Dale

Dale (n) a broad valley

I was never quite sure what was meant by the phrase, “Over hill and dale.”

I always thought it was pretty clever, in that old Army song, that we were going to “hit the dusty trail.”

“Dale” was one of those words I replaced in my mind—like inserting a space-filler.

In other words, it wasn’t important enough to look up, so I pretended I knew what it meant and moved on along, since it wasn’t that valuable to me.

Also, I’m not quite sure how the dale—or the valley—ever got such a bad reputation.

What do they say of a dale?

  • A down time.
  • A less-than-prosperous situation.
  • Or even an unfortunate defeat.

How did this happen? After all, when you climb a hill, you have two choices of what to look at. The sky or back down at the beautiful, green, grassy dale.

There’s something in our minds that tells us we have to be at the peak, instead of considering the dale to be our actual residence of achievement.

Doggone it, sweet people, let me tell you: Not all of us are able or prepared to live on top of the hill.

It is in the valley where the waters flow.

It is in the dale that the crops grow.

It is in this tucked-away, secure place that I can certainly find my own peace of mind, without insisting that I need to live high among the birds.

Curtail

Curtail: (v) to prevent, reduce or diminish

Imagine a door.

Standing at the door is a tall fellow—broad shoulders—a bit intimidating.

You are pleased to see that he has a smile on his face.

Yet as you stand back and watch, someone approaches the door. Our guard steps in front of it and says some words to the person that you cannot hear. He responds belligerently. The doorman holds his ground and the visitor stomps away, infuriated.

Now you’re curious.

You wonder what’s behind the door. Let me tell you. Yes, to make the story more interesting, I will let you know.

Beyond that door is joy without shame.

The acquisition of being happy with the world around you and pleased with yourself without being haunted with the regrets of bad choices or unnecessary shortcuts.

Are you interested?

So now that I’ve told you that, are you prepared to approach the door?

Of course not. You just saw someone rejected, and he didn’t look any worse or better than you.

Beyond all means, the worst thing, in our minds, is to be rejected.

Even in the pursuit of joy without shame, it wouldn’t be worth being refused entry, dragging your ass away, refused entry.

So let me give you another clue.

The man standing at the door will only ask you one question.

(Don’t roll your eyes. I didn’t say it was a great clue.)

Just one question.

You still seem perplexed.

Okay—let me give you one more clue. I’ll tell you what the question is.

That perked you up. Here it is:

What are you willing to curtail and change to receive joy without shame?

Be careful, now. Because all the religion, politics, philosophies and entertainment have flattered you and me to believe that we are fine the way we are. Just misunderstood.

Since our youth, we’ve heard it: “Be yourself.”

And now you’re coming to a door where you’re being told that you will be required to deny false gratification, insincere sentiments and dispel lies to come in and find joy without shame.

Are you prepared?

Are you willing to look into the face of politics and say, “There is no hope in you because you lie to me, thinking I’m a liar, too, and will understand your lies?”

You will have to gaze into the glassy eyes of religion and say, “I need more than eternal salvation. I require a human life that is abundant with experience.”

Can you curtail your faith that entertainment will provide the necessary food for your emotions, soul and body, and instead, call it out for failing to recognize your whole person?

And finally, push away from the false comfort of a pop psychology, giving you false confidence instead of challenging you to learn your world.

Are you ready to walk up to this “bouncer?”

Or do you need some time?

Yet I will tell you—the question will always be the same.

Certainly, the smile on his face will always be there, but the choice remains.

The decision is yours.

Are you prepared to curtail foolishness to gain wisdom and peace of mind? 

funny wisdom on words that begin with a C

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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Copacetic

Copacetic: (adj) fine; completely satisfactory

Copacetic is a word used by people who have enough money to throw at their difficulties—so it may appear to outsiders that they are problem-free.

Actually, satisfaction is a myth and those who pursue it are soon frustrated, holding their last dollar tightly in their fists.funny wisdom on words that begin with a C

The goal in life is not to find satisfaction, but rather, create it.

There are no circumstances on Planet Earth which come together to formulate the exact chemistry that will make you and I content. There is always a skunk in the mix, stinking up our plans, frustrating our endeavors and leaving us running out of the room screaming, to escape the stench.

We decide to be satisfied—not by compromising, but by truthfully learning the way things are, and instead of banging our heads against cement walls, creating doors to get through to the other side.

