Clout

Clout: (n) influence or power

Liars talk too much.

It’s one of the sure ways to pick ’em out. Rather than just stating the facts or presenting the situation, they feel the need to emphasize some
aspect of their story to further impress you with its validity.

That’s always been my problem with the word “clout.”

How much more reinforcement is necessary for a good idea?

How many times do we need to recite our accomplishments before we understand that nobody cares?

How often will we find ourselves stumbling over words because we are not yet convinced that the room has been swayed by our argument?

Does a nation have clout because it has a big army? (Candidly, the nations which have had big armies throughout history are no longer around.)

Do a people have credence because of their faith in God or their morality? If that were the case, the Puritans would still be very popular instead of deemed assholes for killing little girls as witches.

Does a woman gain clout by convincing everybody that she’s just as good as a man, when being a man may not be good enough?

How many characters do we need to introduce to develop the plot?

How many promises should be secured before we decide to move out and attempt a noble deed?

When I was in my thirties, a very prosperous music producer told me that I had no future because I didn’t carry enough clout. I looked him in the eyes and said, “I decided a long time ago not to carry anything I didn’t need.”

We don’t need clout. Actually, it warns of insecurity, pomposity and arrogance.

If I believe I am the best at anything, I need to leave my house more often.

If I think that God favors me because of my numerous religious inclinations, it may be necessary for me to encounter those human beings who scrape together fifty cents, knowing they need sixty cents to survive.

If you want to legitimize the word “clout,” then here is a better definition:

Clout is when I have the humility to realize I don’t really matter, so if I want to keep from being invisible, I should open up my heart and do what I can for the human race.

 

 

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Biped

Biped: (n) an animal that uses two legs for walking.

Dictionary B

 There is an old saying infrequently used, but still chronicled somewhere in the testaments of time.

“The legs are the first thing to go.”

When I was a kid, I had no idea what that meant. Even growing into manhood, the idea of losing strength, power and ability in my legs–in other words, not being a confident biped–seemed ludicrous.

So I foolishly and often recklessly utilized my motoring abilities by foot without any regard for the fragility of the practice.

About ten years ago–due to my obesity, activity and sometimes even abuse–my knees, ankles and hips began to complain ferociously by welcoming pain and discomfort into my life.

It gradually got worse and worse, to the point that today, most of the time, I have to use a wheelchair to get to my destinations.

It is odd. I took it for granted. Now I lust as I watch others walking along confidently.

I’m not angry. There is no resentment.

I don’t feel I’ve been targeted by life to be relegated to a diminished capacity.

But I am fully aware that if other things want to go, I must struggle to encourage them to remain.

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Beg

Beg: (v) to ask someone earnestly or humbly for something.Dictionary B

Asking is not begging.

Begging is reserved for those who have given up on the power of asking, and also have abandoned their own ability to pursue possibility.

It is also difficult for me to believe that begging has anything to do with true humility.

Humility is when you realize that accepting less opens the door to more. It is not a decision to accept less because you have ascertained that you are neither worthy nor capable of acquiring your desire.

Begging is reserved for an entirely different mind-set which no longer thinks that asking will elicit a response, or that humility will lay the groundwork for growth.

Even though it is considered to be open-minded and magnanimous to give to those who beg, we must understand that allowing people to beg from us is devastating to their soul … and an overdose to our pride. 

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Achernar

by J. R. Practix

dictionary with letter A

Achernar: (n.) the ninth brightest star in the sky, visible only in the southern hemisphere.

That’s me. Of the eight stars available, I am the ninth brightest.

But you see, here’s the power. Or maybe better phrased, here’s the solution: if you realize you’re the ninth brightest star, it’s a good idea not to get caught up in number envy.

No matter how hard you try to promote that idea, the natural question to those reading your advertising material would have to be: “Hmmm. I wonder where the other eight are…”

I think the key to the whole definition is this: if you’re the ninth brightest star, become important by finding your own southern hemisphere. OK. Maybe you’ll never make it to the northern hemisphere. Maybe you’re stuck below the equator, the Mason Dixon line, the belly button or just underneath the radar.

It doesn’t mean you don’t have light.

The ninth star does not look dim unless it hangs around trying to compete with Numbers Three and Four. Only stubbornness, pride and foolishness would make such a stupid choice.

Things that have “gone south” still need to be “lit up.” And if you’re the ninth brightest star, that’s your job.

I occasionally have people walk up (even though they don’t literally “walk up.” That’s just a phrase authors use to establish perspective) and they ask me, “Don’t you wish you could reach more people? Don’t you wish you were more famous? Don’t you wish …”

“Wishing” is for fairies and lamp rubbers. I stopped wishing a long time ago and now spend my time considering, planning and performing what I can do. Somewhere along the line you have to leave the rest up to time, chance and the whim of God.

So there are only two important things to remember if you’re the ninth brightest star:

  1. Find a darker place–where you look really bright.
  2. Enjoy what you have to bring instead of wishing you had more.

That’s it. If you do that, you can be like our friend, Achernar: you can do a job and have a really difficult name to pronounce …  to further guarantee your obscurity.