Comment

Comment: (n) a verbal or written remark expressing an opinion or reaction.

Having abandoned journalism, many forms of etiquette, courtesy and basic grammar, the Internet continues to pass along ideas from people who refuse to accept the fact that others have a creative bend and require consideration.

Somewhere in the past two decades we have lost the true definition of commenting. Let me begin by telling you what it is not.

A comment is not you offering an opinion. In other words, if someone writes an article stating that the President of the United States is a great historical figure filled with virtue, a comment would be on the writer’s approach, delivery, information and process in drawing conclusions. A comment is not jotting down, “Idiot, moron, and son-of-a-bitch” with multiple exclamation points. (A single exclamation point is supposed to express great passion. When I see two, I perceive stupidity.)

Commenting is letting folks know how what they had to share, think, or even a meal you prepared was received. It is not replacing their input with your dogma–feeling as if this resolves the issue for all time.

Often my children recommend a movie to me. If I watch it, I offer the following comment:

“I can see why you liked it. Maybe I wasn’t in the mood for this movie on the night I watched it, but I did not garner the usual impact or inspiration that I normally enjoy from a flick. It is certainly the kind that I normally do pursue, but this particular one left me cold. Maybe it’s because I don’t understand what the writer and director were trying to communicate.”

This is commenting–a blend of honesty and humility allowing the person who has shared to leave the house without fear of being gunned down by a maniac.

I welcome comments.

I make errors.

But I do not give you permission to ravage my material simply because it busted out the walls of your mental one-room sublet.

 

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Caveat

Caveat: (n) a stipulation, condition, or limitation

A caveat is when we add honesty to a thought.

We come up with something to say, but rather than allowing ourselves to be misleading, we add a phrase–usually on the end–which better
clarifies our position.

It is what makes human beings human, and therefore powerful. We are only foolish when we try to be gods or wallow in the jungle, pretending we are mere animals.

It is hope mingled with the reality that presents who we really are.

Case in point:

  • I love you, but it’s not easy.
  • I will be there, if I don’t get lazy
  • I worship God until He confuses the hell out of me.
  • I am happy until I decide I’m not.
  • I am color blind–except when I accidentally see color.
  • I am reliable as long as you check up on me.
  • I am selfish, but every once in a while, escape the prison.
  • I am getting older, but still have a few steps left.
  • I wish you the best, and I hope I’ll be there to help you get it.

Perhaps a caveat is what we should lead with in explaining our true situation, but I certainly contend that a nice little jolt of optimism sweetens the deal before we have to tell the whole truth.

 

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Calculate

Calculate: (v) to determine the amount.

I don’t want answers.

I want the information to coincide with my conclusions.

In other words, I basically have already decided what I have done and what I’m willing to do–so I’m on the hunt to discover the foxy way to
get by with my contribution.

The human race spends too much time calculating plans to avoid the inevitable, and therefore ends up with the same problem–except more serious and delinquent.

What should I calculate?

I should calculate who I am and what I really can do.

I should calculate that sharing this with other people in an honest frame of mind is the most practical way to make friends.

And I should calculate that sometimes my efforts, abilities and resources are not enough to cover the need, so I should buy myself enough time to make arrangements, seek assistance or negotiate a better deal.

We should never calculate too far from the borders of realism.

An example:

I, for one, am a believer in heaven, but I’m certainly calculating to stay here as long as possible … just in case.

 

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Blew

Blew: (v) past tense of blow

Dictionary BThere is great human wisdom in refusing to allow others to rob us of our moment of honesty.

If they need to extract the truth from us, we will lose all the brownie points from uttering it.

If we’re at the mercy of the scrutiny of critics, we will suddenly find ourselves living in a society in which critics have as much prominence as those who create.

The most powerful statement I will ever make in my life is, “I blew it”–especially if I’m able to squeeze in that confession before others leap upon my carcass.

Matter of fact, let’s look at the conjugation of this process:

  • I blow things.
  • I blew this.
  • It is blown.

A delightful process.

