Culpable

Culpable: (adj) deserving blame or censure; blameworthy.

I was born in a hospital in Columbus, Ohio.

Honestly, the single incident didn’t do a whole lot for me except provide me life.

I was born again in a little church and got baptized.

It felt good for a while, but then I discovered that I had to keep going and scrounge out some purpose.

When I was eighteen years of age, I wrote my first musical number.

It felt mighty good to be creative. It was rewarding on that first composition and continues to be so. But it’s not the highlight of my life.

I saw sons born into my household and sons who came through my front door.

They were all amazing, but they didn’t provide the backbone and meaning for my journey.

I really became a human being the day I allowed myself to be culpable for my actions and I was not afraid to admit the wrongs I engineered.

Before that day, I avoided confrontations—even lied, cheated and rewrote history to prove I was not at fault.

This dodging of responsibility occasionally made me the “Bad Dad,” a mediocre workman, an insufficient artist, an unpredictable lover and a horrible Christian.

My life began when I was prepared to admit where I screwed up.

Any human who is not willing to be culpable for his or her own actions is not only obnoxious but dangerous to the whole tribe.

 

funny wisdom on words that begin with a C

Cry

Cry: (v) to weep or shed tears

Sometimes we grumble that nothing is getting better.

It may seem that the surrounding world is out of control and we are stuck moving at about 30 miles per hour.

So it is refreshing to allow oneself to consider the things that have improved and progressed us, instead of maintaining a cave-man attitude, wearing better clothes.

One of those things is crying.

We used to believe that crying was for women and small children. Men either didn’t cry or cried so quietly that you could not tell they were actually weeping.

It was considered a sign of weakness.

Then something changed.

Maybe it was the realization that three or four dozen football players working their asses off to win a game, only to lose it by one point in the last three seconds, did evoke tears—and there was nothing to be ashamed of.

Yes, we did become a better race when we realized that men cry as much as women. They have just learned how to mask it and not completely break down sobbing.

I cry.

I like to cry.

I’m trying to learn to cry without needing the stimulus of feeling sorry for myself. There’s a certain nobility to mourning for the needs and losses of others. I mean, I know what to say when I’m around a fellow human being who’s hurt.

But I’m not satisfied with how little I feel.

For instance, I am still very much relieved that it’s not me who’s going through the trouble. I want to express my sentiments of support and hope but not turn it into an all-day affair.

Mainly, I would like to do more to remove tragedy, sadness and despair from the world around me, so I don’t have to try to work it up inside myself or fail to do so and feel like a jerk.

I cry.

Unfortunately, most of the time I cry for myself.

But every once in a while, the Spirit that lives within me breaks through, wins the day and allows me to feel what it’s like to be another—and be tragically damaged.

Blessed are those who mourn, for they shall be comforted.

I never thought of it before, but until we allow ourselves to cry, we’re not putting the troubles out of our lives.

We’re just putting them out of our minds.

funny wisdom on words that begin with a C


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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

 


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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.

 

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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.”


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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.


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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.


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