Commentator

Commentator: (n) a person who delivers a live commentary on an event

His name was Walter.

People under the age of forty probably don’t even remember who he was.

His last name was Cronkite. He was a commentator. At one time, he was voted “the most respected man in America.”

In this age of controversy about the news media, Walter stands out as historically unique. Case in point:

I have no idea if he wore ladies underwear.

I have no private information on whether he ever sexually harassed his office staff.

I do not know if he was secretly gay.

These are things that seem to be important to us nowadays. We not only want people to do their job, but we want them to do it to our standard of morality.

But what set Walter Cronkite apart from the rest of the commentators of his day–and certainly of our season–is that he really believed what he was doing was valuable.

It was so important to him that he always delivered the news with sincerity, neutrality, gravitas and yet in a reassuring way, letting the American people know that the sky was not falling–there would be another day, and a good chance it would be better.

Maybe it was the bit of “gruff” in his voice, which hinted at crankiness, or the bristle of mustache, perhaps outdated–but aging uncles and grandfathers never seem to care.

Or maybe it was the fact that when the President of the United States was shot in Dallas, Walter, like us, was mortified–and found himself breaking into tears.

There are three things Walter knew about humanity:

  1. When you run across goodness, proclaim it. It’s not always easy to be human and good.
  2. Don’t expect humans to be good in every arena, but make sure they respect the holy ground of their calling.
  3. And Walter knew that as a human being, he needed to make sure he kept his ears tuned to the mission of his heart, and far away from the gossiping rabble.

Walter Cronkite was a commentator.

But history has shown his mercy, his faithfulness and exactly how uncommon he was.

 

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Cack

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Cack: (n) a talkative, gossiping person

I have a new favorite word!

Cack!

How perfect! Does that not describe every single gossiping soul that you have encountered in your life?

They cackle–like poultry. And this stimulated me to realize that there are three types:

There’s the duck cack:

This is the person who tears another individual’s character apart, under the guise of concern and prayerful wishes, ducking away from the responsibility of being a back-biting loser.

This is followed by the chicken cack:

“Cluck, cluck, cluck, cluck” all day long, pecking at the integrity of others, only to turn chicken and deny their involvement when confronted. They’ll even tell you who started the rumor.

And finally, there’s the goose cack:

These are people who are so sure that they’re direct emissaries from the Lord God Almighty that they’ll take their long neck and beak and unapologetically stick it up your ass–goosing you.

After all, when you speak for the heavens, you’re certainly not concerned about earthly criticism.

Here’s the question:

Can I catch myself when I become a cack?

Can I keep myself from barnyard nonsense so I have the right to live in the house with other sensible human beings?

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Breastfeed

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Breastfeed: (v) to feed a baby with milk from a woman’s breast

A simple standard of maturity is when we stop giggling and laughing at somebody who’s picking his nose. If we find ourselves still chortling, then we’re probably stuck somewhere in the second semester of the fourth grade.Dictionary B

The adult solution to such a quandary, to avoid becoming a giggling fool, is to turn away and not look.

Truth of the matter is, picking one’s nose is common to us all. Though some people will probably insist that they never do such a thing, the reality is that most of us, at one time or another, do a little mining for nasal gold.

Likewise, I become a bit confused when people are affronted, concerned or put off by a woman baring her breast and feeding her young one. Since we all have spent some time on the teat, it might be good to recognize that a sign of maturity is accepting this as common human effort and behavior instead of frowning or gossiping to the “teacher.”

Just look away.

Breast-feeding is here to stay–just like picking your nose.

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Banter

Banter: (n) the playful and friendly exchange of teasing remarks.Dictionary B

I do not know whether you’ve heard yet, or discovered it in the obituary columns, but banter has died.

The silly, challenging, comical, poking fun and sometimes nearly flirting with degrading conversations that friends once had with each other have been murdered because the movement of social media has deteriorated our interaction to, “please like me–or I hate you.”

Here is a startling statement: every piece of critique or even criticism is not necessarily meant to be confrontational.

I sometimes find myself joking with strangers in a grocery store, only to discover that they become alarmed if I even connote that they are anything short of divine.

Here’s what I know for sure–repentance is impossible if you already think you’re God.

If all your ways are righteous in your own eyes, then you will fail to realize that your emotional soul may be desperately in dissaray or on the verge of disintegration.

Introspection is what the human race requires to survive and to make sure that we don’t kill each other off.

And the best way to allow for introspection is to permit banter, which is a “safe zone,” where suggestions or ideas for discussion can be hatched without blatantly or viciously attacking another person.

Yes, long before I tell you that I think you’re an ass, I could have relieved some pressure by asserting that “even a monkey could learn how to change the toilet paper roll.”

We think we become more civilized by saying the right thing all the time, when all we’ve done is set up a situation for saying what we really feel–at the wrong time.

  • I would much rather you would joke with me than insult me.
  • I would prefer that you would poke fun at my foolishness instead of gossiping about me behind my back.

Banter is the gentle comedy we use to steer our friends in a different direction, so we don’t have to intervene … and constantly send them to rehab. 

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