Cover-up

Cover-up: (n) any action, stratagem, or other means of concealing or preventing investigation or exposure.

 Let me give you an example.

Let’s say we’re talking about the electric bill. Yes—that’s good. A common situation which we all certainly share in common.funny wisdom on words that begin with a C

If you’re trying to find out whether your friend, your wife or your roommate has paid the electric bill, it is necessary to phrase the question in such a way that they will not choose to lie because they already feel intimidated by your approach.

Now, you may totally disagree with this, but I have found if you want people to tell you the truth, be prepared that there’s a greater chance that they will lie. So don’t set them up to fib by making them feel stupid or guilty if they tell you the truth.

Back to the electric bill. Here is a terrible approach if you’re trying to find out if your partner has paid the bill:

“You DID pay the electric bill, right?”

You see, for them to tell you that they haven’t, they would have to be willing to be truthful and also survive a wave of anger you have already told them is ready to hit their beach.  Not a good approach if you’re going to avoid cover-up.

A second bad angle is:

“What day did you pay the electric bill?”

Although not as intense, it still connotes that a normal, intelligent person would have already paid, and if they want to come across normal and intelligent but have not paid, they just might have to lie.

I must give you a third, horrible choice:

“The electric bill—that’s your department, isn’t it?”

The demons of being defensive will immediately rise and choke the truth out of your friend, making it impossible for him or her to tell you that it completely slipped their mind.

The only way you can guarantee that someone is going to tell you the truth is:

“I think I forgot to pay the electric bill. Did you pay it?”

You see, now if they didn’t pay it, they join you in being a fellow-delinquent. The pressure is off to shoulder the blame. There’s no need to provide an excuse, since you have already admitted that it was probably your responsibility.

I guess it all boils down to whether you want to find out if the electric bill has been paid, or if you would prefer to listen to cover-up after cover-up.

Until the house goes dark. 

 

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Condescending

Condescending: (adj) having or showing a feeling of patronizing superiority

We spend our entire lives confirming what we should have known on the day of our birth.

Plucked from bloody wombs, our cord to former protection is cut. We are forced to breathe, reaching into the darkness with our blinded eyes, only to end up stacked in a nursery somewhere, with dozens of other non-functioning units, to cleave to our mothers’ breast as if it was our funny wisdom on words that begin with a C
only source of nourishment–because it is.

We grow up–and then, for some reason or another, decide we are superior to other people–a condescending conclusion.

Considering we all come in the same way and all go out breathless, it might be nice to realize the great wealth of similarities among us, instead of trying to intimidate in a world of domination.

There are two things I remind myself of every day:

  1. My life is maintained by a single muscle in the middle of my chest which has already experienced a lot of wear and tear.
  2. No one is better than anyone else–and that includes me.

 

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Coerce

Coerce: (v) to persuade an unwilling person to do something by using force or threats.

Broken things need to be fixed. It’s just the honest-to-god truth.

Holding lives–or even damaged tables–together with a few temporary solutions just never works. Broken things always break apart even further–just at the worst times.

So somebody came up with the idea to take broken people, and try to degrade them in a pit of fear, hoping to coerce them into “being good” simply because they’re terrified of digging a deeper grave.

Sometimes we call it religion.

Other times, it’s just a series of laws put in place to intimidate.

But rather than healing the broken and making them stronger, we decide to prop them up with threats.

It never works.

You can never scare a teenager out of drinking alcohol or taking drugs.

You can never frighten a sinner from committing adultery.

And you can never coerce people who think they’re good to ever consider getting better. 

 

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Browbeat

j-r-practix-with-border-2

Browbeat: (v) to intimidate someone, typically into doing something, with stern or abusive words.

I need an answer.

Better phrased, perhaps a definition.Dictionary B

I want to live a life where I freely and honestly input those around me, even if it’s not the common grind or goes against the flow.

I don’t need to be right. But I do need to make sure I speak–so I can tell myself that I’m participating.

Here’s the problem: one man’s “counsel” is another man’s “browbeating.”

In other words, some people can listen to my opinions, take them into consideration, use the more valuable parts and be appreciative for the encounter. But there are other folks who thrive on the elixir of confirmation and encouragement and consider any contrary view to be a personal attack.

And it doesn’t do any good to say “it’s their problem.”

Because in the long run, how we treat people is not based on our intention, but is solely determined by their reaction.

We may not like that, but it isn’t up to us to decide for another human how they should invest our pearls of wisdom.

What is browbeating?

I think I’ve finally come up with a conclusion:

Browbeating may very well be bringing up the same subject that was discussed earlier with greater intensity, because it wasn’t applied after the first conversation.

I don’t like that rendition, but it is a way to keep my opinions viable … but also extracted when they cease to be of any consequence.

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Alumnus

dictionary with letter A

Alumnus: (n) a graduate or former student, esp. male, of a particular school, college or university

I am an alumnus–even though my degree was not acquired through higher education, but rather, lower institutions of learning–by overcoming mediocre concerns.

I have learned.

  • I’ve had the benefit of competing with those who graduated from the University of Misunderstanding, whose main function is to cause trouble in life and disrupt the common good.
  • I have dealt with those from the College of Petty Jealousy–completely insecure about the training they received, confident that the best way for them to succeed is to intimidate others.
  • I certainly easily surpassed those from the Institute of Procrastination.
  • Quietly walked away from the competition posed by the Graduate School of Bitterness.
  • Found different ways to construct my future, rather than succumbing to the curriculum at the Technical School of Bigotry.
  • And even refused a scholarship from the Doctorate Program at Meanness.

I received my diploma from the Nothing Works Out Immediately University, with my major in Patience.

I am grateful for this training.

And it also makes class reunions much more pleasant.