Dad

Dad: (n) informal for father.

It’s really two stories.

There was the story that should have happened and then, the tale that truly unfolded.

It is impossible for me to be an unbeliever. I don’t think I’m gullible, but I have seen enough surprising things come to fruition that I can no longer muster the doubt of Brother Thomas.

For you see, I should never have been a dad.

Don’t misinterpret the statement. I don’t want you to think that I despised the position or even that I wish it had happened differently.

But I also want you to realize that each time I became a dad, there was no planning, no bank account prepared and often not even a correct determination on the time of the blessed arrival.

I shall not get into all of those stories with this one essay.

Suffice it to say, I was a singer, a songwriter, a piano player, a vagabond—and I was a brat about never wanting to work for anyone else. As you can see right there, I perhaps should be eliminated for consideration for “father of the year.”

So I did it all with my children.

While I was teaching them to be better humans, they were teaching me how to be a good dad.

That’s the way it should be.

As long as you’re willing to look like an ass, identify it quickly and then change your mind, your kids will love you to death.

I drug my kids all over the country.

I had them playing instruments on stage in front of audiences.

I home-schooled some of them.

I lost one child along the way to a hit-and-run car accident.

And somehow or another, all the others arrived at adulthood, found magnificent partners, and are living full-blown, solvent, intelligent and spirited lives.

I will take credit for the fact that I was there, remained, repented and transformed.

But still—someone sprinkled something onto the mess, to turn it into a passable casserole.

What does it mean to be a dad?

  1. Be prepared to be watched twenty-four hours a day.
  2. Be prepared to be wrong—and admit it.
  3. Be prepared to laugh at your children when they act like you’re killing them because of a discipline you must levy.
  4. Have a life of your own, so they can see what you think is important.
  5. Encourage their mother in front of them.
  6. Don’t take yourself too seriously.
  7. Take them—your children—very seriously.
  8. When it’s obvious to them that you don’t know what you’re doing, don’t pretend you have a secret plan.
  9. Don’t try to be a best friend to their best friends.
  10. Try as hard as you can to never embarrass them.

Even though I was not a natural, I decided to naturally learn from the experience instead of giving up on it.

Now, my sons are dads.

My grandchildren call them that.

And I sit back in my resolute journey and watch my sons learn how to become “Dad.”

 

Cross-Reference

Cross-reference: (n) a reference from one part of a book, index, or the like, to related material, as a word or illustration, in another part.

I think there are three.

Yes, there are three books that I feel are necessary to be used to cross-reference one another.

In doing so, they help us to land on common sense and some measure of universal truth.

Unfortunately, people normally revere only one of these books–or might include two.

But it is the enjoining of all three that gives us the perspective, the insight and the balance to understand where we’re going and why each one of these volumes was written in the first place.

For me—in no particular order—for me this trio of books is:

1. The history book

2. The science book

3. The Bible

Rather than trying to find out where these particular collections of knowledge contradict one another, I think the wise human journey is finding out where they coincide.

What part of our human history helped us discover a scientific fact that can be cross-referenced in the Bible?

I will go as far as to say that if these books do not cross-reference each other, we should look at the situation with suspicious eyes. For just as the history book certainly needs to be updated with events, and the science book needs to be refreshed with available data, so the Bible needs to have inclusions enlightenment that is everlasting instead of temporary, acquired from a former time.

But if history, science and the Bible all agree on a matter, it is pretty safe to chase the dream.

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Craftsmanship

Craftsmanship: (n) the skill possessed by a craftsman

 “Oh…are you still writing your little blogs?” she asked me, having obviously just taken a fresh batch of condescension out of her oven.

I simply replied, “Yes.”

It’s not what I wanted to say. funny wisdom on words that begin with a C

I yearned to tell her the number of people who were stopping off at my blogs, and even fudge the figures a little higher.

I wanted to point out the power of the written word.

I certainly had an impulse to make her feel smaller—that she was unable to do what I could do.

But I recently have realized that if you’re ashamed of what you’re doing or how small it is, then you’ve reduced your life to a trickle of envy.

I am not envious. Matter of fact, every day when I sit down and write to you, I think about two things:

1. I want to be content with my content.

I want to make sure I’m telling you things that will exhort your journey instead of further exhausting you.

2. I want to honor the craftsmanship that goes into forming a sentence, completing a paragraph and promoting an idea.

I don’t want to sit around and argue about my style or my syntax. Instead, I want to admit that my ideas can always be better presented, with tighter structure and fewer words. It is ironic that the greatest lesson a writer learns is to write less, and then edit even more.

What is the shortest distance between two points? Let me give you a clue. It isn’t a run-on sentence with lots of purple prose. It is finding a way to say it that is easy to comprehend, but still lights a candle in the brain.

