Crop Up

Crop up: (v) to bear or yield a crop; the result

Occasionally, I find myself sitting in a meeting with people from a ‘planning committee,’ and because a certain subject has drawn extensive conversation and disagreement, the chairman of the event will close off the topic by remarking:

“Well, let’s just see what might crop up.”

It is one of those statements we make when we think further debate is more tedious than something that might attack us because we did not prepare for it. Of course, often we are either too smart or too intimidated to settle for such an ambiguous assertion.

For instance, if four or five of my friends and I were standing at the bottom of a mountain, and someone said, “Let’s just climb up,” and one of my buddies responded, “But we don’t have a rope and we’re old and out of shape.” Then if another fellow piped up to object, “Listen, let’s just get started and see what crops up,” truthfully, we would not follow that advice.

Certainly, when we were younger and experimenting with our sexual loins and we became so excited that we were ready to indulge in intercourse with another human being and this partner said, “I hope you don’t mind—I have chlamydia,” the normal reaction would most definitely not be, “That’s ok. Let’s just see what crops up.”

What I’m trying to say is that there are moments when we are of sound mind—even when we seem to be possessed of unsound intentions.

So why can’t we make voting one of those?

funny wisdom on words that begin with a C


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Crochet

Crochet: (n) needlework done with a needle with a large hook at one end.

I know nothing about crochet.

Yet this, by the way, does not discourage my need to espouse.

I have never crocheted. I don’t think I’ve even seen someone crochet, though they could have been doing it incognito—because since I don’t know what it is, it could be done before my very eyes and fool me for sure.

But I do recall that I had a great-aunt who decided to crochet me a sweater, since I was so overweight that it was difficult to buy them in stores. (As you can see, the premise for the gift was already somewhat flawed.)

So she set out to do this sweater for me—and then, six months later it arrived in the mail.

It was huge, and the color of straw.

In other words, it wasn’t yellow, it wasn’t brown, and you couldn’t even call it brownish-yellow or yellowish-brown. Although it was brand new, the flatness of the color made it look like it had been worn for many generations. And even though it was very large, when I put it on it felt funny. It was like one shoulder was crocheted shorter than the other, and the left-arm length was about three inches too long. It also had no buttons—you know, in the front, so you could join it and turn it into a sweater instead of a human horse blanket.

But it was warm, and it was the first piece of clothing that had come my way for a while (since in my era there was no such thing as “big men’s shops.”)

I decided to wear it.

My friends tried to be nice, but finally, when the class clown walked in, unaware that everyone was attempting to be sensitive about my misshapen garment, he just burst into laughter, which caused everyone else to feel free to mock at will.

You would think that this would have cured me from wearing my crocheted sweater—but because it was mine, and warm, and because I refused to be intimidated by the foolish fashionistas, I ended up donning it quite frequently.

Matter of fact, I kept it for two years, which is quite remarkable for an adolescent.

I wore it until one day, in study hall, I was suffering from a severe head cold. I had no Kleenex and feared that my entire brain was ready to run out of my nose and into my mouth. I reached up with my sweater and ran it across my nose, trying to sop up unwelcomed mucous.

You can tell by my description of the event that my wheaty-colored sweater could not be worn again.

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Cordial

Cordial: (adj) courteous and gracious; friendly; warm:

“It doesn’t work! Not nowadays!”

That’s the statement flung in my direction whenever I suggest that kindness, gentleness and being cordial is a viable option to bitterness, strife and animosity.

It seems the entire human race is frightened by the prospect that being merciful is setting them up, like a golf ball on a tee, to be driven far, far away by a funny wisdom on words that begin with a C
smack with a club.

Yet no one sits down and asks the simple question, “What happens when people are no longer intimidated by your bad attitude?”

You may frighten people off by being suspicious, nasty and unfriendly, but eventually, someone will be terror-free, and others will learn to shed their fear of you. Then they will come with torches and pitchforks, to kill the Frankenstein who was so rude to them.

That would be you.

There’s one thing for certain—no one has to go to bed nervous, asking him or herself, “Is my cordial attitude going to backfire on me?”

There’s a peace that follows being peaceful.

There’s a blessedness attached to being a peace-maker.

It is so precious that people will begin to believe that you’re a child of God.

The bravest thing you can ever do in your life is to refuse to fight, argue, attack and brutalize another human being. The risk is that they will still turn on you and destroy you while you stand there, helpless.

But there is the possibility that your unwillingness to draw blood in conflict with them will at least give them pause.

If you refuse to join the battle, any further attack makes them murderers if they kill you, not warriors.

Cordial people survive to have great-grandchildren and write the history books about those they out-loved.


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Chug

Chug: (v) to drink something in large gulps

My inexperience often leaves me intimidated, while my excesses are often overtly displayed in either my demeanor or appearance.

I’m not a beer drinker.

It’s not because I think it’s morally wrong or it’s associated with those who fart more than think. I just never started.

It’s almost like the scenario that if you don’t have sex before you’re twenty-one, you just might not ever have sex.

There are windows, am I right?

Everybody should hit a baseball with a bat before they’re six.

Everybody should ride a rollercoaster before they’re ten.

Everybody should probably kiss someone before they’re twelve.

Everybody should read a book which is thicker than a carrot before they’re fourteen.

I could go on and on.

I don’t know when most people drink their first beer. I was eighteen, and ended up sipping it. I can guarantee you that a sip of beer will probably prevent you from taking a gulp, and the lack of a gulp certainly forbids chugging.

There are many things I have drunk in my life that weren’t particularly sweet and tasty–but for some reason, that first sip of beer scared me away.

