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

Cursory

Cursory: (adj) rapidly going over something without noticing details

“America, love it or leave it.” (A cursory look at the history of our country and the value of patriotism)

“God hates sin but loves the sinner.” (A cursory expression of the love of God and the theology of grace)

“Men are men and women are women.” (A cursory comprehension of the human species and how the genders function together)

“Politics is a dirty business.” (A cursory excuse for accepting bad behavior as necessary maneuvering)

“Mommy and Daddy don’t love each other but they still love you.” (A cursory, bizarre explanation given for parenting which is neither rational nor practical)

“Young people are not as in tune with history and current events as they used to be.” (A cursory jab at an emerging generation by boomers, who sold out their rebellion for IRAs)

“Jesus would be a Republican.” (A cursory proclamation by those who fail to realize that Jesus was apolitical)

“Take care of the poor.” (A cursory miscalculation of what is involved in providing for those who are without means and often minus motivation)

Cursory is what is offered when agendas are put ahead of reason, and an engine is added to the rear.

funny wisdom on words that begin with a C

Current

Current: (adj) new; present; most recent

I have never gone lockstep with the obvious.

I’m also quite reluctant to be in awe of the over-produced or exaggeratedly promoted.

I smile when people tell me that “the current position on something or other is as follows”—considering the fact that human beings change their minds more often than they change the batteries in their smoke detectors (by far).

Yet I know there are many individuals who are greatly impressed that something has been thrust forward for popular consumption, therefore making it the current fad.

Actually, one of the easier ways to make an immoral decision is to give heed and credence to what has the loudest promoter.

I’m not telling you that silence is golden, or obscurity invites purity.

I’m just saying that the easiest thing to do in life is advertise.

It doesn’t involve creativity, doesn’t require honesty and can change its emphasis in mid-campaign.

When I sit down and decide whether a practice is worthy of my support—one which has become current with the times—I ask myself three questions:

  1. Does it encourage people to accept one another and also challenge them to be better?
  2. Is it honest enough to admit there may be error?
  3. Is it open to revision—or closed off because those who are pushing it want to guarantee the reaction they desire?

If it passes those three questions, I’m prepared to accept any current movement, spirituality, kindness, politics, music or interaction.

If not, I quietly walk away, let everyone play with their toy for a while, and then warmly welcome them back, helping them overcome the instinct to be jaded.

funny wisdom on words that begin with a C

Cure

Cure: (n) a method or course of treatment, as for disease

“I’m not sick.”

This is what I used to tell my mother on the days I wanted to go to school, go out and play or pursue some activity which was being halted because of “under the weather.”

Then there were the days I said, “I am sick.” I was trying to avoid a test, a bully or was too lazy to get out of my bed.

It carries over.

If everybody who was sick sought treatment, more people would get well. And if all the people who are truly well would cease to be paranoid hypochondriacs, we would probably spend a whole lot less money on medical treatment in America.

How do you know you need a cure?

When can you confirm there’s some sort of difficulty, impediment or disease which is keeping you from your best?

The problem with the medical field is the same situation presented by the political arena and also carries through into religious circles.

Cures are developed which are advertised and aren’t necessarily suited to the afflictions.

Politicians try to convince everybody that the economy, terrorism or health care are our three greatest issues. Are they? Will they bring a cure to our ills? Or is the dilemma actually that we still want to kick the shit out of each other?

In medicine, they get so excited about certain advancements and cures that they try to use them as a panacea for all conditions, while the conditions that really beset us—obesity, drug addiction and lack of physical activity—continue to hang around, making us sicker and sicker every day.

And in religion, a savior is offered who doesn’t seem to bring any more insight, wisdom or opportunity our way once we’ve been baptized and born again in our further confusion.

What is the cure?

Three steps:

  1. Ease the symptoms. Make people more comfortable.
  1. Find out where it hurts.
  2. Treat as lightly as possible. Don’t assume it’s a flesh-eating bacteria.

That seems to be the best cure. It’s one that people will tolerate.

Even though we’re all dying and will ultimately end in the grave—as dust and ash—we don’t need to do it every day.

funny wisdom on words that begin with a C

Cryptic

Cryptic: (adj) mysterious in meaning; puzzling; ambiguous

Some examples of cryptic thoughts.

It certainly was fortunate that there were ignorant black people in Africa so that American slavery could prosper.

President Trump would be a fabulous leader if he knew where he was going.

It is ironic that the Jews would consider it anti-Semitic to be blamed for the crucifixion of Jesus, even though their Council cast the votes.

