Cruel

Cruel: (adj) willfully or knowingly causing pain or distress to others.

You do know that your clock doesn’t say, right?

I’m talking about when we casually cite, “The clock says…” and we note the time.

Since clocks can’t speak, they can’t say.

Some folks would say that’s being picky. (Actually, it’s a little trick you learn in writing to make sure you don’t have grumblers and complainers instantly mocking you because you claim to have a talking clock.)

But two nights ago, I caught my clock reading, “2:53 A.M.”

Suddenly I was wide awake.

It’s amazing that during some of these midnight stirrings, it feels like you could get up and build a bridge. And then, five hours later when you’re supposed to get up and bridge something, you can barely move.

We are strangely constructed, curiously functioning and unfathomable in our conclusion.

But since the clock read “2:53,” I decided to ask what the plot was. Yes—my brain always has some sort of idea it’s brewing, contrary to what I might think about during the day, and also frequently critical of my self-assured attitude.

The question on this particular awakening was, “How have I been cruel?”

When I’m better prepared—after the selection of my favorite shirt and a good breakfast—I would probably insist that I’m not cruel. But my brain was reading something else at 2:54 in the morning. So I stayed quiet and listened.

This is the lecture I received:

You are cruel when you withhold appreciation simply because you believe you’ve already expressed your favor.

You are cruel when you know someone requires a hug and you supply a handshake instead.

You are cruel when your friend has contacted you by text or email, and you arbitrarily decide to return it—the next day.

You are cruel when you hear an ignorant statement made in your presence and you let it go without comment, thinking it’s none of your damn business.

You are cruel when you turn into cement over an issue of spirituality, politics or morality because you think it makes you appear more righteous.

You are cruel when you comply to the mediocrity of a situation or the indifference of a room because there’s no need to be a boat-rocker.

You are cruel when you no longer believe you’re capable of being cruel.

I don’t like it when my clock reads.

I guess I’m just like everyone else:

I would be completely satisfied with an ignorant time piece.

funny wisdom on words that begin with a C


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Besiege

Besiege: (v) to purposely surround

Dictionary B

Good intentions are the excuses we are prepared to make when we know, deep in our hearts, that we may just be interfering.

It really comes down to two words: hug or surround.

What is the difference? If you’re standing at a distance, they can appear to be the same thing:

  • In both cases, they resemble an embrace.
  • In both cases, they bring you close to the source of your focus.
  • And in both cases, they temporarily confine others to your moment’s emotion.

But a hug is something you want–or even need.

Being surrounded is the whim of the person who’s decided for you what you need.

You can see, one is quite the opposite of the other.

There is a general weakness in the human race which makes us feel that we are responsible to make other people as devoted, sacred, disturbed or entrenched as we are–even if it doesn’t make them happy.

We don’t want to be a testimony to others–we prefer taking the role of judge and jury.

So in my journey, I’ve discovered that even though I think I have an insight on the predicament or progress of other human beings, I will stand afar and allow them to know that I’m available … but not besieging them with my presence.

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Analyze

dictionary with letter A

Analyze: (adj) relating to or using analysis or logical reasoning.

Perhaps we should print signs.

It may be a bit cumbersome but certainly would be helpful in reminding us what exactly is the right procedure in a given situation.

One sign should read: Analyze

The other sign should warn: Please do not analyze.

Mixing these two up is what creates some of the more awkward and even tense moments in our day.

For instance, if you come home and your ten-year-old is sitting in his soccer uniform, dejected and pouting, and you use your laser insight to realize he must have lost his game, it is probably not the best time to sit down and become analytical about the game of soccer or go outside to practice kicks and moves. It is time for a bowl of popcorn, a hug and a funny video.

Likewise, if you were to return to your abode and your wife asked you to sit down and discuss a problem she was having in the household, it would be unfortunate to decide to launch into a tickle-fest.

Do we analyze or do we just allow ourselves to feel? The right answer brings understanding; the wrong one lends itself to retaliation.

For after all, trying to be flippant over things that need an analytical touch makes us appear calloused and useless to those who are hurt or abused.

  • Waranalytical
  • Kissingnot
  • Abortionanalytical
  • Parentingnot so much
  • Financea little of both

So you can see, the true definition of maturity is knowing when to be analytical and when to allow yourself to escape the prison of logic … and run free as long as you possibly can.

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Acuity

Words from Dic(tionary)

by J. R. Practix

dictionary with letter A

Acuity: (n) sharpness or keenness of thought, vision or hearing. e.g.: intellectual acuity, visual acuity.

This was interesting to me.

I have always associated the word “acuity” with some sort of sight. As I’ve gotten older, my eyes still function quite well except for a little dimness. Perhaps it’s the punishment for longevity–a general darkening of the corners of eyesight, earshot–and dare I say, flexibility of thinking.

I would suggest a much better way to ward off the woes and worries of aging, rather than tummy tucks, wrinkle creams, Botox and face lifts.

Just stay sharp. Exercise the brain.

Find the kind of glasses, magnifiers and various tools available to make sure you see the best you possibly can.

Sit closer to people so you can hear better. Rather than distancing yourself and secluding from the world around you, close the gap between the generations and remain current to the affairs.

Acuity is something that we can FAKE. Isn’t that GREAT? I know that sometimes faking is viewed as a vice, perhaps coming across as phony. But acuity merely requests that we take in what’s available instead of pretending that we didn’t notice or aren’t interested.

Start with your eyes. Yes–the light of the body is the eye. I can always tell by looking in someone’s peepers whether he or she is still with us, or if behind that glazed expression is the whimsy of reminiscence instead of hope for the present.

I love my children and grandchildren but they are not my life. I have a life, I include them in that life and they’re welcome to keep up with me if they can. None of them would ever call me “old Grandpa.”

Even as my body starts to betray me, insisting on some token measure of “decrepit” in order to fulfill my years, my mind, spirit and emotions remain youthful and alive.

There’s not much we can give to one another which will be universally accepted as generous. Staying alert and using our acuity, free of judgment, is the best way to give the whole world a hug.