a lake–actually, it was a reservoir.)

My brother ran his business for several years, and then a bigshot came to town with more boats, more equipment, more floor space, more advertising, and more of whatever more will buy. My brother could not keep up. He lost his business.

He was a determined man of discipline and taut feelings. If he was truly devastated, he never let anyone know–at least, not me.

But he never quite found anything to replace his marina. Perhaps it was a chandler he was intended to be–and by intended, I mean desired. Once that was gone, he found himself selecting from Column B.

Yes, perhaps that’s where we all lose our zest for life–wearily thumbing through Column B to try to find something that comes anywhere close to what we once had in Column A.

Yet it feels good, now that my brother has passed on, to write this small article and tout him as the chandler he was.

I think he would like that.

 

 

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Brook

j-r-practix-with-border-2

Brook: (n) a small stream

About two miles outside of our little town, my dad bought a piece of land, where he hoped his growing children would be able to escape and get a sense of “farm” and fresh air.Dictionary B

It wasn’t large, and because it wasn’t tended well, it was usually overgrown.

But every once in a while I got an itch to go out and walk through the tall grass to a clearing where there was a high bank surrounding a brook.

The stream was not very impressive–probably about seven feet across at its widest place, and no more than a foot-and-a-half deep.

But it was usually clear–see right to the bottom.

One day I told my dad I was going to go fishing in the brook. He laughed at me, and explained that our little waterway would not sustain fish because there was no place for them to go.

After soaking my worm in the water for about an hour–to no avail–I realized he was right. I was about to give up when I sensed some movement in some nearby rocks.

It was a little fish.

I don’t know how he got there (or if he was a she). But he was obviously trapped, not knowing which way to go. Every time he swam forward he hit a rock, and every time he swam the other way, he bumped his nose on a stone.

He was literally caught between a rock and a hard place.

So for the next hour, I threw my hook and worm near him, hoping to draw the little fishie onto my rod and reel, so I could go back proudly and tell my dad he was wrong.

When the worm didn’t draw the fish’s attention, I attempted to reach in and grab him. He was very athletic and eluded my grasp.

I finally gave up.

I went to tell my dad to come and see the fish that was in our brook. He waited, puttered around, and finally made his way out to view my discovery.

The fish was gone.

I have no idea how that little blue gill figured out a way to escape his prison. But Nature always comes up with a plan.

Fish are not like us.

They don’t get frustrated, mad … and decide to hide out in their room.

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Approximate

dictionary with letter A

Approximate (adj): close to the actual, but not completely accurate or exact.

Pet peeve. Please forgive me. Example:

“How many people were at the concert?” I ask.

“Approximately 47,” he replies.

Yes, it bothers me when people say they’re going to approximate a number and then give me a specific one. You can feel free to say “I would approximate between 45 and 50,” but 47 is what I would call a hard count.

Also pet peeve, case in point:

“What time will you be there?”

“I would approximate 7:15ish, but it could be later.”

Now I’m confused. First of all, I don’t know what “ish” is doing on the end of any word. 7:15 comes around once a night, and all of its neighbors have names, which are not associated with it. For instance, 7:16 is different.

I know this is silly, which may be the definition of a “pet peeve. (All pets are silly in their own way. Anybody who thinks a hamster or a fish gives a crap about them should spend a day or two in the loony bin. So when my peeve is my pet, I feed it, hold it, pet it, put it back in its cage and hope it does not poop all over everything.)

I do try to be patient with people. I realize they don’t share my predilections.

I also try to understand some of their pet peeves, though honestly, their particular renditions always seem, to me, to be pet rocks.

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