Crop

Crop: (n) the produce from the ground.

As the piercing tones of the political pundits wrangle with one another over decibel level, it never occurs to anyone that the United States of America cannot be compared to any other place, because unlike these other locations, this nation has a heart, a soul, a mind and a body.

Without understanding this, you begin to believe that you can nurture the mind of America while ignoring the heart, soul and body—or foolishly believe that you can honor the soul and ignore the other parts of innovation.

During my nearly thirty-five years of travel across the country, stopping off in villages, towns or bustling cities, I immediately understood the crop that comes from the soil of this great nation.

America has heart.

It has emotion. If you live on the coasts, you may think that the middle states are agrarian and backward. Matter of fact, there are people who would not even know what the word agrarian means because they consider it backward.

On the other hand, if you land somewhere deep in Nebraska, the antics of the West Coast may be discussed over the dinner table with a sneer and a frown, as those huddled around faithfully consume their biscuits and butter.

You cannot love this country, its people, its purpose, nor envision its destination without traveling to its heart, musing over its soul, mulling its mind and allowing the body to bring strength to the economics and the gross national product.

What is the crop of America?

  • Iowa believes it’s corn.
  • Silicon Valley in California would insist it’s technology.
  • The Ivy League schools on the East Coast would certainly extol the importance of higher education.
  • And those who dwell in the South will spend hours testifying of the importance of family, devotion and hospitality.

It is difficult for us to be at war with each other.

We need one another so intensely that we end up really fighting ourselves.

So when I drove my van into beautiful downtown Cedar Rapids, Iowa, with corn fields and soybeans surrounding my journey, I knew I was in for an evening of warmth, reflection and conservative reaction to new ideas. They were never averse to progress—just wanted to make sure that no sacred lanes were destroyed to make super-highways.

When I went down to Lebanon, Tennessee, I was fully aware I was in for an evening of a probable potluck dinner, some hand clapping and folks who were frightened that they might lose the spirit of their faith by accepting too much of what, for them, seemed abnormal.

In a journey out to Palo Alto, California, surrounded by the students and faculty of Stanford University, my heart was engorged with the explosive energy of learning, experimenting and researching to find answers to problems that plague the populace.

And then, finding myself weeks later in New York City, I watched the ships come and go, feeding an economy which generates the crop of prosperity, making the whole landscape well-funded.

What is the crop of America?

It is the freedom to have a heart, a soul, a mind and a body—and to treasure each and every part.

funny wisdom on words that begin with a C


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Correction

Correction: (n) punishment intended to reform, improve, or rehabilitate; chastisement; reproof.

Perhaps there is only one standard for evaluating quality in a human being.

Smiles are too easy—especially on a frowny day.

Prayers can be memorized.

Political promises, forgotten.

Wedding vows dimmed by passing time.funny wisdom on words that begin with a C

Devotion—merely an emotion.

Faith overwhelmed by doubt.

Love choked by jealousy.

There are moments when human beings appear to be worthy of the brain that finds home in our skull and the spirit that was breathed into us by the Divine. Then disappointment turns us into our darker selves and we reveal just how childish our inner children truly are.

But there is one way to tell if someone has weighed the values of life and discovered what is gold.

Correction.

Yes, what am I going to do when it is necessary for me to receive correction?

Because it will happen.

Not only are we imperfect, but we are also capable of practicing to perfection and because of fear and intimidation, performing ineptly.

Correction is necessary.

Correction is what allows us to do what the animals are incapable of achieving—repent and learn.

How do we handle correction?

Do we become resentful?

Do we become defensive and start explaining how we are misunderstood?

Do we point fingers and blame others for the shortcoming?

Do we lie in an attempt to create a different history?

Do we pretend we don’t hear?

Or do we hear and go out and pretend it doesn’t matter?

Correction is mandatory.

Correction is less painful when it’s received in silence, and the corrector doesn’t feel the need to pound home the point.

I am human—I hate correction.

I hate it so much that when it comes my way, I listen very intently, to make sure I absorb the truth that will protect me from being corrected in the same way ever again.


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Confer

Confer: (v) to have a discussion

I see absolutely nothing wrong with seeking the counsel of others. But candidly, it has equally gotten me in as much trouble as provided benefit.

Nevertheless, it is good to know that one has checked things out thoroughly to find the best answer.

But we must realize, it is important that we confer with our own “committee” first–and that would be our heart (emotions), our soul (the spirit of God within us), our mind (the most unique and powerful mechanism on Earth) and our body (the only one we’ve been given).

It is ridiculous to try to adhere to the words of a mentor until you take the time to find out what your emotions feel, your soul senses, your mind thinks and yourfunny wisdom on words that begin with a C
body generates.

Confer with yourself.

You may end up with confusion, but at least you know the correct diagnosis instead of stumbling along with uncertainty.

My emotions may say I’m distraught.

My soul tells me everything will be all right.

My mind steps in and offers two or three alternatives.

And my body, truthfully, admits to being able to handle only one.

When you confer with yourself and all of your beautiful intricate parts before you either proceed or stump for advice, you have a much better idea on how to hear the voices around you–because you’ve tapped the voices from within.

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Bane

Bane: (n) a cause of great distress or annoyance.Dictionary B

I am human.

I have a heart which is basically a series of scattered emotions, which do not necessarily steer me in the right direction.

I believe I have a soul, even though I am certainly not truly spiritual.

I have a mind, which too often is cluttered with memories and training rather than expansive and elastic for new ideas.

And I have a strength–a body–which in my case is burdened with poundage.

