Cringe

Cringe: (v) to cower in fear

My last name is spelled C-R-I-N-G.

Throughout my entire life, people have mispronounced it as C-R-I-N-G-E.

Though I try to be understanding, I do not comprehend why they don’t see that the pronunciation is merely “ring” with a C in front—Cring.

Or why not look at the name and do that beautiful, humble piece of humanity:

“Could you help me with the pronunciation of your name, so I don’t mutilate it?”

But many, many, many folk go ahead and pronounce it “Cringe,” and then are surprised when I correct them, exhibiting a mixture of, “Why don’t you get a better last name?” and “What’s the big deal?”

Well, you see, the big deal is that I do not want to be named after a word which connotes that I cower in fear. I have purposely avoided fear in my life and have certainly never adopted a profile of cowering.

This experience taught me one piece of wisdom.

Audacity rarely has virtue.

It is much too sure of itself.

It is self-reliant and often brash.

The amount of humility it takes to be certain about someone’s name is equivalent to the amount of progress you’re going to make as a human being in our tribe.

If you’re not sure, just ask.

Don’t take a stab at it.

Because like most stabs, it can really hurt.

funny wisdom on words that begin with a C

 


Subscribe to Jonathan’s Weekly Podcast

Good News and Better News

 

Advertisements

Creature

funny wisdom on words that begin with a C

Creature: (n) an animal, especially a non-human

I like animals—but I don’t love them.

This statement in itself is enough to make many people cease reading this article—for loving animals has become the symbol of great humanity, mercy and tenderness. I especially find displeasure in those who allude to the fact that they “love animals more than people.”

We have begun to accept such weirdness.

I guess if I felt that the people who loved animals cared equally for people, I would be very impressed and would want to learn from them how to be more passionate about…what is it they call them?

Oh, yes. Our “fur friends.”

But I feel these folks have decided to be empathetic with animals instead of their fellows, mainly because they can quietly overlord the creatures, while pretending equality.

After all, what’s a dog going to do if you insist you love it, but then make it wait an extra fifteen minutes to go out and pee so you can finish your make-up?

And what is a cat supposed to think when you show up two or three times a day for affection, and any time it wants to come and be close, you’re too busy watching TV?

It’s a strange game—because it is easy to love an animal that is not demanding, and not so easy to love one that requires equality.

I am still working on being kind to the sparrow and all other creatures.

But I will begin by loving those folks who I’m told are most certainly created in God’s image.

 

Donate Button


Subscribe to Jonathan’s Weekly Podcast

Good News and Better News

 

Cowrite

Cowrite: (v) to co-author

Inspired.

Divinely inspired.

I don’t have a problem with either of these thoughts.

I’ve been inspired. I will even be so bold as to claim having been divinely inspired (if by divinity you include science, life, nature, humanity and breathing.)

Yet, I have a problem believing that something ever written by a mortal hand is minus all the twitches and nervous energy associated with that being.funny wisdom on words that begin with a C

Therefore, when you tell me that God wrote something, I become skeptical. My understanding of our Creator is that He is much more involved in the visual media of sunrises, sunsets, stars, planets, galaxies—and the universe, for that matter.

For any writer will tell you that the most dangerous thing to do is try to place truth in stone when your own mortality limits the comprehension of truth.

I fully understand that all those who ever wrote a “holy book” believed, in the moment, that their hand was overtaken by a divine spirit which urged them to convey the ideas.

But time marches on. What we believed to be true yesterday is not quite the same today.

And the search for “universal truth” really does not take us through volumes and volumes of thoughts and reflections, but rather, to the doorstep of a single emotion: love.

Maybe this is why a fisherman and cowriter once scrawled, “God is love.”


Donate Button


Subscribe to Jonathan’s Weekly Podcast

Good News and Better News

 

Counterproductive

Counterproductive: (adj) tending to defeat one’s purpose

I think it is wisdom to take a moment—maybe even sit down—and consider what it means to be a productive person.

There are five words that come to my mind:

  1. Solvent
  2. Temperate
  3. Loving
  4. Generous
  5. Focused

Now, there may be others, but you can take these five attributes, blend them together and end up with a productive human life.funny wisdom on words that begin with a C

So let’s take a moment and consider what is counterproductive.

Starting with Number 1, solvent, I would assume the counter would be financially in need, as impulsive would be the opposite of temperate.

Let’s move along. Shall we say that spiteful might be considered counterproductive to loving? And stingy undoubtedly would discourage generosity.

Distracted certainly is the antithesis of focused.

So what do you get when you put together a human life which is financially in need, impulsive, spiteful, stingy and distracted?

It seems to me that you might end up with the American culture—so intent on individual families that it lacks vision for the entire humanity on Earth, and also so entwined with the Internet that opportunity which often stumbles into the room is ignored in favor of binge-watching.

I’m not so sure you can build a human being of quality, soul or mercy by trying to emphasize counterproductive values.

I think our first step into escaping our own trap of inefficiency is to realize that we’re all in this together—over the seven continents, all of the countries, all the races, all the religions and both genders.

In doing so, we might begin to produce instead of having our fruit rot on the vine.


