D’oh

D’oh: (interjection) used to express dismay when one has done something stupid

It is difficult to comprehend that to most of the generations which inhabited the Earth, the name “Homer” evoked images of Achilles, the Trojan War and the adventures of Ulysses in the Iliad and the Odyssey.

Nowadays, “Homer” is only associated with a man named Simpson.

He lives in Springfield, Illinois, and is a cartoon character.

I seriously doubt if there’s anyone under the age of thirty who is much aware of the adventure-telling Homer from the past, unless in spending so much time in the library, he or she is bullied incessantly.

Just as the Greeks needed Homer, the great poet and writer, to lift their spirits about their culture, conquests and potential, we apparently required our Homer to make us feel a little less convicted and burdened by our mediocrity.

Let’s be honest.

It’s nice to know that someone is dumber than yourself.

Matter of fact, I’m going to venture a guess that each one of us has an individual—or maybe even individuals—that we keep around as friends just to make sure that we are the ones who answer the most questions watching the Jeopardy! reruns.

Not only does our “Homer of the Simpson” have a characterization of dullness and ignorance, he has a catchphrase, so we will know when even he has discovered how ridiculously inept he is.

“D’oh!” He doesn’t have to say anything else.

Marge, Bart and Lisa know that Papa Simpson has once again ruined a vacation, placed them deeper in debt, destroyed a barbecue or somehow or another put a huge hole in the roof.

While we extol the glories of education, we all must realize that we each fall short of the glory of our plans.

At that point, we need to be able to say something that is comical enough to curb the embarrassment.

 

d’Arc

d’Arc: (Prop Noun) Joan of Arc

That must have been a tough meeting.

All the town council gathering together to decide what to do.

It was a proud community, I’m sure. Matter of fact, there was even some buzz about putting out a wine from the region—one which could represent the vicinity tastefully.

Then all this “Joan” business came along.

Most of the citizens had been convinced that the young girl would be satisfied just to grow up, keep her mouth shut and have lots and lots of children, who could mature in similar ignorance, embracing the village credo.

But Joan got religious—which would have been fine if she had decided to be a nun. There are places for women who insist they love God. But there are no spots for a young girl who believes she talks to God, especially when she deems herself to be some sort of warrior who’s supposed to lead troops into battle.

At first, the community was encouraged. Joan experienced some success and there was a thrill in the air—she might actually change the history of the nation.

Matter of fact, someone suggested placing a slab of stone on the outskirts of the community, chiseled with the words “Joan Lives Here.”

Then things went astray.

She fell into disfavor.

She was deemed to be a witch, since she thought she heard the voice of God compelling her to battle.

And when they burned her at the stake, it became obvious that the town could no longer be associated with Joan d’Arc. Somehow or another, they had to calm things down, to the point that they were just “Arc” again.

There was disappointment among the leaders. It would have been wonderful to be known as the community that birthed a heroine.

But it is not quite as advantageous to be the hometown of a witch.

Maybe people would forget.

Perhaps very soon, the region could return to pursuing that “wine idea.”

But for now, it remains embarrassing.

Arc is tied to Joan. And Joan … d’Arc.

What would it take to change that?

Well, maybe it’s just as simple as making sure that Joan and d’Arc don’t appear printed side by side.

 

Cusp

Cusp: (n) a point of change

I suppose I might come across silly if I were to claim that such moments are accompanied by tingles and chills. I am speaking of those occasions when inspiration, mercy and creativity converge and place us on the cusp of a new beginning.

It is a reason for living better.

Of course, the purpose for living is just to enjoy the planet and be saturated by the beauty and grace of our humanity.

But there are times when it seems we are touched by a more supernatural image, which gives us license to step out of ourselves and into a new frame of thinking—transcendent of our mediocrity.

I often do not know that I am mediocre until I encounter such a cusp of divine energy.

I may go along for weeks, months and even years, settling for something, until one day I am gently smacked on the side of the head and stimulated to believe that different choices can be made, and bear much more fruit.

I will go so far as to say that if I’m not in the midst of one of these supernal transitions, I often feel vacant of purpose.

I start thinking that life is only offered in shades of gray.

It is the duty of those who desire a prophetic voice for our generation to encourage us with possibilities instead of dooming us with sameness and damnation.

So I will tell you:

We are on the cusp of a great awakening.

Prepare yourself.

Don’t be found among the dull and the sluggards.

There will be a light. Follow it.

funny wisdom on words that begin with a C

Cumber

 

Cumber: (v) to hinder or hamper

Pellets of energy.

Think about it.

I know some folks believe that human beings are good, and others insist that we are naturally evil.

This has not been my finding. I would be hard pressed to describe the human race as good, and equally distraught to characterize them as only devious.

Actually, every single day, each one of us is bestowed pellets of energy. Energy doesn’t come with character specifications. It is neither hellish nor celestial.

It’s just energy.

And because it’s energy, it can be useful, and it can also be squandered.