There’s an old saying which proclaims: “In whatsoever state I am, there I will be content.”

We smile at such optimism, as pessimism smothers our faith.

Nothing will ever be copacetic.

There are too many factors working at the same time, colliding into one another, creating surprising spin-offs.

What we can do is find what’s real, get our peace of mind and purposes achieved in that climate—and out-smart and out-last the cosmos.

 


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By

j-r-practix-with-border-2

By: (prep) identifying the agent performing an action.

If you want success to radiate around your efforts, you have to discover what makes things work best.

Finding out by what means peace of mind and joy are enacted is probably the most important pearl we can recover.

This happened to me the day I accepted the idea that faith works by love.

A loveless faith is just a braggart spirit–a person filled with presumption who decides to make bold statements, hoping that eventually he or she will luck into achieving them.

By the same token, love that does not prompt us to expand our faith becomes cloistered and sappy.

What are some other possibilities? What additional “teams” can be brought together for righteousness?

Politics works by truth. Wow.

Marriage works by communication. Certainly.

Good health works by good eating. Not medication.

Prosperity works by labor. (After all, you even have to buy a lottery ticket.)

And human appeal works by good cheer. Everyone loves the funny guy or gal.

Finding out by what means things are achieved is the actual definition of genius.

 

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Branch

j-r-practix-with-border-2

Branch: (n) a part of a tree that grows out from the trunk

Over the years I have had many people come to me seeking counsel and advice. Of course, what they’re looking for is a combination of a sooth-sayer, a prophet and someone who has just returned from picking God’s brain.Dictionary B

And unfortunately, there are those folks who will connote that they have a pulse on your situation, and therefore privy to your marching orders.

One of the more popular assertions? Branch out.

In other words:

  • Follow your dreams.
  • Put all of your hopes on 7 on the roulette wheel.
  • Try new things.
  • Experiment
  • Be bold.

That kind of dime-store intuition may get applause on a TV talk show, but when applied in normal everyday life, often leaves believers devastated in disappointment.

Why? Because no one knows your true aptitude, attitude, potential, talent or perseverance. They’re just hoping you get lucky.

Of course, most people don’t. This is why state lotteries work–because most tickets don’t win.

Likewise, the reason the majority of us do not achieve peace of mind, financial success and personal satisfaction is that branching out and trying fresh ideas rarely works.

What does work is pretty simple:

1. What am I doing that works?

2. Since it works, how can I do more of it?

3. Then, how can I do it better so it works even more often?

This information is general, but true.

Anything that is an adventure has risk, and therefore, more than likely will fail.

But if you have something that has proven to be profitable, then just find more opportunities to do that same thing in varied ways.

So be careful.

What sounds good in an auditorium with a large crowd of people has to be followed up by you–with a cup of coffee and determination.

 

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Antecedent

dictionary with letter A

Antecedent: (n) A thing or event that existed or logically precedes another.

I, for one, am personally enraged over the comment.

“All’s fair in love and war.”

I don’t know who had the audacity to throw love and war into the same mix and assume that they are achieved through similar motivations.

There is an antecedent to love, and certainly a different one to war. The two are not the same. And one would have to be extraordinarily cynical to believe that they are triggered by similar emotions.

Matter of fact, if you can find the antecedent, you can pretty well guarantee love, or at least something that is a delightful replica.

And if you insist on the antecedent for war, grab your helmet and grenades.

I believe the antecedent for love is contentment.

I’ve never seen two people who allow the seeds of discontentment to take root who can maintain their affection, but instead, become picky and fussy with one another.

What is contentment? Contentment is a decision to find our joy and peace of mind working with what we’ve got instead of complaining about what we lack.

The antecedent for war is jealousy.

It manifests itself sometimes as greed. Other times it parades around as ambition. But somehow or another we convince ourselves that what other people possess was misappropriated and needs to be taken away from them by force and placed into our stockpile.

What is jealousy? It is a lack of contentment because we’ve convinced ourselves that in some way we’ve been cheated or that someone we considered to be our inferior has risen to the occasion to be our equal.

As you can see, love and war have no similarity with each other whatsoever. Matter of fact, love would find it difficult to spew hundreds of bullets into the night air against unseen faces which just happen to be wearing unacceptable uniforms.

“All is not fair in love and war.”

Love doesn’t look for fairness. It works towards compatibility.

Of course, war is never fair. It’s the illusion of superiority… which always makes us look puny.

 

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