Cronyism/Crook

Cronyism: (n) the act of favoring one’s close friends, especially in political appointments.

Crook: (n) someone who cheats or swindles

Politics is a laughable tragedy.

It is a high school play debuting on Broadway.

It is a promise without a premise.

As a human being, there are two statements that must be avoided at all times—otherwise you find yourself trapped in cronyism.

Cronyism almost always leads to becoming a crook.

Those two statements are:

  1. “I am right”
  2. “I can make it right.”

There is no soul alive who is completely right.

And certainly there is no individual who, by him or herself, can make it right.

The assertion of those two thoughts—or even a hint of them—warns you of trouble.

People who believe they are right must surround themselves with those who agree with the flawed premise. Normally, this is mainly includes friends and family.

You can’t get all your information from just your friends and family. They are the ones who benefit if you end up being right. If you trust these cronies, you will gradually end up in the wrong.

Sane people listen to their critics and even their enemies—because they know these foes are not promoting them. Every once in a while, they point out the flies in the ointment which need to be removed.

They catch the hypocrisy. They proofread the statements.

If you’re only surrounded by friends and family, who join you in the assertion that you’re right, you will begin to go about your business believing that you have the power, along with your cronies, to right the world.

The world doesn’t want to be right.

The world will never be right.

The world will always be filled with tribulation.

Our defense against such turmoil is to keep a sense of good cheer, continue learning, promote growth and challenge ourselves to better paths.

Those who are encompassed by friends and family, who think they are right, believing they have been called to right the world, are always wrong.

So beware.

Cronyism is a desire to promote and hire only those who approve of you, and it will always end up with you lying and cheating, becoming a crook.

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Crimp

Crimp: (v) to check, restrain, or inhibit; hinder

Crimper.

Crimping.

Crimped.

The average person spends an awful lot of their waking hours trying to recover from feeling crimped.

Here’s how it works:

Arriving at the parking lot for work, you’re about to pull into the space when someone pulls in right before you. This is the crimper. He is crimping you. But you do not understand that he is doing this because yesterday the same thing happened to him and he ended up crimped.

Now, he stored up that frowning crimped position, and when the opportunity arrived on this day, he decided to turn into the crimper, so that he would not be the victim of crimping and end up crimped again.

As you can well imagine, this can start out small but end up with world powers possessing nuclear weapons which can destroy the Earth many times over.

Yes, even world leaders can turn into crimpers who are crimping one another, and one of them who is crimped has had his or her fill of it and does some button pushing. So this weary, frustrated victim decides to turn himself into a crimper and leave our beautiful Earth crumped.

This is not only plausible—it is unfortunately likely. What must we do to escape such a great demolition? Here’s an idea:

On your way to work, stop and make your peace with the possibilities.

Evaluate them. Example:

“If I actually find a great parking place, it would be miraculous. If I found a good parking place, it still would be outstanding. If I find a parking place and someone steals it from me, my best way of getting even is to pretend I didn’t even notice. But rather than becoming a victim of crimping, I will take the time to drive around the parking lot twice. First, to make sure I don’t feel crimped and secondly, just maybe a parking spot will come open even closer than the one I wanted. And the guy or gal who stole mine will have to walk by me on his or her way into the building.”

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Correctional Facility

Correctional facility: (n) a prison, especially for long-term confinement.

I think it’s safe to say that a plurality, if not a majority, of people think about prisons just about as much as they do the city dump or changing the batteries in their smoke detectors.

It’s not that we’re uncaring. It’s just that sometimes we are at such a loss as to know what to do that rather than taunting ourselves with the frustration of considering something, we pretend it vanished into thin air. (Kind of like when you pick your nose and pull one of those crusty funny wisdom on words that begin with a C
things out and rub it between your fingers until there’s no further evidence…)

Early on in my career in music and the arts, our musical group was invited to come and perform at the State Prison. I was traveling with two girls, and most folks thought it was a very bad idea for us to go to such a dangerous and potentially violent arena.

But if you think about it, as long as you’re not sleeping in, a prison is one of the safest places on earth. Everyone is restrained, threatened and guarded. (Perhaps we should consider this profile for Washington, D. C.  I digress.)

We did not take the gig because we wanted to bring hope or good cheer to the prisoners. No—it was because we were just starting out, and anyone who wanted us to play was our next best opportunity. (After all, you get tired of performing at nursing homes or church pot luck dinners.)

We arrived at the prison and discovered that the entire population was not invited to the concert. Matter of fact, only 150 inmates would be present—these being members of a Bible study held twice a week in the rec hall.

Well, I was young and impetuous, so I objected. I said that if I’d wanted to come and play my music for a bunch of Christians, I could have gone down to the Baptist Church, which “may or may not have just as many felons.”

