Console

Console: (v) to comfort someone at a time of grief or disappointment

When I saw the word “console,” I thought about becoming reflective, gentle and sharing some anecdote about a time in my life when someone comforted me, or perhaps I was able to bring solace to another.

But then I was struck by reality.

Even though I am a strong believer in consoling, too many times what we consider to be an action of consolation ends up being a cajole–or supporting an funny wisdom on words that begin with a C
asshole.

So shall we consider the three words?

  • Console
  • Cajole
  • Asshole.

What would be the difference among the three terms?

Console is what you do when people, from a good place in their heart, try to do something, and either due to bad fortune, poor execution, or maybe even a little stupidity, fall flat on their face and you lift them up and encourage them, saying that such a tumble is never a fatal fall.

Cajole is when you run across an individual who has ability but has decided not to pursue something on their own without being encouraged, pumped up and told how great they are before they will even flex one ounce of their ability.

And asshole is someone who’s become much too comfortable with a console or a cajole, and so manipulates life to make him or her receive all the attention by being a hold-out or a lazy so-and-so.

You’re probably asking yourself, how can you tell the difference? Truth is, you won’t be able to do so unless you’ve tapped your soul, repented of your need for the cajole and any instinct to be an asshole–and allow your spirit to show you the ones who light up when they receive words of edification… and rise to their feet to try again.

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Concoct

Concoct: (v) to create or devise

I have discovered that I don’t need to concoct as often when I’m not afraid of being honest.

When I am afraid–terrified of reality–I will concoct a scheme to explain my actions, which I certainly hope is plausible to those who hear, or at least is so uninteresting that they will choose not to challenge it.

I believe that concocting is a covenant we make with one another, promising that if you will believe my concoction, I will not question yours.funny wisdom on words that begin with a C

Therefore, we will leave it all to luck–to establish whether we survive fiasco, or whether the plans we’ve made will get their just desserts and play out to a dark conclusion.

This does not sound interesting to me.

I don’t like to lose, but the best way to keep from losing is to fail small, so you don’t screw up big.

And if you fail small and catch it while it still has a pacifier in its mouth, you can keep it a baby problem instead of turning it into an adolescent rage.

But it does demand that you keep your “concoct” to yourself.

 

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Bogus

Bogus: (adj) not genuine or true; fake.

Dictionary B

Although I’m sure the word “bogus” has not been used by anybody since Bill and Ted’s Excellent Adventure finished playing at dollar theaters, I must say that the definition and the concept is rather important, and certainly would be enlightening for our times.

Somewhere along the line, or absent a line, we have begun to believe that real life has to be replaced by the exposure of reality.

So if a television show is done about a preacher and his family, we don’t focus on the good deeds, but rather, the conflicts that often arise in their character, which contradict their Biblical nature and expose their human foibles.

We are fascinated with failure.

Pointing at bad people does make us feel good. Therefore, symbolism is preferred to experience.

Whether it’s politics–where we have an Electoral College with a confounding number of votes to select our next leader; or the College Football Playoff, with a coalition of experts to muse over the manly efforts of the varying teams; or a church, where we replace the message of the Nazarene with bread and wine as a token of his life, it is bogus.

But like I said, since that word is outdated, we will just have to find another way to describe a season where illegitimacy is honored–because to revere the legitimate might leave us all convicted of our lack.

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Below

Below: (prep) at a lower level

Dictionary B

It takes guts.

It probably shouldn’t.

Honesty, by its very definition, should be a statement of the reality that we presently know.

But since reality tends to scare us, we develop stories. We conjure excuses. And we fail to realize that our character–and ultimately, our popularity–is determined by how well we recognize when our efforts are below standard, and admit the shortage instead of denying responsibility.

How wonderful it would be if I could convince myself, and maybe therefore others around me, that the only way to be truly diminished is to insist that I never fall below the best.

  • We all do.
  • We all will.

And we all have an opportunity to be considered valuable by admitting this deficiency instead of covering it up.

It baffles me that I don’t know this. Why I pause before telling the truth of the matter is a great source of mystery to my soul.

Because when I am candid, the world rushes to my side to lift up my spirits and encourage me to do better.

When I lie, I make humanity around me turn into my enemies so they can honor the traditions of candor.

My efforts are often below the quality I am capable of achieving.

I have never improved my status … by lying about it. 

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Appendage

dictionary with letter A

Appendage (n.): a thing attached to or projecting from something larger or more important.

After writing for more years than I dare remember, I often find myself guilty of becoming either too introspective or a bit boggled with silliness.

Not that I have any problem with introspection or silliness for that matter, but as a writer, your goal is to have readers and not just accumulation of work.

