Debase

Debase: (v) to lower in rank, dignity, or significance

It’s difficult to know whether human beings prefer stories which end in success or are finalized in some degree of tragedy.

I, for one, become light-headed and sleepy if I hear too much good news all at the same time, fearing that some of it may be embellished to maintain the sugar content.

Yet I have to admit, all of this “dark theater” that surrounds me adds an extra layer of worry to my soul—which is desperately in need of being cleansed from unrighteousness.

But universally, all of us are aware that we take our turn being debased. Or as I jokingly call it—spending time in “de-basement.”

Sometimes we even stand in line for it.

We’ll enter a contest, apply for a job, petition for a cause only to be flattened at the last moment like a housefly which paused too long next to the watermelon.

It’s not just part of life.

It is actually the portion of life that makes life ultimately livable.

If I don’t know how to do without, or be left out, rejected and mistreated, I will never have the sensibility to be merciful to others.

It’s a helluva way to learn it.

Certainly the heavens should have thought of a more cotton-candy schooling.

But sometimes you go without so that when you go with, you have a greater appreciation and perhaps even a broader understanding of value.

So give me a story where someone tries, fails, survives, laughs, rallies and then kicks ass.

Thus, the definition of the American dream.

 

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

Brought

j-r-practix-with-border-2

Brought: past participle of bring

It is brief.

A breath in time.Dictionary B

A question suspended in the air, seeking an interesting reply.

It often happens at a pot-luck dinner.

If you find yourself walking in with a covered dish, someone may ask, “What have you brought?”

At that point it is up to you, in as few words as possible, to explain your offering and make it so alluring that someone wants to dash off to grab a spoon and partake.

Much time can be spent preparing food, but it is more important to come up with a promotion for your entree which will cause the world to salivate.

I see people walking by me every day.

I sense the need inside them.

I can sometimes even feel the pulsing greed.

  • They want.
  • They yearn.
  • They expect.

But since we are not surrounded by a planet of waiters who are constantly inquiring, “What can I get for you?” we must realize that the common question from those we meet will be, “What have you brought?”

What is under your cover-up?

What have you decided to put together to enhance this party?

Often it is not the quality of our preparation but instead, the joy we bring in unveiling it.

What have you brought?

What delicacy can you present to the human tribe?

Have you decided how to feed the hunger in the hearts of human beings–or do you come weak, requiring sustenance yourself?

What have you brought?

The answer will often determine whether you’re accepted or rejected.

 

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Boarding School

Boarding school: (n) a school where students reside during the semester.

Dictionary B

I ended up being the father to six sons.

Three boys I had in cooperation with my wife, and three others we took into our family–kind of like godparents.

I am going to write about one of these sons, with full confidence that since I am his old man, that he more than likely will never read this–so he won’t need to feel embarrassed and I can make my point.

Yes, one of my sons was caught smoking marijuana.

He got himself into some trouble, went to court, and it fell our lot to try to separate him from buddies who were quite satisfied to see their collective lives “go up in smoke.”

So we investigated boarding schools.

I will tell you–it is well worth focusing on being a great parent and maybe even locking your children up in the house until they’re eighteen–just so you don’t have to talk to these institutions which have found a way to make money off of the suffering and anguish of people who are suddenly confronted with “wayward seed.”

We even went to visit one of these places.

We toured the campus.

Then we allowed our son to go to their school for a day to acquaint himself with their procedures and prepare to become a unit in their well-proven curriculum.

After he came back from the experience, terrified that he was going to be placed into such a social straitjacket, we had a “coming to Jesus” moment with him and decided not to send him away, but instead, find the patience and prudence to have him repent in his own bedroom,

The comical part of the whole experience was that two weeks later we received a letter from the boarding school telling us that after having met our son and reviewing his situation, they had decided to reject his application.

Weren’t they supposed to exist to help confused kids?

I laughed heartily and aloud.

Like so many organizations in America, they are more than happy to take your money and advertise themselves freely–as long as you don’t expect them to actually deliver what they promise.

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