Both the warden and chaplain were patient with me. They realized that I was immature and did not understand that I was carrying along with me two delicious “human treats,” which these men had not partaken of in some time.

They explained that even though they could protect the girls in our group from attack, they certainly could not shelter them from the trauma of being accosted with foul language.

I grumbled.

Well, we did our first show in front of the Bible Club, and it went so well that the warden asked me if we would do another show in front of about 200 of the inmates who were presently on “good behavior status.”

I immediately agreed.

Boy—did I learn a lesson. If those 200 prisoners were the “good behavior boys,” I shudder to think what would have happened if they had released the lions on us young Christians.

It was loud, overbearing, and it was difficult to get the inmates quiet enough to listen to the music—and only when the beat reached a certain level of intensity did they clap their hands and participate in the event.

Afterwards I felt humbled. I told the warden and the chaplain that I was sorry for being such a jerk.

They corrected me. The warden said, “Don’t you ever give up on the idea of trying to help someone—especially if it looks hopeless.”

I nearly cried.

Even though there’s a reason they call them correctional facilities—because most of the time, correction is the name of the game instead of rehabilitation—it is not our right to ever give up on those that God decided to create in His image.


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Comprise

Comprise: (v) to consist of; be made up of

Dear me,

I have wanted to contact “me” for some time to discuss us.

Sometimes I’m embarrassed to put too much focus on our struggles or our goals, but it has come to my attention that both me and I need to sit down (or stand up, for that matter) and decide what the hell we’re doing.

I like our conversations, because I don’t have to be too gentle with me. After all, we share a space. I am the thinker and me is more or less the doer.funny wisdom on words that begin with a C

I just feel it’s time to stop doing so much and pause for a thought. For I will tell me this–life is racing quickly by, and soon, or definitely later, it will be over. At that point, all that I have thought and all that me has done will come to a completion, and will be up for review.

What do we want this journey to be comprised of, and determine who we are?

I had some thoughts. I think the good news is that these are ideas that I really believe me can implement with ease.

I do not feel we are going to be able to represent ourselves well unless we show up every day with good cheer. It just seems to I that any other profile is too negative or too suspicious.

I think it’s a good idea for us to be a little vulnerable, making it clear to the world around us that we don’t have all the answers, but find ourselves in a “willing to learn” position.

May I also suggest, as we comprise our future, that we show up with talent instead of excuses, and a work ethic rather than procrastination?

And we should have just enough optimism to prevent us from being the classic naysayer.

And finally, I suggest that we question everything we learned as children, and be very prepared to put away childish things.

I would like to thank me for listening. I know me is always very busy and sometimes forget that I is here.

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Component

Component: (n) a part or element of a larger whole

Bob thinks intelligence is the key. So he studies, but ends up being overbearing with his opinions. Therefore no one can stand him.

Reverend Thompson contends that prayer is the answer but generally speaking is so busy holding seminars on the issue that he misses manyfunny wisdom on words that begin with a C phone calls from those in need.

The man running for Congress insists that political maneuvering is the essential component for a successful run for office, but then discovers there is a lot of lying that accompanies such choreography.

The women’s rights organization feels it is necessary to diminish the role of men in order to gain air for their cause, and after all the arguments are done, they are quietly and privately referred to as “bitches” behind their backs.

On the other hand, the chauvinists are darned tootin’ certain that if we could get back to the “nuclear family,” everything would be all right, as they lead their nervous wives and frightened children into the next over-planned activity.

Everybody thinks they have the component to make our society run more smoothly. Even though I see great worth in many of these efforts, I have found that the best piece to bring to the puzzle–the component that always seems to be needed for any occasion–is a simple splash and dousing of good cheer.

 

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Commitment

Commitment: (n) the state or quality of being dedicated to a cause, activity, etc.

Religion gets in the way of my faith.

Politics robs me of my freedom.

Budgets take the joy out of money.

Discussing morals makes me too weak to enjoy sin.

Every time a committee gets together and decides something, a little piece of me ends up dying.

So I have become a rebel with a cause. The cause is to maintain the integrity of my sanity. So here are my commitments:

  1. I will pursue good cheer all the days of my life to avoid being obnoxious.
  2. I will notice when people do good and blind myself to stupidity.
  3. I will create something every day.
  4. I will appreciate the efforts of others, and linger for a moment to celebrate with them.
  5. I will stop talking about God and try to impersonate Him.
  6. I will continue to think of life as a comedy club instead of a prison.
  7. I will not put anything in my body that struggles to come out.
  8. I will laugh more than I cry, and all my crying shall end in laughter.
  9. I will avoid becoming adult because only children can truly lead us.
  10. I will honor these commitments and commit myself to pursuing not to be committed.

 

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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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