Coquette

Coquette: (n) a woman who flirts lightheartedly with men 

Jill liked men.

Or was it that Jill liked to flirt?

Perhaps Jill liked romance.

But Jill was one of those human beings–who happened to be female—who really embraced the notion of being desired, and raising the lust levels of all the men in the room.

I remember when I first met her, we were on our way to a business meeting and I noticed that a lot of guys waved at her from a distance or stopped to chat for a moment as we eased our way down the road. I thought to myself, Gee, whiz. I’m working with somebody who’s very popular, and that might come in handy funny wisdom on words that begin with a C
later if we need contacts.

What I soon discovered was that Jill was coquettish—or a coquette. She was one of those individuals who loved to be pursued and who pursued to be loved—and was even willing, as I found out later, to follow through on many an offer. I suppose jealous females or very religious people would have horrible names for her, like “whore,” but that’s because we still live in a Victorian age when attractive fellows who yearn for physical contact are called “ladies’ men,” and women who chase the same activities are called “sluts.”

It is not only unfair—it is a misrepresentation of facts. Because Jill was a delightful girl who was even a person of faith.

She just had a much broader definition for “love thy neighbor.”


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Concordance

Concordance: (n) an alphabetical list of the words in a text

There was a season in my life’s journey when I wanted to be a “Reverend.” Not just a minister or preacher, but an actual, full-fledged cleric.

I liked the sound of it. “Reverend.”

At that time, my immature, jealous spirit was anxious to be recognized for doing nothing while having a title. To accentuate this need and punctuate its funny wisdom on words that begin with a C
possibility, I bought myself the “Strong’s Exhaustive Concordance.”

I immediately realized why it had the name “Strong” and “Exhaustive.” To just carry the thing required you to be built like an ox.

I located some churches to pontificate spiritual lessons (in other words, preach sermons) so I opened up my Exhaustive Concordance and found words I wanted to share about, and discovered where they were peppered and placed all over the Bible, and then spent all my time trying to pull together these abstract texts–which were thousands of years apart–and create a cohesive message.

It was “inspiration by committee”–the inspiration being anything anybody could get out of my mish-mash and the committee being a host of ancient Bedouin writers who happened to mention my favored word in some favored way.

It is a horrible way to share truth, persisting to this day.

As I lost my interest in the word “Reverend,” and most of my need to evangelize through my sermonizing, I soon discovered that I no longer needed a concordance.

I just needed to share my life–good and bad–and in so doing, become much more enlightening.

And much less exhaustive.

 

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Chink

Chink: (n) a Chinese person.

I am prejudiced against skinny people–mainly because I’m fat.

I am intimidated by handsome men, truthfully because I’m quite plain.

I get nervous around other writers because deep in my heart, I need to be the best.

And the only reason I would ever call a Chinese person a “Chink” is because deep in my heart I know he or she is superior to me in attitude and talent, and I need
a way to degrade the prowess.

Certainly white people would never have brought black slaves from Africa unless the natives were superior to them working in the fields. Even after Emancipation, the white community was intimidated that the black work ethic would overtake them and lead to their poverty. So it’s easier to call them “niggers” and send out the signal that they are to be relegated to a lesser position.

We’ve done it for years with gender. All the terms used for women have eventually exposed a disguised prejudice.

  • “Ladies”
  • “Weaker sex”
  • “Little miss”
  • And of course, “bitch”

I’m not quite sure why the word “Chink” is in the dictionary. Perhaps it’s to remind us that there will always be people who are better at what they do than we are, and simply humiliating them with a condescending name does not take away their power.

We live in an America where there is still prejudice against the black race, even though we mimic their actions, customs, worship style and sports efforts in almost every way.

If bigots actually did think they were better than the people they prey upon, it would still be disgusting, but at least comprehensible.

But knowing that bigots are mean-spirited because they are secretly jealous and wish they possessed the abilities of those they attack may be the Earthly definition of satanic.

 

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Butterfly

j-r-practix-with-border-2

Butterfly: (n) an insect with two pairs of large wings

Moths hate butterflies.

I’m sure they do.