So when I watch movies and see teens chugging beer, only to vomit it up within the hour, I guess I just don’t get it.

Even though I have over-eaten to the point of regurgitating, I didn’t have fond memories of the barbecue ribs which instigated the urping. Matter of fact, for a season I couldn’t even hear someone say, “barbecue ribs” without dashing for the bathroom porcelain.

Yet people will drink beer, chug it, throw up and come right back for another serving.

Interesting. I just had a thought.

I wonder if that’s how recycling got started?

 

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Chary

Chary: (adj) cautiously or suspiciously reluctant to do something

Just for the record (since there is a record) I will tell you that I had no idea what this word meant. I am not going to don the personna of the instructor, speaking to you students in need of education.

Matter of fact, I may never use this word again. There are many other words that replace it with greater clarity.

But we certainly live in chary times.

It is now fashionable to be over-protective, overwrought, over-thoughtful, over-medicated, over-meditated, and over the moon over things that just really don’t matter.

Yet, when something of quality, value and eternal consequence comes into our presence, it is thrust into a committee meeting where we consider its value, and usually end up believing we are over-extended or that “it’s not in the direction we’re going.”

Not only do I think that we couldn’t launch a rocket to the moon in this day and age, I also think there would be some lengthy conversation on whether there actually is a moon in the first place.

We have begun to equate “cantankerous” and “knowledgeable.”

We admire those who require great thought and consideration before leaping into new possibilities.

We have developed tiny themes which we call sacred and then force everything that truly does have heavenly possibilities to fit into the confines of these little boxes.

We are reluctant. We sneer. We look askance at all nuance. We are chary.

And we make it clear that we will not be sold, intimidated or even convinced to do something unless we are in the mood.

The end result is that we never pursue anything that does not have the whiff of what we’ve already done.

So Republicans do Republican things and Democrats do Democrat things.

After accomplishing their minimal efforts, they then take the bulk of their time to criticize the competition.

 

 

 

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Aptitude

dictionary with letter A

Aptitude (n): 1. an ability to do something 2. suitability or fitness

For a myriad of reasons, I barely made it through the 1980s with my being intact, primarily because of my complete disdain and obvious aversion to personality tests and aptitude quizzes.

It was all the rage in that era and still persists today in pockets promoting superficial psycho-babble.

The notion of taking responsibility for one’s life or learning a craft seems so arduous to the average person that they would like to believe they were born with certain abilities, rarities and anointings so as to take all of the mystery and work out of their personal journey.

Parents, aunts, uncles and grandma and grandpa all encourage this by noting everything from the timber of our early babble, to the length, height or breadth of body parts, to place a mission upon us before we’ve even learned how to stop messing our pants.

Certainly everyone wants us to fall into a personality type, where we can hide behind the pluses and minuses of that particular idea to explain our behavior.

But even though these testers will insist that you can be docile, quiet, introverted and silent, they sometimes fail to remind you that it is the world around us that requires we step out of our shadow and into the light.

Yes, perhaps intimidated folks can be given a name, but it is the gregarious ones who will be given the position. One would think it’s a plot, to keep part of the population oppressed in order to supply fodder for the more menial tasks, if one was of a nind to believe in conspiracy theories.

What I think is that we are too grounded in a Calvinistic, pre-destined American thinking that wants the whole plan laid out in front of us by the time we’re three years old, to ever instruct the general populace in matters of manners, intensity, perseverance and expansion.

I can tell you of a certainty that I had no aptitude for anything but eating. Yet there isn’t a doctor alive who will let me believe “I was born” with the aptitude to be fat. Isn’t that interesting?

Apparently some characteristics are inserted at birth and others become bad habits.

So what I choose to believe is that I have nothing but an aptitude for laziness and if I pursue that, I will end up poor and alone. Therefore I choose to overcome my aptitude … and study the present pursuit that rings my bell.

 

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Apprise

dictionary with letter A

Apprise (v): to inform or tell someone.

So the girl you just met–who is very attractive–also has a large piece of broccoli stuck in her tooth.

  • Do you tell her?
  • Do you risk losing romantic possibilities?

You’re sitting in front of your potential boss at a job interview and he has horrible breath.

  • Do you offer him a mint?

Or you have made a severe error in calculating the family budget and have accidentally misled your wife to think that all the bills are paid.

  • Do you share with her so that she’s aware of the situation?

Ninety percent of the lying we do in life is caused by being deathly afraid and insecure about what would happen if we told the truth. Our conclusions don’t have to be realistic. After all, that is the definition for fear–an often-unmotivated sense of dread.

All we have to do is convince ourselves that the truth will not make us free, but instead, leave us stupid. At this point, we start the ugly process of elaboration.

Nobody has a situation in their past when if they had simply told the truth, a tragedy could have been averted.

So why are we afraid to apprise one another of the actual situation? It’s because we are all uncertain that anyone truly loves us.

Adam and Eve lied to God because they were unclear of the true depths of His love. That is sad.

I may not be able to have a totally clean relationship with everybody I know, but I certainly should practice candor with those who I am content love me.

  • Would I tell the girl that she had broccoli in her teeth? Probably not–unless I was willing to lose a dating possibility.
  • Would I tell my potential future boss that he had bad breath? Probably not, but shamefully, I would gossip about him later.
  • Would I tell my wife about the mistake in the budget? Absolutely–or the relationship is a joke.

I would hope that eventually I would apprise the broccoli girl of her tooth obstruction with a bit of flair.

I also would like to learn to offer the mint to my superior without feeling intimidated.

And I think the best way to achieve this status is to begin to apprise those I love of our true heart instead of making up fake emotion, and desperately trying to pretend it’s authentic. 

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