Couth

Couth: (adj) showing or having good manners or sophistication

 I never get a chance to do anything couth because I’m too busy trying to correct my uncouth behavior.

I also think that we could make great advancements in our society and also in the human race simply by agreeing with each other about what truly is couth—and therefore being able to identify the patterns of action that would be uncouth.funny wisdom on words that begin with a C

What would be the top five attributes of being couth with people of every culture, from every nation, every religion and every predilection?

1. Learn how to listen by making eye contact and at least imitating interest.

2. Lead with kindness, even if you expect it to be rejected.

3. Smile more, even when you’re not taking selfies.

4. Contribute your talent where it will help—not where you wish it will help.

5. Be grateful.

I offer these five to you today as the Couth of Truth.

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Control Freak

Control freak: (n) a person having a strong need for control over people or situations.

I have devised five questions I periodically ask myself, to make sure I haven’t gone completely nuts.

It’s very easy to go insane since there are no obvious fences or walls built at the border. So, without inquiring from time to time, I can become dangerous to myself and others. I thought you might find them interesting:

  1. Does everything have to go according to plan, or is “close” good enough sometimes?funny wisdom on words that begin with a C
  2. Am I happy while I plan, while I do and while I finish?
  3. Do I expect too much from other people?
  4. Do I feel the need to give orders, or can I also take them?
  5. Do I understand the value of humility and the power of gratitude?

I have found that when I don’t ask these questions, I can easily turn into a control freak.

And keep this in mind—there is a reason it’s referred to as a “freak” instead of a genius.

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Complement

Complement: (n) a thing that completes or brings to perfection.

The greatest complement to beauty is humility.funny wisdom on words that begin with a C

The greatest complement to talent is hard work.

Likewise:

Spirituality…simplicity

Leadership…awareness

Lover…sensitivity

Comedian…vulnerability

Joy…compassion

Education…application

Health…gratitude

Confidence…introspection

Strength…mercy

Speaking…listening

Faith…charity

Hope…endurance

Finding…seeking

And of course, the greatest complement to God is humanity.

 

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Complacent

Complacent: (adj) showing smug or uncritical satisfaction with oneself or one’s achievements

Sometimes we forget the Earth is still evolving.

Because it doesn’t go on television, shout and scream, nor advertise itself unashamedly on the Internet, we believe that the Earth did its Darwin thing and decided to settle down somewhere near Naples, Florida, for a good, well-deserved retirement.

But the truth of the matter is, the Earth may be old in years, but it is constantly going through its “terrible twos.” It is a demanding toddler, requiring our funny wisdom on words that begin with a Cattention–otherwise it starts breaking things.

So even though the word “complacent” is normally considered to represent a negative emotion, connoting that one does not care, a bit of complacency is in order so we don’t come across thinking we are in charge.

I, for one, am complacent on the weather.

I know how to buy gear for the various threats and precipitation, so rather than studying it, cursing it or attempting to pray it away, I allow my emotions and soul to develop a needful numbness with a twinge of gratitude.

I am complacent on race.

Since it doesn’t make any difference and it’s foolish to talk about it, I will play like I’m mentally challenged when it’s brough up in front of me, because I don’t want to accidentally pop off something from my erroneous training, nor foolishly present myself as Mr. Universal.

Other areas where I’m complacent:

  • Gay rights
  • Abortion
  • Heaven
  • Hell
  • Chauvinism
  • And rising prices at the grocery store

Since most of these things do not affect me–and if they do affect me, they are completely beyond my control–any fretting, opinions or stomping on my part will be useless.

There is a wonderful phrase which I often remind myself of whenever I’m tempted to be engaged: “Be still and know that I am God.”

If there is a Being named God, and He has created a Universe, my stirrings are comical at best, and at worst, aggravating.

 

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Chilblain

Chilblain: (n) a painful, itching swelling on the skin, typically on a hand or foot, caused by poor circulation in the skin when exposed to cold.

A series of the number 24:

I was 24 years old.

It was 24 miles.

It was 24 degrees.

And I had been up for 24 hours.

I was desperately trying to start a music group that possessed enough solvency that the aggravated adults around me would stop bitching about my lack of a job.

I was failing.

Every time I got twelve dollars at a coffeehouse gig, I had fifteen dollars of bills.

I also had begun a family–mainly because my wife and I had not yet figured out the intricacies of birth control. Delaying this education led to two very quick
pregnancies.