I’ve never actually had a conversation with a moth about the subject but having watched them fly around lights and flames, I realize they feel trapped.

Not only are they attracted to shiny objects, often leaving them vulnerable, but they are also stuck with gray or brown wings.

Then here comes the butterfly.

Butterflies don’t fly. They don’t gather around glowing places.

Butterflies flit. They dart.

And most obviously, they have color in their wings. It sets them apart. It makes them look like they give a damn instead of grabbing the first t-shirt out of the drawer. They spend a little time shopping. They are conscious of their appearance.

They seem to be aware that the world needs some beauty.

Yes, I guess if I were a moth I would constantly be criticizing the butterfly.

“Stop flitting! And who’s to say your golden, orange and black-with-hints-of-purple hues are any better than my grayscale?”

 

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Best

Best: (adj) of the most excellent, effective, or desirable type or quality.

Dictionary B

The most miserable, unfulfilling, angry, jealous and confusing moments in my life were when I believed I was pursuing the “best.”

I suppose that’s because I feel they’re always moving my keys.

Do you know what I mean?

You come home, you lay your keys on the counter (and you’re damn sure you did) and you come back and they’re gone. Your first instinct is to believe that someone has come and taken your keys and placed them somewhere that they thought would be best.

Truth is, most of humanity does not pursue their own best, but only feels they have insight on what I should pursue to get my best.

So politicians, preachers, pundits and personalities of all shapes and forms preach to me their permutation of what is really perfect.

I’m tired of perfect.

I hate perfect.

Matter of fact, if I believed Jesus was perfect, I would completely comprehend the crucifixion. He would have been too annoying to keep around.

Candidly, I have spent so much time worrying about the best that I’ve often missed the chance … to just get better.

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Belittle

Belittle: (v) to make someone or something seem unimportant.

Dictionary B

Those who belittle be “littler” than them belittled.

More and more as I age, in a season when conversation is salted with pepper, I realize that the absence of legitimate talent causes us to attack contributors out of a fear that we, ourselves, are nothing.

Even when I find myself being cynical, I realize it’s because I am jealous of those who have received attention, while my efforts have been relegated to the position of backstage storage.

We belittle because we be “littler.”

That’s the truth of the matter.

There isn’t a great idea ever hatched in the mind of a mortal that has not been forced to endure the ridicule of the ignorant.

It is why we suffer from a dearth of inspiration.

It’s not because the inspiration is unavailable. Those inspired lack the emotional armor to survive the gauntlet of the unrighteous condemners.

It is too bad that goodness is plagued by sensitivity–because for it to gain voice, it needs to escape temporary damnation.

I swear to myself that I will never belittle again. And then, because of my insecurity, I attack in order to protect my ego.

When it’s over, I feel bad.

But unfortunately, the moment has passed, and the chance to embrace beauty has been scared away … by my beast.

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Baritone

Baritone: (n) an adult male singing voice between tenor and bass.Dictionary B

In my teen years, I found myself caught up in the world of Southern Gospel music. This was brought about because the church I attended was feverishly interested in the medium.

Southern Gospel music is a collision of real gospel music, barbershop quartets, revivalism and a bit of show business (without admitting that you’re performing).

The quartet is usually male and is divided into four singing parts:

  • Bass: a voice that covers the deep root note of each chord
  • Lead: that’s the melody boy
  • High tenor: which generally speaking is an alto part, taken up an octave
  • And baritone. Nobody ever wanted to be baritone.

The baritone part was always considered a symbol of weakness. It was the part for those men who were not manly enough to perform very low notes, nor strong enough to carry the song’s melody, or high enough to dazzle the audience with tones in the clouds.

It was a standard joke. Whenever the baritone member of the group was introduced, the emcee would say, “Barely a tone passes from his lips.”

But here’s the interesting thing: most male speakers or singers are baritones. So as always, we take the common and we make it mediocre, causing the majority of the folks around us to feel inadequate, as we worship the handful who do the extremes and make the news.

Until we learn to take the people in our lives who are emotional, spiritual, mental and physical baritones and teach them to shine out the very best they can with what they’ve got, we will have a world of over-promoted tenors and basses … and jealous “barely-a-tones.”

 

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