Clown

Clown: (n) a comic entertainer

There are actually three types of clowns, offering varying degrees of danger.

Yes–clowns are dangerous. They forewarn of outrageous comedy but soon become common, needing to push the envelope, opening the
door to all sorts of excesses.

Clown 1: Often referred to as the “class clown,” although he or she can be quite classless.

This is a person who feels it is their job to bring a giggle, even if a sigh or tears is required. He or she is quite angry if you suggest that the insertion of levity is poorly timed. And God forbid that you would ever try to take away their First Amendment right to be funny. After all, what gives us the authority to determine what is comical as opposed to offensive? (Wait! Isn’t that what being mature is all about?)

Clown 2: The Classic Clown, wearing a red nose and floppy shoes, to warn those around him or her of a calamity of errors, which is supposed to be interpreted through the slapstick antics, as side-splitting.

Physical comedy is an instinct to laugh at another human’s pain. When stated that way, people wrinkle their brow and suggest that you’re an old fuddy-duddy.

Clowns have to work too hard to get the job done. This would be similar to a fire-fighter attending a backyard barbecue just in case a three-alarm blaze might break out.  And finally…

Clown 3: These are the people in government, religion and business who have discovered they have gotten away with some egregious action, and nobody has stopped them, so they continue their path of errancy, adding on boxes of insult to the shipment of injury.

“Since I got by with THAT, and nobody challenged me, I wonder if I can do THIS.”

These clowns are particularly annoying because they don’t sit in a classroom, nor do they wear fright wigs. (Well, at least most of them don’t.) What they do is fit in–while not fitting in at all.

They take a code of ethics and turn it into a paper airplane, which they toss through the air to prove how free-wheeling they truly are.

They question values which have proven to be gold, and pretend they are nothing but yellow bricks.

As you can see, all three clown roles seem to have more drawbacks than positive contributions. Yet we continue to allow them to exist under the canopy, “we all need to laugh.”

Actually, we all need good cheer, which means most of the time, if we’re going to mature, we should be laughing at ourselves, not at the pratfalls of others or the decimation of common sense.

 

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Cholesterol

Cholesterol: (n) a compound of the sterol type found in most body tissues

She told me my cholesterol was a little high–“she” being my doctor.

She didn’t seem terribly concerned, but she still had a pill she thought would be jim-dandy to use. I took the pill, came back for my next visit
and my cholesterol was down.

She clapped her hands. She was glad.

I, on the other hand, felt no difference whatsoever.

I’m not trying to put forth the theory that there needs to be a physical or emotional pay-off for every good deed, but it sure helps. For if your cholesterol goes from 212 to 108, you should have some sort of bell that rings.

Maybe your eyelashes get fuller. I’m not asking for much.

Effort and reward. It’s the basis of the theory of human habitation. “If I do this, then I get that. But if I do THAT, then I’ll get THIS.”

I buy into the concept like everyone else.

Supposedly, cholesterol gums up your arteries and increases the possibility of a heart attack. But in a moment of true candor, may we state that what the medical field insists is beneficial in this particular season, will be completely out of fashion by the time autumn arrives.

Being a veteran of “oat bran,” and more recently, “gluten free,” I realize there are things that may be good, but not necessarily essential, and their worth is not equal for all humans.

I wonder why more doctors don’t encourage good cheer. It certainly does give immediate results, and may very well be good for your health

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Chirpy

Chirpy: (adj) cheerful and lively.

Coming upon the dead body of the strangled prostitute, the young woman declared, “At least she’s with Jesus.”

That is classic “chirpy”–the optimistic thought which is suddenly expressed at what certainly is an inopportune time.

It reminds me of an occasion when I was traveling with my music group and our vehicle caught on fire. We were standing about a hundred
yards away from it, watching it burn so as to not endanger ourselves with a possible exploding gas tank.

We were only able to salvage our cooler from the fiasco. One of the young ladies from the group, sitting on the cooler, remarked, “I think we have Coca-Cola and Fritos in the cooler.”

I know she meant well–but it seemed that I was commanded by the heavens to scream at her over such simplistic optimism.

When is “chirpy” an expression of good cheer instead of an annoying bird sound, pecking at our aggravation? Now, there’s a good question.

My conclusion has always been, if a statement is not going to build the faith of those around you, it’s best to honor the silence.

 

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Charisma

Charisma: (n) compelling attractiveness or charm

I just finished a performance.

I don’t think the audience liked me.

The money was bad; the response was tepid and nobody was particularly interested in purchasing my books.

So I asked myself, what did I do wrong?

Always our first inclination. Where is my fault in the matter? It is an agonizing process, but without it, vanity can make us intolerable.

