Cruise

Cruise: (v) to sail about on a pleasure trip.

I stumbled upon a little piece of personal revelation, which after much thought, might just end up being worthy of universal application.

(Not everything I think falls into this category. Many things that I pursue pertain mostly to me, and would not be helpful or even interesting, to an outsider.)

For instance, my daily regimen in approaching healthy eating would certainly bore the most prideful listener.

But what I’ve discovered is that nothing in life has immediate appeal—nor is it dead-on-arrival.

Each one of us ends up talking ourselves into everything.

So it only stands to reason that we talk ourselves out of other things.

For me, one of those things is a cruise on a ship.

There’s nothing inherently wrong with such an adventure. There have even been television shows produced extolling the pleasures of food, fun and romance—even promising that the boat itself might just be “love.”

But somehow or another I have talked myself out of this.

I talked myself into being a musician. Honestly, there’s little that’s more tedious.

I convinced myself of the glories of fatherhood. Yet this did not happen until children were afoot.

But I’ve also talked myself out of… Let me see:

How about a daily run? I think a daily run would be possible for me if there were someone trailing me slowly in a jeep, firing a machine gun at my heels. Yes, I would need adequate motivation.

So as I think about a cruise, the following four things immediately annoy me:

  1. Walking up the plank to get on.

I don’t know why. It just seems like I’m lining up in a prison yard for daily gruel.

  1. Cramped quarters.

To make money, a cruise ship must have little cabins, and of course, the smaller they make them the more people they can put onto the ship, and therefore, the more profit.

I am a big man, constantly perturbed by living in a medium world.

  1. A constant barrage of food.

Perhaps I’m odd, but after I eat, the last thing I want to do is go dancing in the Mambo Room.

Doesn’t that sound horrible? Where is the time for digestion?

  1. And finally, the pool.

If the boat is for love, then people are peering extra carefully at one another for the potential of unexplainable romantic entanglements.

When I go swimming, I’m thinking more about cannonballs and floating. Probably not the mindset of Carnivale.

So you see, I have not given a cruise a chance—because I have convinced myself that it is not worthy of my consideration.

I probably should have done that with bologna and sausage years ago.

funny wisdom on words that begin with a C


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Convent

Convent: (n) a community of persons devoted to religious life under a superior.  

 I’ve never been motivated by fear, even when some of it may have been legitimate.

I cannot stand to be intimidated and frightened just so somebody will believe that I’m adequately aware of a pending horror.

I have been a fortunate man because my journey has taken me every place I wanted to go, and many places I did not envision going but ended up benefitting me.funny wisdom on words that begin with a C

I once found myself, along with my family, staying for two days at a convent. It was an experience. Let me tell you the difference between “experience” and “blessing:”

A blessing is something you wish would go on forever.

An experience, though initially pleasant, is something you are overjoyed has an expiration date.

The women living in the convent, serving God, praying, and taking vows of both chastity and poverty, were some of the sweetest, gentlest and kindest souls I had ever met. But after about thirty-six hours, I discovered that their profile and practices were initiated through a fear of being displeasing to their Master—their husband. God.

Over breakfast one morning, I shared with these lovely souls my intention to write a novel on the life of Jesus, with him telling his own story. I felt confident that they would be moved by such an adventure. The intimacy we had shared over the stay made me relaxed, and I was forthcoming about details.

They were shocked.

They were offended.

Matter of fact, they pleaded with me to not write such a book, because it would “be offensive to God.”

Honestly, the last thing in the world I wanted to do was argue with nuns—especially on their home turf, the convent. I listened patiently to their objections, and for the rest of my visit I remained quiet, eager to get back to a world where poverty is not preferable and there is a God who welcomes scrutiny instead of feigning offense.


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Concern

Concern: (n) anxiety; worry.

Concern is the word we use when we want to establish that we are way too mature to be worried. After all, we are mentally balanced, funny wisdom on words that begin with a C
spiritually enhanced and emotionally stabilized to such an extent that we are able to express concern without, shall we say, losing our shit.

But this week, I have taken inventory of what should truly be concerning and what is merely passing rumor, attempting to generate fear.

I am concerned about my apathy.

It causes me to do ill-advised things for my health and also not be sensitive enough to the health and feelings of others.

I have a concern about my ego.

I’m not always certain when it shows up or if it’s the good guy of my motivation is in control.

I don’t have a concern for my family.

I took my best shot. And if that wasn’t good enough, they have had plenty of time to acquire other shots.

I do have a concern for my country.

Historically, every nation that ceases to have a world vision for the human family becomes obstructive to good will and has to be exterminated.

I have no concern for tomorrow.

There is no tomorrow until I make it.

I do have a concern for death.

