Darling

Darling: (n) one dearly loved

Among the crowd who still know how to play Bingo, and sometimes even personally pursue it, there is an old saying:

“Is two enough? Is six too many?”

This question references how many prunes are beneficial to eat before you find yourself full of poop.

For those who are intimidated by constipation and blessed by regularity, this is an important inquiry.

But I also think the logic translates well over to the word “darling.”

There was an ancient song sung among “The Forty-Niners”—who were searching for gold in Sacramento. It was entitled, “Oh, My Darling Clementine.” Let me surmise the message of the tune.

One of these gold-diggers loved a woman named Clementine, who died. He missed her. So he sang about her—“My darling Clementine.”

I think in this case, using the word “darling” is acceptable, since the woman is dead and gone and some sort of mourning is in order.

But I do believe constantly calling our little children (especially females) “darling” sets these young ladies up for some of the greatest disappointments of their lives.

Here’s the issue:

Where do you go from darling?

I mean, if you’re trying to increase the level of appreciation or praise, what would be the word?

And, on the other hand, diminishing the term “darling” offers a whole series of insults that might leave our little darling devastated.

I would think it’s time for us to tell our children that they don’t need to be “darling” to be valuable.

Maybe a more specific series of words:

  • “That was a smart thing to do.”
  • “You really look good in that dress.”
  • “Oh, you combed your hair nicely.”
  • “Nice kick.”

But to sit and stare at a picture of your offspring and call her (or even him) “darling,” and expect to get Facebook likes to reinforce your opinion could be a tragic situation.

For after all, two prunes (or darlings) will keep things moving.

Six is just downright shit.

 

Conceit

Conceit: (n) excessive pride in oneself

What is excessive?

It reminds me of the old saying about prunes: “Is two enough? Is six too many?”

Of course, the source of that little piece of whimsy is that if you eat too few, your bowels won’t flow, and if you eat too many, you end up funny wisdom on words that begin with a C
gushing.

I guess that’s the way it is with conceit.

If you don’t have enough self-awareness to believe in your abilities to get you through the tough times, then you’ll probably have a life that’s constipated–gripped in fear.

On the other hand, if you think the journey is all about proclaiming the power of your excellence, you will produce so much information that people will not want to be near you.

Here’s a simple way to handle it:  when someone asks what you do, tell them without adding any of your credentials and awards.

For instance, someone asked me the other day: “What do you do for a living?”

I responded, “I’m a writer.”

I stopped. I didn’t explain what I write, how much I write, or whether someone, somewhere decided to give me an award for my scrawlings.

As it turned out, they were completely comfortable with my answer and pursued no further.

Had I produced one more “prune of thought,” my questioner would have been turned off by my self-gushing.

 

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Beef

Beef: (n) the flesh of a cow, bull, or ox, used as food.Dictionary B

It’s always a battle over three distinctly different approaches:

  • What I know
  • What I think
  • What ends up being true

Actually, most of us don’t know much of anything for certain. What we claim to know is usually an advanced stage of belief. In other words, people will tell you they know there’s a heaven, but that’s because they believe it very strongly.

Knowing is tough. Yet if we act like we don’t know, people accuse us of being dumb. So often, we insist we know without really knowing.

Which brings us to think.

Think is a dangerous combination of prejudice, upbringing and bad experience which we have equated with certainty as being valid. Of course, it can be good experience which leaves us idealistic.

But here’s the kicker: most people blend what they think and what they know and call it truth.

That’s why we fight all the time. Because what you think and know is not what I think and know.

So we have to be extremely humble about what we know, and mighty careful about what we think. Otherwise we will soon miss what ends up being true.

Thus…beef.

From year to year, the opinion on beef has gone from being an excellent source of protein to a murderer of the human heart.

If you bring the subject up, some folks will tell you they’re vegetarians because they want to be healthy, and other folks will never eat a vegetable unless steak has become one.

So once again, we’re stuck on this “think” and “know”–in danger of failing to find out what is true.

Beef is actually no different from prunes. You know the old saying about prunes: Are two enough? Are six too many?

Because if you eat just the right number of prunes, you will have happy times in the bathroom. If you eat too many, you will experience frequent toilet miles.

The same is true with beef.

Eat it every once in a while, and it is an immense builder of protein and strength for your body.

Eat too much beef and it turns into all sorts of heartfelt problems.

So take the time to be careful about what you know. And always be cautious to preface what you think with those glorious words, “In my opinion…”

Because truth eventually stumbles along. And the truth of the matter is, beef is like everything else:

It’s good until it becomes bad.

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Animated

dictionary with letter A

Animated: (adj.) full of life or excitement; an animated conversation.

Do you remember the old commercial where a woman with a sour expression on her face turns to the camera and laments the number of prunes necessary to alleviate her constipation?

“Is two enough? Is six too many?”

I remember when I first saw the commercial–it really grossed me out. I was young and the idea of a constricted bowel life was beyond my comprehension.

Time marches on. Or in the case of this discussion, somewhat stands still.

I feel the same way about living an animated life.

We have many different opinions on whether a certain amount of excitement is enough or if an additional degree of enthusiasm is too much.

Matter of fact, we tend to compartmentalize our lives into occasions where exuberance is acceptable, and those profiles where we normally choose to some degree to be more adult or somber.

What is an animated life?

1. Wherever you are, be there.

I don’t need people to be jumping up and down, but I do like to have the sense that they’re present and aware of their surroundings.

2. Care about something other than your cares.

One of the surest ways to become boring is to have no awareness whatsoever of the feelings, needs, or sentiments of others.

3. Match your surroundings.

The Good Book phrases it really well: “Rejoice with those who are rejoicing; weep with those who are weeping.”

What a fabulous idea.

4. Go for one more.

  • If you’re in a conversation, ask one more question.
  • If you’re enjoying a movie, hang around for one more minute to discuss it.
  • Take another sip of tea before you leave.
  • Think of a reason to express appreciation.

Just one more. It is the definition of the social second mile. It lets people know that you have fulfilled your commitment, but you’re animated enough to offer an additional footnote.

That’s what I think about being animated. I don’t require that people leap to their feet and applaud my efforts, but I would like to know that my presence in their lives was significant enough to create some sort of pleasurable expression on their face.

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