Knowing the bane of my existence in all four of these areas allows me to maintain both humility and a passion for intelligent self-improvement.

So the bane of my efforts in my heart is thinking that because I feel it, it must be real. Actually, if I feel it, it’s important to find out why I feel it and why it is possibly not real.

The bane of my soul is that I am asked to believe spiritual things which are irrelevant to my actual journey, while discovering how powerful I truly can be.

The bane of my brain is that it’s insane. It is trapped in repetition and must be taken out of that cycle in order to make progress straightly.

And the next thing I eat needs to have the good taste of flavor and the good sense of nutrition or the bane of my strength will be weakness.

If we do not recognize the bane, we begin to deceive ourselves that the way we are will satisfy our needs.

Without being challenged, our arms become too short and our legs lay limp.

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Applicant

dictionary with letter A

Ap·pli·cant (n): a person who makes a formal application for something, typically a job.

Filling out a form often has no reason.

I have done my share, as I’m sure you have.

Matter of fact, in the business world, being handed a form to fill out is often considered to be a formal greeting. Sometimes there’s a clipboard so you can sit and write on your knee, using the pen attached by some sort of wire.

They are certainly attempting to communicate that this is part of their process, and demanded if you plan to be included in their little cult of the organized.

Each application has its own personality. It also has its own level of nosiness.

At a doctor’s office, an application can include questions that go back into the lifestyles of your ancient ancestors.

Did my great-grandfather have rheumatic fever? (Honestly, I don’t know, so I make up an answer.)

If you’re applying for a loan at a bank, they want to know lots of things about your lots of things–even lots of things about your little things. And especially little things about lots of things.

Probably the most grating experience in the human panorama is watching someone peruse your application while you sit, wiggling and squirming in silence.

  • Did I answer right?
  • How was my penmanship? (Mrs. Bosley always said I made really ugly “n’s.” Of course, I was in the first grade…)

Yes, there’s nothing quite as frustrating–dare I say aggravating–as being condemned over answers scrawled on a piece of paper.

And I have made the mistake of trying to be humorous on such applications, only to have the interviewer, who obviously has no mirth anywhere within his or her soul, question me as to the meaning of my answer. At that point, it hardly seems to be appropriate to say, “I was kidding,” and saying I misunderstood the question is even more embarrassing.

No, being an applicant and filling out an application is serious business.

It demands an adult mind–one which is still childish enough to believe that such filling in the blanks is actually a microcosm of one’s life.

 

 

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Allegro

Words from Dic(tionary)

dictionary with letter A

Allegro: 1. (n) the name of a passage or movement of music in a fast tempo 2. (adj.) at a brisk tempo

I used to believe with all my heart, soul, mind and strength that appearing to be smart, intellectual, well-versed and verbal was essential in order to maintain the integrity of the self-deception of my general superiority. I did stupid stuff:

  • I lied about my qualifications.
  • I embellished on my abilities.
  • I touted my sexual prowess.
  • And I exaggerated the depth of my understanding.

I was afraid that the package of human ability provided for me was insufficient to my personal indebtedness.

One day I just woke up and got sick of being a fool. I stopped wearing the jester’s hat and dancing for the kings. I realized that the greatest gift I could give myself was to stop faking it.

The greatest gift I could give to God was to find a way to get along with human beings.

And the greatest way to get along with other human beings was to simplify what I shared with them.

You see, when I read the word “allegro,” I think of all the pretentious musicians I have ever met, who think they are extraordinarily sophisticated by expressing musical notations in Latin or Italian, which, when translated, still mean “fast, slow, loud and soft.” You see, the Italians were not trying to be “poofy”–it was just their language.

If you find yourself searching for a word to express a simple idea so that you can impress those around you, then you are probably suffering from a severe case of viral “jerkitis.” Especially if you need to say the words with a foreign accent or a bit of flourish in your pronunciation.

So when I’m discussing music in a recording studio and find myself surrounded by the “hierarchy” of the craft, I don’t use the word “allegro.” I merely say, “This is faster.”

Yes, often they correct me, using the proper term for such a maneuver.

But I just smile, knowing in my soul that the art of simplicity is the true definition of intelligence.

Ability

by J. R. Practix

dictionary with letter A

Ability: n. 1. the capacity to do something 2. talent that enables someone to achieve a great deal: a man of exceptional ability.

Let me see if I’ve got this straight. Sometimes we think certain words mean the same thing, but if you look really carefully, you see that they don’t. So I have it figured this way: talent is what I think I can do, and ability is your opinion of my effort after I’ve completed it.

I know I’m always nervous when I hear somebody brag about their talent. I alway silently want to tell them to be quiet; play it cool. Don’t be such a blowhard. Because each one of us human beings has two different modes in which we perceive the performance or presentation of others. If we think they’re conceited, we put on our “mean” mind and get very, very picky. If we believe they are leading with a humble spirit, we are much more relaxed and willing to be forgiving.

So even though many people feel they have talent, their egomaniacal approach towards self-promotion makes the world around them judge their talent and pronounce a very low grade on their ability.

So maybe we don’t know how good we are until other people tell us the value of what we’ve shared or produced. Of course, we don’t like that. We are so preoccupied with our self-image that we would like to control all of the aspects of our offering to the world, including deciding for them what they’re going to think about it.

But it just ain’t so, Joe.

That’s why I think it’s better to play down your talent and come strong with your gift, so when people judge your ability, they will be much more merciful and generous. If you happen to be excellent on top of that, be prepared to be successful.

Talent is what I think I can do, and ability is the grade card you give me at the end of my test.