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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Crème

funny wisdom on words that begin with a C

Crème: (n) cream

Sometimes I foolishly allow myself to get on a jag of discovering correct grammar, proper sentence structure, and believe it or not, accurate spelling.

In the midst of this pursuit, I occasionally stumble on a word that has an old-time spelling and a new-fangled spelling without any particular consensus on which one is definitively correct.

Idiot that I occasionally am, I adopt the unusual spelling or pronunciation, thinking it makes me a trifle uptown or high-falutin’.

The result is always the same.

All the people who do not share my predilection for a historical study of the English language—etymology—immediately wonder why in the hell I use the word etymology when I wasn’t mentioning insects.

I know they don’t know what they’re talking about.

I am positive I have discovered some nugget of personal treasure which I am offering in order to seem expansive.

But inevitably, I’ll be corrected—rudely.

In one of my novels I wrote that my character requested “coffee and crème.”

First, my spellcheck had a stroke. (You know—when the squiggly line is SO dark and red that you realize it’s coming from a rage from spellcheck’s childhood.)

I resisted spellcheck and had it published, only to hear from grammar Nazis, concerned friends, and those who joined the club (which probably is called, “Cream Should Be Spelled C-R-E-A-M.”) They all asked me to reform. I became defensive, which made them believe that I was not only ignorant, but mentally challenged.

So I have learned in a world that talks a good game of creativity while desperately extoling the status quo, to let the cream rise to the top and let the crème sink to the bottom.


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Cooperate

Cooperate: (v) to work or act together or jointly for a common purpose or benefit.

Life sent me a text.

It asked me if I had a few minutes to sit down and discuss some things. Normally I would have been responsive, but it was a busy day.

Sometimes I intend to return messages to people but then I get absorbed in happenings and my very, very good intentions are set to the side. These people are often offended. They don’t understand how much I really wanted to get back to them.funny wisdom on words that begin with a C

So Life texted me again. This time the request came with four exclamation points. I hate it when people overuse punctuation on the Internet, don’t you? It’s so ignorant. Do they really think that’s going to get my attention?

So this time, I refused to respond on principle—surely it must be some sort of scam.

The following week Life texted me again, and insisted that something needed to be done very soon, or else.

I despise it when people threaten me. Don’t you? Because if you follow up, trying to find out what it’s about, you discover they just played you to get your attention.

Honest to God, if I chased every person warning me about something, or informing me about another thing, I wouldn’t get anything else done.

So I came up with an emoji which I sent back to life. A cute one. I think it was a creature sticking out its tongue.

That kind of summed up my feelings about Life’s interference in my daily activity—especially the pushiness I was feeling from the unwanted messages.

Then all of a sudden, I died.

I arrived at some sort of place that seemed to have an atmosphere, but was completely suspended in time. Standing there waiting for me was Life.

Not seeing anybody else to talk to, I stepped up to Life and said, “What happened? I was too young for this.”

Life looked at me smugly and said, “Did you get my texts?”

“Yes,” I replied, wondering what in the heck that had to do with anything under the sun.

Life took a deep breath. “I texted you because I wanted to let you know that several alarms had gone off in your body which you were ignoring, and you needed to go get yourself checked out.”

I frowned. “Why didn’t you tell me it was important?”

Life groaned, then spoke slowly. “You see, that’s the problem with human beings. You think anything that you don’t know about is an interference, never realizing that most problems can be avoided if you will just stop, listen, receive the message, and cooperate.”


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Convey

Convey: (v) to communicate; impart; make known

I believe in God but sometimes I wish I didn’t.

God has some of the shittiest front people you’ll ever meet. They are unkind, self-involved, pious, ignorant of history and single-minded in a way that makes them appear to be brainless.funny wisdom on words that begin with a C

The truth of the matter is, if you lock a child up in the basement, he or she will begin to believe the whole world is a basement.