Every morning when I rise, I yearn for my pellets of energy. I’m careful not to make too many promises, just in case I turn into an asshole between breakfast and lunch.

But I am fully aware that my value to other folks lies in realizing that if I don’t use my pellets of energy well, I’m just hanging around cumbering the Earth.

We don’t use the word “cumber” anymore.

It’s an Old English term, often associated with Biblical quotes.

But it fascinates me that we struggle for longevity without demanding that it be accompanied with purpose.

There has to be something more than gardening.

We can’t expect to sustain value merely from arriving on time to our doctor appointments.

And for the younger crowd, simply passing a test does not qualify anyone for superb consideration.

I don’t want to cumber the Earth. I don’t want my family to be ashamed of themselves because they wistfully wonder when I’m finally going to croak.

I want myself—and hopefully everyone else—to be fully aware of why I still hang around and notice the by-products of my hanging.

I do not want to cumber your life.

I do not want to cumber the Earth, filling it with carbon dioxide instead of sucking some of it back out.

I do not want my friends to feel responsibility to me today because of what I did yesterday.

I do not want to cumber the ground, the Earth, my surroundings, my loved ones or the cosmos.

I would like to take my pellets of energy and turn them into goodness instead of mediocrity or darkness.

What shall we do with these pellets of energy?

Get ready—it’s coming around again tomorrow.

funny wisdom on words that begin with a C

Culpable

Culpable: (adj) deserving blame or censure; blameworthy.

I was born in a hospital in Columbus, Ohio.

Honestly, the single incident didn’t do a whole lot for me except provide me life.

I was born again in a little church and got baptized.

It felt good for a while, but then I discovered that I had to keep going and scrounge out some purpose.

When I was eighteen years of age, I wrote my first musical number.

It felt mighty good to be creative. It was rewarding on that first composition and continues to be so. But it’s not the highlight of my life.

I saw sons born into my household and sons who came through my front door.

They were all amazing, but they didn’t provide the backbone and meaning for my journey.

I really became a human being the day I allowed myself to be culpable for my actions and I was not afraid to admit the wrongs I engineered.

Before that day, I avoided confrontations—even lied, cheated and rewrote history to prove I was not at fault.

This dodging of responsibility occasionally made me the “Bad Dad,” a mediocre workman, an insufficient artist, an unpredictable lover and a horrible Christian.

My life began when I was prepared to admit where I screwed up.

Any human who is not willing to be culpable for his or her own actions is not only obnoxious but dangerous to the whole tribe.

 

funny wisdom on words that begin with a C

Coup de Grace

Coup de grace: (n) death blow

I keep waiting.

With my vexation of waiting comes a curious wondering.

And while I wonder I grow anxious to see sanity have a seat at the table with the family of man. (I have no problem with it being the family of woman, too. Shall we say humankind?)

But escaping that piece of political correctness, let me say I’m a bit baffled as to what coup de grace must occur to startle us from the mediocrity of hatefulness, and the deteriorating status of our conscience.funny wisdom on words that begin with a C

Not only has kindness become suspect in the ongoing criminal activity of our social disruption, but we’re beginning to believe that anything or anyone who expresses compassion and tenderness is weak. In doing so, we make it seem that to express the weakness of gentleness, one has to be very strong-willed to endure the sarcasm.

I don’t know what’s wrong with pausing before condemning.

I’m confused why we consider it to be ignorant to go on a quest for a deeper understanding of faith.

And I’m not so sure that any deal can be made if there is a human toll extracted to ratify the terms.

Where is the coup de grace?

When will we finally pull up just short of a death blow which tries to remove the oxygen from the breath of our generosity?

I don’t want to go any further backwards. I don’t want to see how bad things could become.

I don’t know if it’s possible for us to come up short of Armageddon, pull away just in time, breathe a sigh of relief…and go get a beer.


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Copy

Copy: (v) to make a copy of; transcribe; reproduce:

My mother was totally convinced of it.

You could not change her mind.

She believed if I hung around with bad kids, I would copy their behavior.

It made me mad. I didn’t understand why she didn’t think they could hang around with me and copy my behavior.  Of course, the problem was, I always turned funny wisdom on words that begin with a C
up lame and proved her point.

Why is it so much easier to copy stupidity than intelligence?

Why are we able to Xerox a bad attitude instead of making copies of good ones?

It is because all of us are basically frightened that we’re missing out on something. If we do too many good things, then we’ll never know how much fun the bad ones could have been. So we continue to pursue errant behavior, hoping it will bring a thrill, and then suddenly, without warning, we face the consequences of our actions, and are shocked when we either find ourselves defiled or dead.

Why can’t we have people who pursue joy, goodness, praiseworthy activities and creativity, who are secure enough that they could sway the sinner instead of slipping from sainthood to mediocrity?

I don’t know.

But my mother always felt self-righteous about being accurate concerning me hanging out with questionable characters.

I probably should have told her that self-righteousness is also a sin.


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