It is craftsmanship.

It’s when I watch the plumber working on my toilet, and he’s in the middle of completing the project when he pauses, looks at it carefully, disappears, and then comes back from his truck with another piece. And then he turns to me and says, “It would have been fine with that bolt, but this is going to be much better.”

Goddamn it, if I don’t want to hug him.

So my dear friends, I continue to write my little blogs, and I do it in the pursuit of craftsmanship.

For at 10:42 P. M. every night, this pursuit grants me great peace of mind.

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Contest

Contest: (n) a race, conflict, or other competition between rivals, as for a prize.

I have been accumulating definitions, perusing the Internet and overhearing conversations, speeches and diatribes.

I have discovered that there are many explanations offered for life. Maybe perspectives would be a better term.funny wisdom on words that begin with a C

For instance, some folks say, “Life is a journey.” My difficulty with that particular comparison is that life requires us to stop and start so often that it rarely settles on a destination, but rather, requires that we develop an enjoyment of enjoyment of the jerky jaunt.

How about this? “Life is a race.” That would require everyone to be in shape to run it. Looked around lately?

The more optimistic individuals insist that “life is a blessing.” I am suspicious of those who are seeking favor from a Universe in which they appear to barely be specks.

On the other hand, life is not a curse. “It rains on the just, the unjust” and occasionally even in the desert.

So—is life a contest? And if it is, who would be the opponent? Problems? Other people? Or are we a contestant, battling our own uncertain character?

I have discovered, after all of my accumulation, that “life is a set of breathing lungs.”

So enjoy the journey.

Race if you want to.

Be surprised over the blessings.

Laugh at the curses.

And stop contesting the things that come your way.

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Consideration

Consideration: (n) careful thought, typically over a period of time

Since you are not privy to my thoughts, I need to comprehend that you may misunderstand my thinking.

This is consideration.

Since I’ve never taken a walk through your reasoning process, I should slow down and not assume I know where you’re going.funny wisdom on words that begin with a C

This is consideration.

Because I don’t have an entire road map of your journey, I need to be aware that you are strong in some areas and damaged in others.

Consideration.

Realizing that I have no insight into the Universe or eternity, I must be careful not to preach my ideas as if they are in stone, but instead, offer the cool waters of comfort.

My consideration.

I need to be honest about my weaknesses and cautious not to over-emphasize my strengths.

Once again, consideration.

And deep in my heart, I must accept the fact that today may be the only portion given to me–for tomorrow does not exist until I shape it.

The greatest consideration.

 

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Consider

Consider: (v) to think carefully about something

A lily.

Let me consider this…

A carpenter who talks to his friends about considering lilies.

Certainly the more macho factions of our society might find this to be somewhat effeminate.

Liberals might think this statement, “consider the lily” is a sign of unannounced but obvious support for the LGBTQ community.funny wisdom on words that begin with a C

But what the carpenter wanted everyone to consider was not the beauty of the lily, but how it grew.

So much talk. So much reasoning. So much discussion about growing.

Yet the assertion of this carpenter was that the lily was worth considering because it grew without struggle. It didn’t work hard or try to manipulate circumstances to its favor.

It found dirt, absorbed the available nutrients, waited for the rain to enrich it, and then it trusted that there was good stuff inside the seed to create a flower.

There are so many beautiful thoughts there that it would be difficult to focus on one over another. So let me not steer the wheel of your journey in comprehension.

After all, the carpenter had the best word to describe what we need to do if we want to understand how Earth, Mother Nature and even faith flourish.

He suggested: consider.

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Conclusion

Conclusion: (n) a judgment or decision reached by reasoning.

I have come to the conclusion that the more conclusions you come to, the less likely it is that you will actually arrive at a conclusion.

The human race has an inordinate greed to be smart. It’s in all of us.

Each one of us has to press it down a little bit or we would be incapable of standing in line at a grocery store without strangling the person in funny wisdom on words that begin with a C
front of us, who has twelve items in the ten-item lane.

You see, the problem is, we know this person has twelve items because for some ridiculous reason, we counted them.

Yes, the conclusion we must come to is that there’s a certain amount of indifference–dare we say, apathy?–which is necessary to possess in order to live with other humans. Otherwise, we begin to desire to treat them like animals, brought to us for training.

So may I present to you, in all humility, the only three conclusions that matter from the moment they cut your umbilical cord until the day you sever the cord between yourself and the living:

  1. The happiest people in the world do not draw any conclusions.
  2. If they have conclusions, they use them to benefit their own journey and decorate their own space.
  3. A world without conclusions is often chaotic, but does allow for excellence to rise to the top.

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