You know what the truth of the matter is? The people who sat and listened may have been with their moms and dads years and years ago and heard one of the parents comment or joke about a heavy-set man walking by, portraying that he was less than acceptable.

Maybe that person just never forgot that little drama. Maybe he or she found themselves trapped in a response that was not his or her own, but so ingrained that it popped out without permission.

Charisma is such a wicked maze of misunderstanding.

For after all, one man’s “beautiful” is another man’s “plain.” And one woman’s “gentle” is another woman’s “boring.”

So what’s the best we can do?

Find our gift, work on our gift, share our gift in good cheer.

For lo and behold, anybody who would benefit from knowing us will certainly find us.

 

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Characteristic

Characteristic: (adj) typical of a particular person, place, or thing.

You have to be pretty bad to not want to be a good person.

Most people prefer angel wings to devil claws. We may view ourselves as being dangerous–until we realize we really like to play it safe.

What’s missing is the listing of the characteristics required to put a “good” in front of your “person”–making you priceless to the human tribe.

I’m sure everybody could derive a list, and each lineup would have its own merit, but may I offer mine?

Let’s call it the top five things that make our race tolerable instead of insufferable:

  1. Humility

Of course, you don’t get to be humble until you do something great, but once you have an accomplishment, the quality of the endeavor should be enough without demanding too much laud from others or indulging in self-worship.

  1. Self-correction

The best way to be annoying to other friends in your circle is to be the last one to realize you have a problem. Of course, there’s a danger with incriminating yourself too much, but most of us will never get near that cliff.

If you can see your shortcomings, you don’t have to go through the pain of being alienated because of them.

  1. Change

Stop being part of the unrealistic horde which insists that “change is too hard.”

Everything has come through evolution, so it is safe to assume that the process is continuing right now, in your life.

So change before you are forced to, or before you’re lying flat on your back because the cosmic steamroller just flattened your dreams.

  1. Don’t judge under any circumstances.

Even if it’s late at night, you’re with a friend and you’re in the mood to gossip–don’t. Go to bed and get some sleep.

You and I never have the right to evaluate the lives of other people. Even if an angel comes and whispers in your ear, telling you of the iniquity of another traveler, you should compliment the angel on its wings, but ignore the message.

  1. Good cheer.

There are times that depression and sadness overtake us all–but as much as is within us, we should allow the paint brush of gratitude to be the artist of our portrait. It makes us viable–and more than that, it makes us reliable.

There you go. One man’s limited scope in describing the characteristics of a good person.

In my opinion, all you have to do to become a bad person is look at the list and insist “it’s a free country, and nobody’s business but your own.”

 

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Centerpiece

Centerpiece: (n) a display placed in the middle

The centerpiece of education: experience that promotes retention.

The centerpiece of human romance: a woman who really wants to have sex.

The centerpiece of faith: adventure.

The centerpiece of love: faithfulness.

The centerpiece of hope: introspection.

The centerpiece of America: a toss-up between “all men are created equal” and “liberty and justice for all.”

The centerpiece of music: a memorable melody.

The centerpiece of business: repetitive quality.

The centerpiece of humanity: good cheer.

The centerpiece of the Universe: controlled chaos.

The centerpiece of God: free will.

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Celerity

Celerity: (n) swiftness of movement.

I will risk being considered ignorant or out of touch by telling you that I had absolutely no idea what this word meant when it popped up on my screen. But fortunately for me, the definition was very straight-forward: swift movement.

I admire those who are fleet of foot, due mostly to the ever-lightness of their being. I’ve always been a heavy-set chap (which is what I will
write in this article to escape calling myself “fat,” making you think I have diminished self-esteem).

During my brief stint of playing football, the coach ordered us to do windsprints. For me, it was more “wind” than “sprint.” I was always gasping for air as my lighter brothers glided by me as if propelled by the wings of Mercury.

The advantage of being swift is being able to get a lot of things done, as they say, lickety-split.

So since I do not have celerity, it falls my duty to take my brain and teach it to be “celeritous.” (Perhaps not a word, but willing to adapt.)

I developed a swift mind.

I learned how to abandon bad ideas quickly so they wouldn’t clutter my path.

I tried to rid myself of forlorn, discouraged and upset feelings, which only slow down progress.

I developed a sense of good cheer–which is an understanding that expecting help is the doorway to making sure that nothing gets done.

I found out what I could do, how to do it, and to make it fun–and then did it with celerity.

I have never run fast in my life. I have never won a swimming race in a pool (except against my little three-year-old son, who was wearing water wings).

And now, as I am aging and my legs are seeking a condo for retirement, I realize that metering my movements with a great sense of timing and knowing when to rest, can fool the masses into thinking that I’m really, really swift.

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