One school of thought is that most people want to read something deep and profound while another clown college contends that everything must be giggly and entertaining.

I have come to the conclusion that the true test of writing is working from an idea that is important, and using the best tools possible to carve out a message.

Maybe that’s the problem in our society today–we’ve forgotten what’s important. So what we have is a bunch of dangling appendages seeking homes on which to attach.

If all the ideas proffered in our time were traced back to an origin, they would often be considered homeless.

Therefore everything I write, feel and try to do is grounded in three central principles, and then I allow the ideas to grow like appendages from them:

  1. People are the closest thing to God we have on Earth.
  2. God is the closest thing to hope that we can muster.
  3. So we must muster the ability to get along with people so that we better understand God.

Everything else I do ends up being appendages to these three central themes. Sometimes it’s funny; sometimes it’s serious. Sometimes it’s confrontational, but it is never jaded.

For after all, the day I cease to believe in these three ideas that are important, everything I do will be a mere appendage–unattached to my own reality.

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Allegory

Words from Dic(tionary)

dictionary with letter A

Allegory: (n) a story, poem or picture that can be interpreted to reveal a hidden meaning, typically a moral or political one: e.g. Pilgrim’s Progress is an allegory of the spiritual journey.

I am not sure when it happened, but somewhere along the line, the word “reality” became synonymous with “truth.”

Reality is not truth. Rather, it is our present fallen position.

Often we have to escape reality to climb a little higher to see over the mounds of our own stupidity. Yet in the past thirty or forty years, entertainment, education and even our politics have boasted their “open-mindedness” and intellectual pursuits by taking a snapshot of ongoing human behavior, insisting that it is a tableau of our destiny.

Isn’t that ridiculous?

So when I think about the allegory, I realize that it is almost a lost art–because allegory does exactly the opposite of reality movies and TV. The allegory says there are principles, feelings and ideas which are eternal and lasting–which only need to be passed through the prism of our present understanding in order to enlighten us.

Just because people are going through a season when they think God is mean, or doesn’t exist at all, does not mean that’s what they will feel in five years.

What is the consensus of human need on the issue? Find that–then draw an allegory, using the language of our times to present everlasting truth.

  • I don’t want society deciding what is valuable.
  • I don’t want to have a conversation with someone about television shows which extol violence, crime, graft, greed and incest and have him look at me with pity because I don’t understand that it’s “a true story.”
  • I don’t want to watch vampires suck the blood out of werewolves as witches place curses on hobbits who are out to pursue rings by killing dragons and believe that I am out of step because it is just necessary escapist fantasy. Maybe Lord of the Rings and Harry Potter are attempts at allegory, but they are so cluttered with the inclusion of destiny that they lose the passion of free will.

I admire allegory.

I appreciate the way Jesus used allegory in parables, explaining the kingdom of God to people by referencing fish, coins, bread yeast and mustard seeds instead of merely bitching about the Romans and complaining about the boring Pharisees.

Reality is not truth.

Truth is finding a way to share what has blessed our species for thousands of years … in a contemporary fashion.

 

Alamo

Words from Dic(tionary)

dictionary with letter A

 

Alamo: (the Alamo) a mission in San Antonio, Texas, site of a siege in 1836 by Mexican forces in which all 180 defenders were killed.

Reality, think and hope.

These are the three elements that go into telling the story of history. Nowhere is this any more evident than in the tale of the Alamo.

Our great hope is that 180 human souls gave their lives for freedom, making a last-ditch stand against the tyranny of Santa Ana.

We think we understand their motivations–and we also have thoughts that perhaps things could have been handled better so that such a death toll was unnecessary.

Rarely do we arrive at reality.

The truth of the matter is, the “big three” of the Alamo–Travis, Bowie and Crockett–were at the end of their careers and escaped to Texas to start over again–or perhaps, end it all. They had failed relationships, diminishing careers, and a bit of mischief and malfeasance trailing them.

They arrived together in a little mission right between the army of Mexico and an ever-growing infantry of settlers and frontiersmen under the leadership of Sam Houston.

Actually,  it was completely unnecessary to defend the Alamo.

  • We hope that they were buying time for Sam Houston to build up an army to defeat Santa Ana.
  • We think that was on their minds.
  • But in reality, we don’t know.

For after all, when the Alamo was taken over and all occupants killed, Sam Houston intelligently scooted away, avoiding his enemy, until he could choose just the right time–when they were exhausted and he had the best ground.

General Houston finished them off in no time at all, without losing many troops.

So what happened at the Alamo is a typical piece of American history. It had some nobility, some ulterior motives and certainly … a bit of stupidity.