Cross My Heart and Hope to Die

Cross my heart and hope to die: (v) to attest to the truth of something

The human race is known for two things: first, being created in the image of God; and second, being a bunch of goddamn liars.

Within the elevation of these two bracing points, we are suspended between heaven and Earth.

Because of this, when we need to express our deepest sincerity to others, we don’t seem capable of just saying, “Yes, this is true,” or “No, it is not.”

We fear that our human audience, being fully aware of the vicious nature of deceit which inhabits us all, will just naturally assume that we are one of the “Fibber McGees.”

So we have introduced words, like “sincerely, honestly” and “trust me” into our language, hoping that in doing so, the true depth of our veracity will shine through.

It doesn’t.

So over our history, we’ve initiated other thoughts to try to prove that we are on the level. Basically, we’ve started swearing. Not profanity. No—deep-rooted promises to back up our premises.

  • “I swear by my mother’s grave.”
  • “I’ll swear on a stack of Bibles.”
  • “I swear by my pinky finger.”

Or, “Cross my heart and hope to die.”

I guess this last one sounded effective to someone, thinking that threatening to remove one’s life from Earth might keep us from lying and cheating.

Of course, in reality, nothing prevents us from stretching the truth until it breaks and falls at our feet like useless trash.

So I think the suggestion that came along—to swear, make huge statements and crossing our heart and hoping to die—should probably just be replaced by a more old-fashioned dodge:

“Now what was the question?”

funny wisdom on words that begin with a C


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Criteria

Criteria: (n) rules or principles for evaluating or testing something.

That’s it.

Call off the dogs, close up the investigation and give all the researchers a lunch break.

We have stumbled upon something.

Perhaps the problem with all of our dealings on Earth is that we have never universally established criteria for what it means to be a human being.

Everybody has their opinion.

There are those who insist we are saints, and certainly those in the clergy who feel it’s necessary to get us to admit that we’re sinners.

Sometimes we make bold statements and talk about human achievement—and follow it up immediately with a sheepish, pouty, “Well, we’re only human.”

Which is it?

Are we dastardly folk who cannot be trusted, who think only of ourselves and lie at the drop of a hat, and therefore need constant supervision in the simplest affairs of our lives?

Or are we truly created in the image of God, therefore capable of great works of art, and deeds of valor and courage?

Since we can’t make up our minds on this particular issue, we use being human as a way of decrying the need for God, but also as an excuse for leaving the toilet seat up all the time.

So I humbly but firmly offer these three criteria for being human:

  1. We don’t have a big brain so we can act stupid. Smarten up and learn something today.
  2. We are remarkably all the same, so stop looking for subtle differences or shades of color.
  3. We can make magnificent things as long as we admit they need to be made and we have not yet achieved all that we must do.

Could we actually agree on these three things?

Could these become the criteria for being human, so when some fall short, they can do a quick repenting job, and when others feel like gods, we can lure them down from Olympus?

Without criteria, we make up excuses right on the spot—like a little kid with chocolate stains on his shirt, who’s trying to decide if it would be better to admit the candy-eating, or insist he pooped himself.

funny wisdom on words that begin with a C

 


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Cinema

Cinema: (n) the production of movies as an art or industry.

“To date, I have written thirteen screenplays which have been produced into independent movies, receiving recognition at twenty-eight film festivals.”

This is a blurb.

It’s the kind of thing you stuff into an advertisement or resumé  to let people know you have credentials.

Once it is stated or read, the person who has received the input immediately asks, “What movies? Would I know one?”

The answer is no–because I am not famous, rich, nor do I wield any power.

I do not say that with misgiving. I am so grateful being able to make my living doing what I like while also having the freedom to drive down to the local department store and move around in total anonymity.

But can I tell you? From my personal experience, the world of cinema is locked up tighter than a nun’s vagina.

It is filled with nepotism, red tape and a self-righteousness about art which often contends that the more bizarre the story line, the more realistic it becomes.

The budgets are overblown, the plot lines as thin as a Parisian model, and the resolutions are not geared for the edification of humankind.

So comically, the movies that make the most money in the world of cinema are G-rated–but the movies that are touted are usually R.

I have nothing against either genre. I have written in both.

But historically it has been the job of theater–in this case, cinema–to lift us as a people from our depression and make us believe in the higher good of the human race, which began as dust inhabited by the image of God.

 

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