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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Coy

Coy: (adj) slyly hesitant.

 Impersonation or imitation?

The two words are basically synonyms, yet many folks would insist that an impersonation is clever or entertaining, whereas an imitation might be insulting.

At least, that’s my take on it. I wonder why.funny wisdom on words that begin with a C

Because certainly there are things that can be impersonated or imitated which are humorous or even necessary. For instance, if we have to take a test, we have to impersonate someone who’s knowledgeable.

Yet impersonations or imitations are not always flattering, and worse, they can be downright deceiving.

I found this to be very true, especially when dealing with the subject of humility. I will say that try as you will, you will never be able to impersonate a humble person nor imitate humility and still maintain sincerity.

This is mainly because we choose to be humble when we are flirting with disgrace instead when of celebrating victory.

This is what makes us coy.

I get nervous around people who think they’re being coy. I feel cheated. I think they are trying to avoid presenting their real selves, and instead, substituting what might resemble honest.

I don’t like it when parents tell me their children are shy. Can I question that? They don’t appear shy to me. They seem sheltered. They often have the whiff of conceited. And occasionally, one might even pick up some judgment in their distracted stare.

Coy is a tough one for me.

I am always afraid that someone who is trying to visually present him or herself as humble is merely waiting for an opportunity to dominate me when I least expect it. Donate Button


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Court of Public Opinion

Court of public opinion: (n) the beliefs and judgment of most people

I have never met “most people.”

They normally come as individuals who begin to cling together over some belief or even prejudice, simply because they have been taught since their youth that there is strength in numbers. (Once again, I don’t know if even that is true.)funny wisdom on words that begin with a C

After all, there have been some awfully “populated” ideas over the centuries of mankind which dissipated when exposed for their greed or stupidity.

So when it comes to the court of public opinion, there is actually a wide range of assertions within that single courtroom.

What I have learned is that there are three things that will never be illegal, can’t imagine them being improper, and generally speaking, gain favor when the public opinion decides to hold court.

1. “I’m sorry.”

Even though we tout the power of arrogance, we simultaneously despise it.

Even though we want people to espouse their confidence, our skin crawls a bit if humility doesn’t show up immediately.

You will certainly be convicted in the court of public opinion if you are unable to say, “I’m sorry.”

2. “I have faults.”

There is only one entity we believe to be sinless, and quite honestly, He, being God, gets an awful lot of questioning of His comings and goings.

I don’t think any of us are looking for our leaders, friends, spouses or children to be without mistakes or error-free. We just appreciate it when folks know they are capable of a stumble before we come along, have to pick them up and listen to all their excuses.

3. “It’s none of my goddamn business.”

You certainly have a better chance of being acquitted in the court of public opinion if you aren’t prosecuting too many cases against other folk.

If it’s not involving your money, your time, your soul or your body, stay the hell out of it. Then you won’t have to face the revenge of disgruntled people who were accused by your court and ended up walking out the doors smelling like a rose.

Yes, if you want to get a good verdict in the court of public opinion, you might want to remember these three things.

Or be prepared to spend some time imprisoned by your own ignorance.

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Core Curriculum

Core curriculum: (n) a collection of courses with a central theme

I tend to run out of the room in a bit of horror when I hear voices raised and people begin to stomp around sharing their opinions with more energy than wisdom.

I know it may be popular to be sold out on your convictions, but too often I see people’s convictions sell them out, leaving them ignorant or inept.funny wisdom on words that begin with a C
Every once in a while, you’ll stumble across a discussion laced with some humility—and the participants will admit that the reason a conversation is necessary is because knowledge is lacking.

For instance, what does an eighteen-year-old American teenager need to know, think, believe and feel upon graduating from high school? Candidly, college offers new choices the student can take advantage of if he or she is so inclined, but I do think we should be very interested in what the average eighteen-year-old already knows upon completing the core curriculum in the American educational system.

And in a sense, it does boil down to “reading, ‘riting, ‘rithmetic”—but may I add a fourth “R?” Rationality.

Reading is necessary because if you’re eighteen years old, and you insist that everything you need to know you’ve already learned, then you are certainly a danger to those around you.

‘Riting because if you’re only going to use words in vague half-sentences or tweets, then you will often leave the world around you bewildered as to your intentions. Can you write a decent paragraph that conveys what you’re trying to say?

‘Rithmetic—because entering the adult world, you must understand that things need to add up, and if they don’t you must subtract something and learn to divide up your efforts to grant you the possibility to multiply.

And finally, rationality. Teaching an eighteen-year-old that most of the time, he or she is either wrong or deficient of the data necessary to make a good decision will calm things down, with a bit of needed uncertainty, instead of becoming overwrought, chasing unrealistic dreams.

Yes, there is a need for a core curriculum—where we start out agreeing on common sense principles.


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Coot

Coot: (n) a foolish or crotchety person, especially one who is old

I have officially become old enough to become a coot. I’m not sure what age qualifies you, but age is certainly a factor.

There are other considerations:

Coots always talk about “how good things used to be.”

Coots tend to refer to society as using a “handbasket on their way to hell.”

Coots pine for a time when they were younger and full of energy.funny wisdom on words that begin with a C

I honestly don’t feel any of that whatsoever.

Many of my growing-up years were filled with ignorance, prejudice, anger, self-righteousness and bloodshed in an unrighteous war. So I don’t yearn to go back—I just insist that there are two things the human race can’t live without, and we should cease deleting them from our browser.

Human beings must have empathy and self-deprecation. If you don’t like the idea of self-deprecation, then insert humility.

When we stop feeling empathy for the man or woman next to us, we become enemies to our own species, similar to a bee who plots with the flies to steal the honey.

And when we don’t produce adequate humility, the obnoxious odor that comes off our being chases people from the room.

I’m not an old coot.  I don’t care who you sleep with. I don’t care what your political party is. I don’t care what your faith or lack of faith might be.

But when you mess with empathy and humility, I will dig my heels in, because then you’re plotting the destruction of the human race—of which I am proudly a member.


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Conviction

Conviction: (n) a fixed or firm belief

There is a new rule. If the word “rule” sounds too stodgy for you, then call it a guideline.

If “guideline” is still too restrictive, you may consider it an insight.

If “insight” gives you the creeps, then let’s just call it an idea.

Here it is:

You are allowed, permitted and granted an opinion, as long as you’re willing to be wrong.

The very second that you—or I, for that matter—start insisting that our opinion is really a conviction held by millions and even, maybe, heralded by the heavens, we probably need to be hauled off somewhere to live in a poverty-stricken situation until humility settles into our souls.funny wisdom on words that begin with a C

Discussion would be no problem if we actually discussed. We don’t. We enter discussions with convictions.

Disagreements would still be fine if we were conscious of the need to evolve. But we aren’t, because our convictions arrived to us engraved in stone.

It would even be possible to argue—as long as our convictions didn’t cause us to be arrogant, feeling that we’re pleasing a political party, a science project or a deity by being stubborn.

I used to have many convictions. I used to scrunch my face up when I heard people advance their theories or share their preferences.

Whenever I did this, my ass always found my hole and created an unrighteous unity.

Over the years I have abandoned, ignored, walked away from and giggled at many of my convictions, realizing that the majority of them were hatched in the henhouse of speculation. Let’s be honest—your speculation is as good as mine, and mine is pretty worthless.

So now I listen, I get an idea of what’s going on, and from that idea I develop an inkling which I take into the discussion, only to discover that much of my inkling needs to be trimmed away.

I am not impressed with convictions.

What truly touches my heart is seeing human beings who have the mercy and grace to be wrong while still smiling.


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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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