First of all, to have the courtesy to warn people that we are capable of blowing it.

Then to inform the tourists that the journey will be interrupted by the fact that we blew it.

And finally, to have that intelligence to know that something is blown and beyond repair, instead of reaching for the duct tape.

It’s inevitable.

I will need to admit that I blew it so I will not continue to chase the tail of what ends up being a dead dog.

Therefore, be careful.

When you think something is going to be a breeze, you are more likely to “blow it.”

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Benchmark

Benchmark: (n) a standard against which things may be compared or assessed

Dictionary B

At the risk of barking out some dogmatic standards, I shall attempt to offer some concerns.

As I view the climate of politics, religion and entertainment, which are meant to be foundations in our American society, I realize that the benchmark for each one of these offerings has shifted over the years, unconsciously accepted by the masses.

Religion should have only one function: to teach us to love each other.

Anything else ranges from superfluous to dangerous. Nowadays we ask religion to afford us a heritage, a style, a uniqueness, or even a guarantee of eternal life.

The benchmark we have set for religion is careless.

On the other hand, the only benchmark for politics is honesty.

Without it, we fail to recognize what the true problems are, and therefore we end up working on the insignificant and overlooking the necessary.

Nowadays, politics is the symbol of deception, dissension, gridlock and even a certain amount of ridicule.

We’ve lost our benchmark on politics.

And finally, entertainment should have the benchmark of entertaining us, but also enlightening us.

Without these stipulations, entertainment starts to be sensationalistic, desiring a plumper and plumper bottom line.

When we lose our benchmarks, we start to stray, which makes us appear lost ... even as we insist we are following the cultural GPS.

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Below

Below: (prep) at a lower level

Dictionary B

It takes guts.

It probably shouldn’t.

Honesty, by its very definition, should be a statement of the reality that we presently know.

But since reality tends to scare us, we develop stories. We conjure excuses. And we fail to realize that our character–and ultimately, our popularity–is determined by how well we recognize when our efforts are below standard, and admit the shortage instead of denying responsibility.

How wonderful it would be if I could convince myself, and maybe therefore others around me, that the only way to be truly diminished is to insist that I never fall below the best.

  • We all do.
  • We all will.

And we all have an opportunity to be considered valuable by admitting this deficiency instead of covering it up.

It baffles me that I don’t know this. Why I pause before telling the truth of the matter is a great source of mystery to my soul.

Because when I am candid, the world rushes to my side to lift up my spirits and encourage me to do better.

When I lie, I make humanity around me turn into my enemies so they can honor the traditions of candor.

My efforts are often below the quality I am capable of achieving.

I have never improved my status … by lying about it. 

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Apex

dictionary with letter A

Apex: (n.) the top or highest point.

“Getting high.”

It’s too bad that phrase has been sullied by the drug culture, because it is so rich in truth and promise.

Everything in life has an apex, even though we often settle for the valley.

  • The apex of politics is a decision to be responsive to the needs of the people instead of chasing their whims.
  • The apex of the military is to convey a strength which discourages our enemies instead of using new weapons to experiment with their lethal carnage.
  • The apex of friendship is really honesty–having someone in your life who will tell you when your breath is bad.
  • The apex of spirituality is “love your neighbor as yourself” instead of debating “who is my neighbor?”
  • The apex of education is infusing knowledge which is workable to the student who wants to go out and pursue a craft.
  • The apex of sexuality is mutual pleasure.
  • The apex of finance is having enough for your needs, a little for your desire, and the balance to help others.
  • The apex of athleticism is the payoff of being in shape, whether you win the trophy or not.
  • The apex of commerce is to make a decent profit while feeling soul-satisfaction because you’ve delivered a quality product.
  • The apex of parenting is seeing the good parts of yourself in your children and allowing them to rebel against the bad.
  • And the apex of faith is working towards having the will of God done on Earth instead continually speculating on heaven.

I am in favor of getting high–just not chemically induced.

For finding the apex in life may be the true definition of “the high road.”

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