I am not one of those verbose, fearless individuals who claims he is not afraid to die. If a vote were taken, I think it’s a horrible idea. Death, that is. But since my vote does not count, let me try to scare it away instead of vice versa.

I have no concern about the existence of God.

If He exists, His comprehension is so far beyond my grasp that any attempt on my part to ascertain His will must come across as a roaring farce at the Pearly Gates.

If He doesn’t exist, I will handle those “grave concerns” when they unearth.

 

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Competition

Competition: (n) the activity or condition of competing.

“There is no competition between us,” she said with a smile.

And then we sat around the room trying to answer Jeopardy! questions. As the moments passed, the intensity of her responses increased, with evidence of a bit of froth at her mouth.

Of course–we’re all in competition.funny wisdom on words that begin with a C

If we’re not competing for money, we’re competing for parking spaces.

As children we compete for the affection of our parents.

Sometimes we even stand in line at the grocery store and check to see if our tally is more impressive than the person before us.

Life may not be a competition, but in the process of living it, we develop a strong need to compete.

Some people call it greed or avarice.

Others deem it motivation.

I think it’s just quicker to call it human.

 

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Compelling

Compelling: (adj) evoking interest, attention, or admiration in a powerfully irresistible way.

Before I begin my writing session every morning I like to have a granola bar and a cup of coffee.

I use that as an opening sentence, not because it was valuable to your well-being, but rather, I wanted some clever way to start this essay.funny wisdom on words that begin with a C

What I’m about to share is not particularly enlightening nor clever. Turning on the television set for background distraction, I was confronted–no, presented–with four stories. These were the leads for the news on this particular morning’s broadcast:

There was a girl, slightly inebriated, dancing on a boat

A man handed a woman a piece of candy at a funeral

A preacher carelessly brushed his hand up against a famous singer’s breast

And a little boy comically took a mouthful of bitter chocolate powder, and then spit it out

I am not trying to be critical. After all, I watched the stories, and remembered enough to reiterate them to you.

But there was nothing compelling here.

Any attempt on my part to be compelled by these passing fancies would be bizarre.

Do I need compelling challenges in my life?

Considering the fact that I am a human being who thinks returning a shopping cart is an act of charity, I should be looking for possibilities to be motivated to escape my lower monkey, and spend at least a minute or two with my higher angel.

 

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Brisk

j-r-practix-with-border-2

Brisk: (adj) active,fast and energetic

Twice–perhaps three times.

But very infrequently.Dictionary B

There are just a few occasions when I found myself breaking into a run and feeling the air zoom by my face, suddenly propelled to a sensation of briskly passing over the surface of the Earth.

Being a chubby tubby, it is difficult for me to get to that station without extreme motivation.

But I remember one particular moment when I was walking and suddenly had the urge to run. (Once again, unique.)

I think I ran faster than I’ve ever run before.

Probably to the observer, it would have seemed insufficient, but at that juncture, I felt like an Olympic athlete.

It was so refreshing.

It was invigorating.

It was nearly intoxicating.

But as I said, only a limited experience, which has not happened for many years.

 

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Asylum

Asylum: (n) the protection granted by a nation to someone who has left their native country as a political refugee.dictionary with letter A

I suppose I could wax eloquent discussing asylum from the aspect of international dealings–the compassion offered to those who find themselves alienated or refugees.

But I think we spend too much time talking about things we don’t understand instead of understanding the things we talk about because they’re real in our lives.

I was once offered asylum–in the truest sense.

Back in 1980 my son was hit and run by a car and spent two-and-a-half months in the hospital with a brain injury, finally being released into our care–a child without the capacity for communication and with no ability to care for himself.

We became caregivers.

I would like to tell you that we adapted with great haste to this role, but I would be a horrible liar.

We were young, selfish, wounded, frustrated and way out of our element. The last thing in the world we needed was to be impinged upon by public opinion telling us what we needed to do or scrutinizing us for excellence.

Fortunately, I was surrounded by people of compassion and insight, who realized I was not going to be able to perform my duties and continue to work a job as an assistant minister at their church, but instead, needed a season to learn my new function–taking care of my wounded son and trying to find a way to adjust my spirit to the pain.

They gave me asylum.

For three months I was granted free rent, free board and freedom to be slow in the uptake.

I don’t know why they did this. I’m sure they were tempted to be self-righteous or even demanding.

But they chose to be loving.

I needed every one of those 90 days. And at the end of them, even the bizarre action of maintaining the needs of a helpless child fell into a logical routine.

I was able to rise to the occasion, and my whole family moved on to the next occupation without too much bruising or poverty.

I have thought about it many times. Matter of fact, I’ve used it as a motivation to grant the same asylum to other wounded travelers who have come my way.

The truth is, it is difficult to heal and be responsible at the same time. Something has to give.

More often than not, someone has to give.

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