Clash

Clash: (n) a violent confrontation

Does it really need to be violent?

Have we reached a point in our society where we think if arguments and struggles remain non-violent, then they’re perfectly acceptable?
Because a clash can take a toll without ever breaking a bone or cutting the flesh.

A clash is when we go into a time of interaction with our fellow-humans, believing we are right instead of being open to the possibility of being a little wrong.

In that situation, it doesn’t matter what the subject matter is or the circumstances. People clash because they think they know there’s a fight coming–so when there’s a hint of a skirmish, they’re ready to explode.

This is why people of the black race who come out to protest the Ku Klux Klan have already envisioned a fist fight between the two parties long before any such confrontation crops up.

A husband and wife who return home in the evening grouchy, having had a bad day at work, will pick at one another until they create a clash.

A clash always occurs when ego, meanness, self-righteousness and circumstances collide at the same moment. If any one of these is removed, the clash can be avoided.

Is anyone willing to do that?

Am I prepared to consider a life where I bring ideas–minus opinions–to gain deeper understanding?

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Cheerful

Cheerful: (adj) noticeably happy and optimistic

At least a dozen times this week, I’ve heard the sentiment expressed.

Sometimes it is phrased, “It’s the least I could do.”

On another occasion it was uttered, “Well, at least you could…”

Since the human race is lazy, somewhat disconnected and suffers from being lost in oblivion, let us discuss what is “our least.” What is the bare minimum that we
need to bring to this journey to make it enjoyable for us and tolerable for those who surround?

  1. Listen until you’ve heard before you speak.

We spend too much time thinking we know what people are going to say and leaping in with our opinions. Wait for a period. How about this? Wait for them to take a breath before you advance your insight or objection.

  1. If you’re in a bad mood, show up quiet.

A complainer can silence a room of praisers. You may think what you feel is important, but if you wait a few minutes, the energy of others just might lift your spirits.

  1. If you are feeling cheerful, don’t be obnoxious.

Folks have aches, pains, fears, and maybe even bad news they are carrying. Give them a chance to recuperate from their damage.

  1. And finally, sustain.

What you’ve set out to do, what you’ve decided to feel and the way you wish to live–carry it through to at least the end of one day.

There’s a power in being cheerful, and that power is that it unleashes the possibility of problems being solved instead of merely debated.

 

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Bungle

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Bungle: (v) to carry out a task clumsily or incompetently

No two people think alike.

Maybe they come close. But the only true guarantee is that in a room of thirty souls, you will have thirty unique perspectives. If we try to find a consensus of those opinions, we will end up with political gridlock and spiritual malaise.

Why?

Because we trim off enough fat that eventually we do away with the meat. And once we lose the meat of a good idea, just simply having bones will not walk it across the room.

We bungle because we assume.

We assume that everybody agrees, or we assume that since everybody does not agree, that action needs to be taken without agreement. So naturally, those who did not give their stamp of approval will do their damndest to sabotage the idea since they were not part of it.

Probably the worst kind of bungling is thinking that a bad idea which has already produced bad results can be improved on, simply by making some simple adjustments.

Every four years, we take the archaic electoral system, which continues to bungle our elections, and tolerate it because trying to find agreement to do something else seems too arduous.

So the bungling continues.

Bungling is not simply having a bad idea. That happens to all of us.

Bungling is when you think a bad idea can sprout wings and suddenly fly to heaven.

 

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Browbeat

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Browbeat: (v) to intimidate someone, typically into doing something, with stern or abusive words.

I need an answer.

Better phrased, perhaps a definition.Dictionary B

I want to live a life where I freely and honestly input those around me, even if it’s not the common grind or goes against the flow.

I don’t need to be right. But I do need to make sure I speak–so I can tell myself that I’m participating.

Here’s the problem: one man’s “counsel” is another man’s “browbeating.”

In other words, some people can listen to my opinions, take them into consideration, use the more valuable parts and be appreciative for the encounter. But there are other folks who thrive on the elixir of confirmation and encouragement and consider any contrary view to be a personal attack.

And it doesn’t do any good to say “it’s their problem.”

Because in the long run, how we treat people is not based on our intention, but is solely determined by their reaction.

We may not like that, but it isn’t up to us to decide for another human how they should invest our pearls of wisdom.

What is browbeating?

I think I’ve finally come up with a conclusion:

Browbeating may very well be bringing up the same subject that was discussed earlier with greater intensity, because it wasn’t applied after the first conversation.

I don’t like that rendition, but it is a way to keep my opinions viable … but also extracted when they cease to be of any consequence.

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Brink

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Brink: (n) a point at which something is about to happen; the verge.

Two pundits. Two opinions.

Contradictions.Dictionary B

One firmly states, “We are on the brink of disaster.”

The other enthusiastically counters, “We are on the brink of great success.”

Each one has a case.

Each one works off of existing facts, trying to convince the listener of the validity of his or her point.

Can they both be right? Or are they both wrong?

It is amazing to realize that most of the time, life continues at a snail’s pace, without disaster or success. Matter of fact, it takes a great intervention to produce either one.

But we are on the brink of a decision.

Are we going to leave things the way they are and let them play out? Or are we going to intrude on the trend to generate a new possibility?

There are certain ingredients for disaster. Arrogance and ignorance would be the pair which normally precede that devastation.

And there are ingredients for success. Kindness and creativity. For after all, nothing of human quality can be done without kindness, and if we don’t create, we have a tendency to settle.

What are we on the brink of?

It would be the hope of this author that we’re on the brink of a great awakening–a season when we’re no longer afraid to admit our weaknesses, anticipating that they can be forgiven, the door flung open to repentance…and that we can usher in a new life.

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Bountiful

Bountiful: (adj) large in quantity; abundant.

What do we have the most of?Dictionary B

Or is it:

Of what do we have the most?

You see, right then and there you discover the power of determining what is bountiful.

The first way I asked the question is common speak. The second way is considered to be proper English, but a bit clumsy.

Is proper more important than clarity?

Good question.

What is bountiful in the American culture?

1. Individuality

We are so proud that each one of us is a snow flake that we’re unwilling to melt into a common cause.

2. Opinions

So because we’re convinced of our uniqueness, we feel the tiny creek of understanding that descends from our brains to our tongue is spilled out, pretending it’s an ocean

3. Sense of fear.

When you blend the fear that was placed in you as a child with the fear you developed through disappointments, and add onto that the fear and superstition from too much religion or academia, you end up being too cautious to be productive.

Life is bountiful–but not with blessing.

Rather, life is bountiful with opportunity, which through patience and effort, can turn into majesty.

 

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Bold

Bold: (adj) showing an ability to take risks; confident and courageous.

Bold sucks.Dictionary B

Well, perhaps that’s too simply stated.

Maybe I should phrase it this way: where we choose to be bold sucks.

If I were comparing “bold” to moving into a new house, I would parallel it with hanging pictures.

Once you remove all the old paint on the walls, wash them, let them dry, repaint and make sure you’re satisfied with the trim, then you can have the joy of hanging pictures.

But you do not hang pictures on a filthy, paint-peeled wall.

And you do not act bold when what surrounds your boldness fails to confirm it.

There are too many people with opinions who are walking contradictions to their own philosophy. They become hypocrites–not because they’re faulty human beings, but mainly because they insist on being bold about it.

Humility is the joyful wisdom that leaps onto the back of bold…always reminding us that we can be wrong.

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