Curate

Curate: (v) to take charge, organize or select content for presentation or publication

You don’t have to wait for spring cleaning.

Any good sunny afternoon will do.

Drive down a residential street and you will find things that people have pushed, shoved and even carried from their houses, sitting next to the road—as trash, ready to be toted away.

Some of it has earned its relegation to the Kingdom of Trash. But other items are just portions of the household that aren’t used anymore—discarded as junk.

You can pick up some treasures. I have found myself doing that.

I curate.

It doesn’t make me a curator, but in this throw-away generation, I find myself cruising the neighborhoods of Facebook, Snapchat, Instagram and the like, finding huge piles of values and ideas that used to be regarded as beautiful, or at least workable, sitting in the Out Box, declared spam.

Civility used to be applauded. But now it seems anemic in the presence of the onslaught of aggressive accusation.

You can go anywhere on Facebook and find a trashed version of the Golden Rule: Do unto others as you would have them do unto you—and find that it still polishes up quite nicely.

One by one, we have taken institutions and ideas that have lasted for millennia and made sure they were gone from memory—by next Tuesday.

Things like sympathy, empathy, poetry, sentiment, reflection, journaling.

Even record albums and CDs are disappearing.

Books look like dinosaurs marching to the mark-down bins.

Part of this is being done in ignorance, but most of it is the influence of negativity, wishing to wipe out sensitivity by deeming it weak and stupid.

I suppose you can join the crowd and stack your shit for flushing.

Or you might want to take a second to wonder if simply enjoying something for its feeling–which has existed since Eden and now is considered passé on Instagram—would be worth tucking it away like an old sweater that is ready to give warmth on the next very chilly morning.

funny wisdom on words that begin with a C

Cultivate

Cultivate: (v) to promote or improve growth by labor and attention.

It is unfortunate that most religious individuals are so busy toeing the line—seeking God, criticizing sin and thinking of heaven—that they miss out on much of the beautiful poetry and insight contained in the Bible.

The Bible is like every other book I’ve read: there are parts I like, characters I enjoy, story lines I follow and truths I garner.

Within the Good Book, there is the parable of the farmer who plants seed in the ground. Then he sleeps—but he rises night and day to discover that the seeds have grown, but he does not really know how.

In the midst of that parable, this line appears:

“The Earth produces by itself.”

It’s so true.

We, as humans, actually rebel against the obvious, which steers us toward being kind and generous.

We have to be bratty to not see that the Earth itself teaches us to recognize one another in fairness and justice.

And we have to be total ignoramuses to resist the inclination to love rather than kill and destroy.

Our job is to plant seed.

After this, the Earth itself will show us how these efforts need to be cultivated:

  • What needs to be done to become an entrepreneur
  • What is required to be an excellent parent.
  • And the next steps needed to cultivate any venture and take it to a new level of growth.

Sometimes in America we forget to cultivate the way the Earth tells us. Then the weeds start showing up, and we begin believing that the weeds are in control.

Too bad. It’s a simple little system.

Plant your seeds.

Rise up and be astounded over the growth.

Then let the Earth itself tell you what to do next.

funny wisdom on words that begin with a C

Contemporary

Contemporary: (adj) living or occurring at the same time.

“What is the opposite of contemporary?”

This question was posed to me once in an interview. I think the person conducting the inquiry was a bit upset because during the conversation I referred to “contemporary matters” as often being insufficient to human need.

I turned it around on my questioner. “What do YOU think the opposite is of contemporary?”

He didn’t miss a beat. “Old-fashioned.”

There is an instinct in this nation of the free and the home of the brave to try to turn every subject into a conflict in order to fill the space on a talk show which funny wisdom on words that begin with a Calready has too much chatter.

Old-fashioned is not the opposite of contemporary. There are many emotions and actions which might be considered old-fashioned, which if faithfully applied, would come across as very contemporary in our modern-day stand-offs.

  • Kindness
  • Consideration
  • Humor
  • Wit
  • Cleverness
  • Poetry
  • Satire

All of these are relics of the past which survive quite well when they’re given a new suit of clothes and paraded on the catwalk.

The opposite of contemporary is actually “untried”—ideas that have sprouted from nowhere, short-sighted and including only a part of humanity while promoting the preferences of a chosen few.

It will never be old-fashioned to be inclusive. It is a contemporary position.

It will never be old-fashioned to be considerate. It is a contemporary profile.

And it will never be old-fashioned to question power—especially when it seems the domination is being used to hurt other human beings.

That is merely contemporary action.

 

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Burp

j-r-practix-with-border-2

Burp: (n) a belch

The definition of crazy: believing what is in your head because it had the spunk to come to your mind.

If a persistent idea can survive some scrutiny, it should be granted merit. But if the notions floating in your gray matter cannot be confirmed by other independent gray matter, then you may need to have a full brain-flushing.

I bring this up because in the first couple decades of my life, I found it difficult to burp. People even tried to teach me how to do it at will (since it was a favored pastime of males age twelve to sixteen). I was never successful.

Now, I won a gold star at farting. It was the burping that escaped me. Often I found myself struggling with some gas and pain because I couldn’t be relieved through the burp.

It became an obsession with me. When other people heard a loud burp from an individual in a room, they would crinkle their faces and say “gross.” My thought was much different. In my brain, I mused, “God bless you, genius. Could you teach me to do that?”

It seems so silly.

But worst of all, when I did occasionally burp, it was so poorly performed. It was more like a silent hiccup that barely lifted my shoulders. That resounding, basal explosion of vibrating magnitude of sound totally and completely avoided me.

So I guess I have a different attitude toward burping. Although I do not hold to the Aramaic tradition of thinking that it’s a sign of expressing appreciation for a meal, I do think it is an art form–which will probably never receive its due.

You know.

Similar to poetry. 

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Bard

Bard: (n) a poet Dictionary B

If you’re a writer and you want to guarantee that you will never be read, start penning poetry.

I don’t know what we have against poetry, but it has become the mime of the writing industry. In other words, at one point it seemed like a great idea, but now most people just find it annoying.

This is why I plan on putting out a book of poetry this year.

I know it sounds insane, but I have often found that when the populace walks away from some product or idea, if you can improve that product or idea and make it more marketable, they are completely capable of running back to it as if they’ve never seen it before.

There is nothing more foolish than trying to imitate the market. For instance, if tomatoes are selling in the grocery store, by the time you grow some in your garden and get them to the produce aisle, people will have moved on to cucumbers.

I think the every bard knows that there are eternal messages, eternal truths and eternal common ground which can be sweetly woven into a tale that ministers to the soul while tingling the mind with possibility.

We really don’t have bards nowadays.

Matter of fact, if you used the word to refer to anyone other than Shakespeare, folks would assume that you thought you were better and more intellectual than the gathered. (And even if you use the word to refer to Shakespeare, you’re pretty hoity-toity.)

But in my opinion, the world is rather desperate for some prophets to rise up and use the tools of the bard … to stimulate us to needful thought and overdue repentance.

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