Coup de Grace

Coup de grace: (n) death blow

I keep waiting.

With my vexation of waiting comes a curious wondering.

And while I wonder I grow anxious to see sanity have a seat at the table with the family of man. (I have no problem with it being the family of woman, too. Shall we say humankind?)

But escaping that piece of political correctness, let me say I’m a bit baffled as to what coup de grace must occur to startle us from the mediocrity of hatefulness, and the deteriorating status of our conscience.funny wisdom on words that begin with a C

Not only has kindness become suspect in the ongoing criminal activity of our social disruption, but we’re beginning to believe that anything or anyone who expresses compassion and tenderness is weak. In doing so, we make it seem that to express the weakness of gentleness, one has to be very strong-willed to endure the sarcasm.

I don’t know what’s wrong with pausing before condemning.

I’m confused why we consider it to be ignorant to go on a quest for a deeper understanding of faith.

And I’m not so sure that any deal can be made if there is a human toll extracted to ratify the terms.

Where is the coup de grace?

When will we finally pull up just short of a death blow which tries to remove the oxygen from the breath of our generosity?

I don’t want to go any further backwards. I don’t want to see how bad things could become.

I don’t know if it’s possible for us to come up short of Armageddon, pull away just in time, breathe a sigh of relief…and go get a beer.


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Corroding

Corroding: (v) to eat or wear away gradually as if by gnawing, especially by chemical action.

At one time I adopted (or maybe adapted) three extra sons into my household.

It was a inspiring feeling—the sensation of helping these kids out, but also the pride that came from doing something out of the box, which funny wisdom on words that begin with a C
other people “oohed and ahhed” over because of its nobility. (That’s who we are–a mixture of possibility mingled with ego.)

Well, back to my story.

I wanted to make sure the young fellows were comfortable, so in a fit of generosity, I decided to buy them little candy bars which I could hand out after meals as desserts. The candy wasn’t that expensive, and I knew they would look forward to having one after enduring the latest green bean surprise.

Here was the problem: every time I went into my pantry, there were fewer and fewer candy bars. It was not due to the fact that much time had passed, and many meals had corroded my supply.

No, I was being pilfered.

There was someone in the home who was taking more than his fair share of what I bought out of tender loving care.

It created two problems. First, there were fewer candy bars than there should be, and unless I purchased more, we would run out before the end of the week. Secondly, if I didn’t get to the bottom of who was copping the treats, I would buy more and inadvertently feed the addiction to both chocolate and deceit.

So even though I felt foolish, I realized that the greatest corrosion in the situation was the breaking of trust and allowing one or more of the young men to believe that taking what was not offered is acceptable, and not stealing.

It was painful.

I think the third degree went on to the fourth and fifth degree and the inquisition took at least four hours.

Finally, one of the young men broke down, in a reaction that landed somewhere between tearful and enraged over being trapped and admitted that he was the one who snatched the sweets. It was ugly. It is always ugly when something of value begins to corrode and it becomes necessary to trace where the attack is coming from.

But because the young man admitted he was the one, I was able to continue to buy candy bars, and trust that the other two fellows would watch him like a hawk—to protect their prize.Donate Button


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Coin

Coin: (n) a flat, typically round piece of metal with an official stamp, used as money.

Can I tell you when I fell in love with me?

I had flirted with myself for years. But always, at the last moment, I pulled away from true affection for my being because I saw ugliness beneath the surface.

Living so close to me, it often made things tense.

Yes, it was necessary for me to love myself–but it had to be legitimate. It had to be real. It couldn’t be some clever concept pulled from a book by an author promoting self-esteem.

But one night it was put into motion. I had been working on the concept of generosity. I was trying to learn to give a damn about those around me who were socially, emotionally and financially damned.

I had made strides.

Back to my story. I was sitting in my chair, and noticed that a young lady, who had come to dinner, was cleaning off the nearby table, and had taken a dime, a nickel and two pennies that she saw lying next to a glass and threw them in the trash.

She discarded the coins.

I perfectly understood her action–seventeen cents seemed insignificant. She had no available pockets. And holding the coins in her hand while trying to grasp glasses might result in an embarrassing accident.

As soon as she walked away, I retrieved the seventeen cents, ran out to my kitchen, found an old pickle jar and threw the coins inside.

I set the jar on my counter, and I challenged my friends to bring all the change they had that might be tossed aside, and put it in my jar.

Every forty days I took the jar down to the local market and poured it into the coin machine. I was always astounded when I walked away with fifty dollars or more each and every time.

I had fifty dollars to give away to someone in need.

Fifty dollars to buy groceries for a family.

Fifty dollars for the guy on the street who made a sign from a piece of cardboard about his destitution.

And it all came from tossed-away coins.

So let me coin a phrase:

Don’t give up on coins. It may take a while, but they quickly change into dollars which can help those who just never have quite enough.