I had not been home for five days, and even though there was a blizzard going on, I decided to take my old beat-up 1958 Chevy, with bald tires, and drive the 24 miles from Westerville, Ohio, to Centerburg, my home.

As I drove north, the weather got worse and I couldn’t see the road, which had disappeared under a blanket of white-carpeting ice.

Suddenly I felt a pain in my chest, then in my head, an itching in my leg (could have been a chilblain, right?) and the deep abiding notion that I was in trouble. Yes, I was only 24 years old, but thought I was having a heart attack, a stroke and a physical collapse, all at the same moment.

There was no place to stop, no houses to drive up to, seeking help–just more road and more and more snow bullets bouncing off my windshield.

I was scared.

I didn’t want to die.

I felt I was conjuring many of the symptoms due to my fatigue, loneliness and apprehension. Still, that didn’t make them go away.

As if on cue, the heater in my car, which had been offering some comfort, stopped working. Now all it was doing was blowing cold air on my frigid body.

Was I going to succumb on the 3-C Highway somewhere between Westerville and Centerburg, to be discovered tomorrow by a snow plow driver?

At that point, I did something I have done thousands of time since. I talked to myself.

“Buck up. If you’re gonna die, make it overtake you. Don’t give into it. Keep your eyes on the road. Be grateful that nobody else is traveling, so you can swerve around a little bit. And get yourself home.”

When I finished my little speech–my soliloquy, if you will–I immediately felt better.

I had calmed the storm in my own soul.

I had rested my own anxieties by admitting I was scared shitless.

A half hour later I pulled up in front of our old apartment, cautiously inched my way up the stairs, took off my clothes and climbed into bed with my wife, who had not seem me for some time.

I was so grateful.

Even my chilblain was gone.

I was humbled.

I never want to forget that sensation.

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Caftan

Caftan: (n) a long, full robe with wide sleeves

A budget is either an open door to an adventure in thrift or a perfectly good excuse to begin to bitch. The choice is really ours.

Back in my early days, when fifty cents caught in a couch cushion was considered a treasure, I was traveling with a music group and we
found the need to purchase stage clothing. Stage clothing is best defined as something you wouldn’t wear to the mall, but still short of circus attire.

I was touring with two lovely young ladies who certainly deserved to be dressed in better fashion than we were able to afford. So we went to a local glorified thrift store, and found some colorfully-designed caftans.

Truthfully, they were not caftans. They were actually nightgowns for aging, heavy-set women. But after about five minutes, we were able to convince ourselves that the manufacturers were short-sighted, and did not see how glorious these billowing dresses could become.

The ladies tried them on and immediately found that the material was too thin, and over-exposed some of their more womanly virtues. But one of them, having an industrious mind, suggested we buy some cheap cotton material and line the garments so they would have a bit more–shall we say?–heft.

As it turned out, each caftan cost $3.28 and the lining set us back another two dollars. So for less than ten dollars, my band mates got an outfit that we not only wore all over the country, but was even displayed on the cover of our premiere album.

Now I know this doesn’t make much difference in your world, and you may have considered this story to be a bit of a yawn fest, but it reminds me of the fact that appreciation and gratitude, mingled with some creativity, go a long way to making a dollar bill seem like a miracle.

 

 

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Bubbly

j-r-practix-with-border-2

Bubbly: (adj) used to describe a person who is full of cheerful high spirits.

When you remove tenderness and compassion from everyday life because, you will very quickly end up with a society that denies kindness while Dictionary Bfearing tragedy.

It’s tricky business.

I know there are people who think there’s a master plan of evil to destroy the world, and sometimes what we see certainly seems to confirm that theory.

But we are all too intent on coming across cool. Because of that, we’re never hot nor cold. We’re so afraid of being light-hearted and bubbly that we accidentally cuddle up to darkness.

It amazes me what younger audiences consider to be corny.

  • They don’t like silly humor.
  • They don’t like sentimentality.
  • They don’t like to hear too much praise given to an idea.
  • They don’t wish to give tribute where it is due.
  • They believe in the power of the unsaid–the silence that is supposed to project appreciation, but actually lacks volume and intent.

Can bubbly be obnoxious? I suppose.

But the truly dangerous profile is the stoicism which considers appreciation to be overwrought and gratitude assumed.

 

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