Men and women are equally talented and intelligent—and there the equality ceases.

I shot an arrow into the air and I sure as hell hope it didn’t kill anybody.

I am happiest when I know some people are sad because there seems to be a limited amount of happiness.

The best Republican President acted like he was a Democrat.

The best Democrat President was probably a secret Republican.

People don’t seem to be able to just enjoy sex without thinking they are the best at it.

The more we envy others, the less the chance of ever possessing what they have.

Religion is about as close to God as politics is to freedom.

You can always tell when a nation is failing—it attacks its poets.

I blame myself for trusting you to have the intelligence to make the decision that has now ruined us both.

These are some examples of cryptic statements.

Such talk is fun.

Such talk is clever.

Such talk can start wars.

 

funny wisdom on words that begin with a C



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Cruel

Cruel: (adj) willfully or knowingly causing pain or distress to others.

You do know that your clock doesn’t say, right?

I’m talking about when we casually cite, “The clock says…” and we note the time.

Since clocks can’t speak, they can’t say.

Some folks would say that’s being picky. (Actually, it’s a little trick you learn in writing to make sure you don’t have grumblers and complainers instantly mocking you because you claim to have a talking clock.)

But two nights ago, I caught my clock reading, “2:53 A.M.”

Suddenly I was wide awake.

It’s amazing that during some of these midnight stirrings, it feels like you could get up and build a bridge. And then, five hours later when you’re supposed to get up and bridge something, you can barely move.

We are strangely constructed, curiously functioning and unfathomable in our conclusion.

But since the clock read “2:53,” I decided to ask what the plot was. Yes—my brain always has some sort of idea it’s brewing, contrary to what I might think about during the day, and also frequently critical of my self-assured attitude.

The question on this particular awakening was, “How have I been cruel?”

When I’m better prepared—after the selection of my favorite shirt and a good breakfast—I would probably insist that I’m not cruel. But my brain was reading something else at 2:54 in the morning. So I stayed quiet and listened.

This is the lecture I received:

You are cruel when you withhold appreciation simply because you believe you’ve already expressed your favor.

You are cruel when you know someone requires a hug and you supply a handshake instead.

You are cruel when your friend has contacted you by text or email, and you arbitrarily decide to return it—the next day.

You are cruel when you hear an ignorant statement made in your presence and you let it go without comment, thinking it’s none of your damn business.

You are cruel when you turn into cement over an issue of spirituality, politics or morality because you think it makes you appear more righteous.

You are cruel when you comply to the mediocrity of a situation or the indifference of a room because there’s no need to be a boat-rocker.

You are cruel when you no longer believe you’re capable of being cruel.

I don’t like it when my clock reads.

I guess I’m just like everyone else:

I would be completely satisfied with an ignorant time piece.

funny wisdom on words that begin with a C


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Cronyism/Crook

Cronyism: (n) the act of favoring one’s close friends, especially in political appointments.

Crook: (n) someone who cheats or swindles

Politics is a laughable tragedy.

It is a high school play debuting on Broadway.

It is a promise without a premise.

As a human being, there are two statements that must be avoided at all times—otherwise you find yourself trapped in cronyism.

Cronyism almost always leads to becoming a crook.

Those two statements are:

  1. “I am right”
  2. “I can make it right.”

There is no soul alive who is completely right.

And certainly there is no individual who, by him or herself, can make it right.

The assertion of those two thoughts—or even a hint of them—warns you of trouble.

People who believe they are right must surround themselves with those who agree with the flawed premise. Normally, this is mainly includes friends and family.

You can’t get all your information from just your friends and family. They are the ones who benefit if you end up being right. If you trust these cronies, you will gradually end up in the wrong.

Sane people listen to their critics and even their enemies—because they know these foes are not promoting them. Every once in a while, they point out the flies in the ointment which need to be removed.

They catch the hypocrisy. They proofread the statements.

If you’re only surrounded by friends and family, who join you in the assertion that you’re right, you will begin to go about your business believing that you have the power, along with your cronies, to right the world.

The world doesn’t want to be right.

The world will never be right.

The world will always be filled with tribulation.

Our defense against such turmoil is to keep a sense of good cheer, continue learning, promote growth and challenge ourselves to better paths.

Those who are encompassed by friends and family, who think they are right, believing they have been called to right the world, are always wrong.

So beware.

Cronyism is a desire to promote and hire only those who approve of you, and it will always end up with you lying and cheating, becoming a crook.

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