 

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Bribe

Bribe: inducement offeredj-r-practix-with-border-2

Tit for tat:

  • If you will do this, I will do that.
  • If you give me this, I’ll give you that.
  • If you believe in me, I’ll believe in you.
  • If you kiss me, I’ll kiss you back.

We are constantly bribing each other. We withhold blessing, generosity and affection as hostage while we negotiate our deal.

We need to be self-motivated. We should do things because we want to, not because we have to or we’re trying to get something off of someone else.

Truth is, if I love myself, I can do a helluva lot of good things. In order to love myself, I need to believe I have enough resources through my talent and faith to sustain success. That way I don’t have to negotiate bribes to acquire my sense of worth.

Dictionary BDoing things of our own volition is the secret to contentment.

Otherwise, you and I will continue to bribe each other, only satisfied when we feel we get the better end of the deal.

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Bought

Bought: (v) obtained in exchange for payment

181 miles.Dictionary B

It’s how far I drove to regain my sanity.

A gentleman I met in Dothan, Alabama, who had a reel-to-reel tape recorder (back in the time when such contraptions were ‘reel’ important) offered to sell me his wonderful machine for $150.

I didn’t have 150 anything.

But because he trusted me, he let me take it, asking that I commit to send him five dollars a week via the mail. I was moved by his generosity and openness, and immediately agreed to the terms.

I was faithful for ten weeks. I paid $50 on the tape recorder debt with integrity and sensitivity to the calendar.

Then I just pooped out.

Sometimes I convinced myself I did not have the $5 to send. Other times it was the inconvenience of trying to find a stamp.

I avoided his calls and stayed away from Dothan, Alabama.

One night a gentleman, in an act of extreme benevolence, gave me a hundred-dollar bill. I started thinking about all the ways I wanted to spend that money.

Then it occurred to me that I was in Alabama–181 miles away from the gentleman who had afforded me the tape recorder, which I now used in assisting me to make my living.

I had a choice. After all, the tape recorder really wasn’t bought yet, was it? It was borrowed, and seemed to snarl at me every time I looked at it, whispering, “Dead beat.”

It was two o’clock in the morning.

I climbed in my car and drove 181 miles down to Dothan and was sitting outside the door of my friend’s house when he emerged after his breakfast to begin his day.

I handed him the hundred dollars and said, “I’m sorry. I was an asshole.”

He cried.

I cried, too.

It was time to cry.

 

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Bolshevik

Bolshevik: (n) a member of the Russian Social Democratic Party, which was renamed the Communist Party

There’s a way that seems right but it’s wrong.Dictionary B

Any attempt we make to correct the ailments of our society by merely using pity ends up with a dissatisfying conclusion for all parties involved.

Those who are pitied become resentful, and those who pity are disappointed with the results their sympathy brings.

The world is not fair because the world would not work if it was fair.

If everyone had ten dollars a week given to them, and prices were adjusted to that stipend, we would still have human beings who would steal from others–to make sure they had a double portion.

Evil is not eliminated by financial security.

Evil is not intimidated by stirring the conscience.

Goodness demands that we tap our own soul and use our free will to bless others.

The Bolsheviks arrived in Russia speaking out against the inequity of the distribution of wealth. They succeeded in putting up a Communist tent of protection, which attempted to generate an even playing field.

Trouble was, nobody wanted to play–and when they didn’t play it was necessary to eliminate them in order to continue the game.

So they succeeded in achieving some financial equity, only to invite violent conclusions.

The poor will always be with us. Without them we would not learn to be givers.

And without occasionally taking our turn at being poor, we would not have the schooling for generosity.

 

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Benevolent

Benevolent: (adj) well meaning and kindly.

Dictionary B

I found myself pushing a grocery cart through the projects of Shreveport, Louisiana, loaded down with day-old bread, caramel rolls, powdered donuts and a variety of sundry baked goods.

I felt good.

I had acquired these treasures free of charge from a local business and decided to take some friends from my church out to offer them to the poorer members of our community.

I was convinced that I was a benevolent soul.

When people realized there was free stuff, they began to emerge from their homes, and they stood around my cart, picking through the items, perusing for something they might enjoy.

To my surprise and chagrin, ,many walked away without taking anything, several of them commenting, “It looks kind of stale.”

I was infuriated.

Here I was–taking my own time to bless people, and they were discussing expiration dates on pecan rolls.

Matter of fact, I went to my car carrying back with me much of what I had brought, which had been rejected by those I now deemed to be “ungrateful snoots.”

I had a curse on my lips.

I was damning those who were poor because they wouldn’t act poor enough.

I failed to realize they were human beings just like me, and were allowed to have a taste of their own, and even a preference.

I realized there is a great precursor to benevolence:

Whenever expressing generosity, it must be a hand-out … and not a hand-down.

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