Donate Button


Subscribe to Jonathan’s Weekly Podcast

Good News and Better News

 

Cotton

Cotton: (n) a plant with soft, white, downy hairs

It’s not cotton’s fault.

Cotton is not to blame.

But honestly, I can’t hear the word “cotton” without thinking about slavery.

I know—I’m weird.

It doesn’t keep me from wearing a cotton t-shirt or cotton socks. But cotton was a crop that was so difficult to pick, and grew in such a hot climate, that a funny wisdom on words that begin with a C
bunch of white people who couldn’t withstand the process, decided to abandon their entire moral code and respect for humanity and bring in black folks from Africa, convincing themselves that these souls were little more than apes—so that the damn stuff could be gathered and turned into a profit.

The world wanted cotton and the South didn’t want to pick it. So rather than finding a better way to do it or creating a living wage for those unemployed white Southerners who might be willing to consider pursuing the occupation, it seemed logical in the minds of those from that era to enslave a race of people to promote a crop.

Black people picking cotton.

The activity was the origin the racist statement, “You must be out of your cotton-pickin’ mind.”

That would have been considered a double insult: first, that you were relegated to picking cotton, and second, that you were as hapless as they insisted Africans were.

Even in the South today, when driving along, seeing these strange fields full of the white blooms, it crosses my mind: who’s picking this stuff now?

And then, to my horror, I drive a little piece up the road and see black brothers and sisters wearing loose-fitting clothes and head scarves, still plucking the crop from the field. Even though they now receive a wage for doing so, the sight is almost too frightening to perceive.

Like it or not, certain things become tainted.

I’ll never be able to see an old movie that shows the Twin Towers of New York in the background without tearing up.

I’ll never be able to view a Confederate flag without remembering the arrogance and ignorance that punished a race of people and imprisoned them into forced labor.

And I don’t think I’ll ever be able to look at a cotton field without being reminded of the atrocity that was brought about in our country by white people picking a white crop to undergird their white privilege while subjugating black hands to do so.


Donate Button


Subscribe to Jonathan’s Weekly Podcast

Good News and Better News

 

Cosponsor

Cosponsor: (n) a joint sponsor, as of a legislative bill.

I’ve decided to make my life much easier.

Although there are individuals who extol the magnitude and glory of a difficult journey, I have found that the simpler and less stressful I make my time on Earth, the more sense it makes and certainly the greater my enjoyment.

I have tried for years to sponsor ideas. I will never stop.

For there are certain things that are occasionally thrown overboard because we feel we no longer need them, which end up being necessary for the human race to stay afloat.funny wisdom on words that begin with a C

I will continue to speak about these things in a gentle tone with my tongue situated in my cheek and a twinkle in my eye.

But my great new pursuit, which is already fulfilling, is to cosponsor the notions that are coming from other people which are sympathetic to the survival of all the brothers and sisters in the house we call Earth.

There is a power in believing that those who are not against us are actually for us.

Although you may gain spiritual dominance and political hay by isolating off enemies which are targeted by your constituency, discovering the common points of hurt and the touchstones of blessing is truly a significant breath of fresh air and an ice-cold drink in the heat of turmoil.

When you have a good idea, I will not only “yea” it, I will “amen” it. I don’t care if you’re Republican, Democrat, Chinese, Native American, male, female, LGBTQ or plus anything else.

I am looking for ideals which have not been corrupted and continue to sparkle with the gleam of hope.

I will cosponsor them.

They don’t have to be of my doing.

I don’t have to be the author nor the finisher.

I just have to see the faith.


Donate Button


Subscribe to Jonathan’s Weekly Podcast

Good News and Better News

 

Correspond

Correspond: (v) to communicate by exchange of letters

Dear You:

This is me.

I am writing you for many reasons.

Well, that’s not true.

The main reason I’m writing you is that I don’t want you to ignore me.funny wisdom on words that begin with a C

Each one of us is so busy that we soon will forget people we know unless we purposely correspond with them. We may protest and say that’s impossible, but certainly, “out of sight, out of mind.”

Pretty soon, who knows? In a moment of feeble-mindedness, you might actually fail to recall my name.

I don’t want you to do that.

I’m too important to me for you to forget me. Do you follow that?

And I hope you are too important to you to have me forget you.

This is why we contact one another. It doesn’t make any difference whether it’s done through a letter, an email or a text—just as long as I know that you know that I am here and you are aware.

Yes, all forms of communication, at their root, are insecurity speaking out.

After all, how much time would we spend thinking about God if there were no Bible? And how much Bible would we read if there were no church? And how many churches would have people in attendance if they weren’t going there to meet up with people they hope wouldn’t forget them?

We can either deny selfishness, or we can use it to help us understand the selfishness that exists in others. Once we forgive ourselves for selfishness, we might have a bit of leniency left over to forgive one another.

I correspond because I do not want to be forgotten. In the process I am able to communicate to you that you are well-thought-of and treasured.

How can this system be wrong?

How can this be anything other than the definition of the selfishness of humanity put into good practice?

Dear You,

This is me.

May we never forget us.


Donate Button


Subscribe to Jonathan’s Weekly Podcast

Good News and Better News