There will be no attempt on the child’s part to expand his or her vision to conjure a world of pleasantries and peace. The church has imprisoned its members in the catacombs of ignorance. So…

How can I convey the love of God without being associated with the hatefulness of God?

How can I convey the mercy of God without coming across as an airhead who doesn’t really care that there are standards in life?

How can I convey that Jesus has been abducted by religion and is being held hostage for your tithe?

Sometimes I want to throw my hands up in the air—and not as symbol of praise, but rather, desperation.


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Commission

Commission: (n) a duty given to a person or group of people.

It is pretty universally known as the “Great Commission”–the words Jesus imparted to his disciples before ascending to heaven. (You can stop reading at any point where you no longer believe.)

He said to them, “Go unto all the world and preach the Gospel to every living creature.”

Truth is, you’d be hard-pressed to find any corner of the globe (an oxymoron) where an awareness of Jesus and his deeds is not known to at least some extent.

So when you consider projects, the Great Commission has been a relatively successful one, though it has taken two thousand years.

But what weakens the Great Commission of going “into the world and preaching” is that the simpler commissions that precede it are often ignored.

The Initial Commission:

“I am not hot shit. I need to humble myself and realize that I become stronger by recognizing my weaknesses.”

You see, that Initial Commission is not nearly as popular. Why? Because you don’t get to preach at people. Yet if you try to share the Great Commission while thinking you’re better than everybody else, it will be rejected by the hearer.

Then there is the Expanding Commission:

“If I am the salt of the Earth and the light of the world, I should probably bear some fruit to prove the point.”

It always astounds me that God collects some of the laziest, broken-down, ignorant and bitter people to follow Him and attempt to convey His message of love through their hatefulness.

So you see, I don’t think the Great Commission works very well–getting a platform to preach the Gospel to the whole world–if the Initial Commission–finding out you’re a sinner–and the Expanding Commission–“well, since I’m a sinner, I might want to de-sin before I preach to others”–is not in full bloom for the world to see and smell.

I am very proud of my ancestors for sharing the message of Jesus throughout the whole world.

Now, since we’ve got a good start on it, why don’t we reinforce it by embodying his message?

 

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Comma

Comma: (n) a punctuation mark (,) indicating a pause between parts of a sentence

Belligerent.

Yes, downright sour-tongued and steamed.

That is how I would characterize one of the publishers I forwarded my material to when I was a very young man, believing that merely jotting
something down on a pad of paper and sending it off was the doorway to the bestsellers list.

Within a few weeks, I received a letter from a copywriter, who was evidently greatly offended. She had deemed me to be ignorant, backwoods and perhaps even insolent because of my overuse of commas.

I was young.

I liked a good comma.

Maybe I overdid my commas and had to sleep them off the next morning–but that’s the way we are during our growing up years. Because the commas are so available, and no one puts restrictions on them, and the rules for using them are ambiguous, if not incoherent, I stuck in a comma every few words, just to ensure that I knew they existed.

There was some awareness on my part of where a comma might need to go.

But it took me a long time to realize that periods are stop signs and commas are speed bumps. And unless you want your reader to purposely drive fifteen miles per hour, bouncing up and down every 150 feet, you should use the comma sparingly.

Because after I was thoroughly rebuked by this dear woman, I realized that sometimes small-minded, officious, self-righteous paragraph-pushers can still make a good point.

So, as you can see, I am nearly, completely, totally, and thoroughly, cured.

 

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Churn

Churn: (v) to move about vigorously.

It all depends what you disrupt.

If you stir up and churn milk and have the patience to stay with it, you get creamy, sweet butter. On the other hand, you can probably sit all
day long churning dirt, and even if you add water, you will end up with muddy conclusions.

It isn’t always effective to motivate people or circumstances. If there is quality, intelligence, spirit and humility, then churning can bring about a beautiful, natural change.

But if people are stubborn, angry, racist and ignorant, churning normally initiates violence.

You’ve got to judge your circumstances.

Is there enough milk of human kindness in the people you’re dealing with to see them turn into butter?

 

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