Clincher

Clincher: (n) a fact, argument, or event that settles a matter conclusively.

I often tell audiences that the best way to refrain from being an asshole and judging other folks is to maintain a profile of realization.

And here’s the realization: when you discover that people are unable to own up to mistakes and make a clean breast of an unfortunate event,
you can quietly walk away so as to not be around when they blow up.

It’s a clincher.

Although some people extol the beauty of morality and others pride themselves on pursuing perfection, those who possess great Earthly wisdom comprehend that failure is imminent and is only survived through repentance.

I don’t argue with people about this. Some travelers think it’s their job to convince others of the error of their ways. Yet there are enough pitfalls, stumbling blocks and quicksand available in the jungle that it is completely unnecessary for me to cut the legs out from under a friend or enemy.

It’s a clincher.

Wait and see what happens when someone falls short of the mark. What do they do? If they choose to rationalize, blame others or try to explain in painful detail why it is not exactly their fault, then you should give them an anemic smile.

Back your way out of the room and get away from the destruction that will soon be their life.

 

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Cajole

Cajole: (v) to persuade someone to do something by sustained coaxing.

Debate is a debacle.

We certainly should have learned that over the past few years. It is permission to insult without embarrassment.

Conversation seems to lend itself to insincerity, mainly because the truth required on the inward parts of the human being to create excellent fellowship is reluctantly provided.

Preaching is preachy.

Teaching is tedious.

Entertainment is crippled with the need to be commercial.

There is much that needs to be said. Deep in our hearts we all know that humility is not an option, yet we continue to tolerate the boastful and proud being given overuse of the stage.

There are many things we know to be true which seem to slink to the rear for fear of being called “old-fashioned.”

So it is the job of sane souls everywhere to use art, puns, humor and silliness to cajole brothers and sisters who walk among us to begin to think and feel again instead of settling for inadequacy.

Cajoling is when we realize we need to be merciful to the ignorant. Ignorance is not a sin unless it persists and gains power.

We need to catch it when it is still in a childish position–to be gently cajoled into repentance.

 

 

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Cadence

 

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Cadence:
(n) the flow or rhythm of events

I remember the first time I heard the phrase. I was a young man sitting in a church with a white shirt collar that was too small for me, wearing a colorful tie which
had to be tucked into my pants because it was perniciously uneven.

The phrase was “decency and order.”

The minister was pretty sure he knew understood. He preached a sermon offering a cadence of commitment to form and reason. He contended that Godly ways had to be morally correct and follow a sequence which left no doubt of the purity of the intention.

For instance: sin–but not too much, to where it leaves a lasting mark. Come to your senses, find God, repent, get a job, marry, have children and donate adequate sums to your local congregation.

I hated it.

It’s not that I favored immorality nor was an anarchist. Even though I had an immature young mind, I understood that this was not the true cadence of life. Life arrives in chaos and requires triage.

What do I take care of first? How can I keep this together? What can I seek out to keep from freaking out?

It just seemed to me that sometimes there isn’t enough time and space available to consider the ultimate morality or the best way to stack up possibilities.

I don’t know what the original author of these words was trying to convey, but human beings are rarely “decent” and never “in order.”

If God Almighty is waiting for us to transform into a dutiful and meticulous creation, He certainly failed to provide the raw material. We are erratic. We are uncertain. And our greatest mission in life is to make sure we’re not afraid of who we are.

Sometimes the best we can do is slow things down and use what we’ve got. I suppose that doesn’t sound quite as officious as “decency and order,” but it is more accurate.

Over the years I have tried to become more adept at organization and goodness–but when I fail, I have chosen to laugh at the frailty instead of weeping over my insufficiency.

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Bumble

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Bumble: (v) to move or act in an awkward or confused manner.

Some things should be bumbling.

Yes, there is nothing wrong to bumble during certain events.

I think sex should be bumbling.

I think when we portray sex as a free-wielding, professional action done by two gymnasts, it loses its humanity, and also ceases to encourage the participants to talk to each other about how to make things better.

I think it’s alright to bumble over describing your achievements. This sense of over-confidence and “staring-the-devil-in-the-eye” defiance which is promoted in the business world just makes us look so much worse when we can’t back up our claims.

I think it’s good to bumble when you’ve done something stupid and in the process of apologizing, some tears of real repentance sprout, halting the flow of speech.

There is a charm to bumbling over answering something that you’re not completely sure is true, and cautioning those around you to check it out and confirm your accuracy.

It would be inspiring if a politician bumbled on a question, only to explain the delay by offering an unexpected, but divinely inspired, “I don’t know.”

We are so intent on coming across as adept, worldly and well-seasoned that we fail to realize that a certain amount of vulnerability gains us the empathy of people around us … who wish they had the guts to bumble.

 

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Brink

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Brink: (n) a point at which something is about to happen; the verge.

Two pundits. Two opinions.

Contradictions.Dictionary B

One firmly states, “We are on the brink of disaster.”

The other enthusiastically counters, “We are on the brink of great success.”

Each one has a case.

Each one works off of existing facts, trying to convince the listener of the validity of his or her point.

Can they both be right? Or are they both wrong?

It is amazing to realize that most of the time, life continues at a snail’s pace, without disaster or success. Matter of fact, it takes a great intervention to produce either one.

But we are on the brink of a decision.

Are we going to leave things the way they are and let them play out? Or are we going to intrude on the trend to generate a new possibility?

There are certain ingredients for disaster. Arrogance and ignorance would be the pair which normally precede that devastation.

And there are ingredients for success. Kindness and creativity. For after all, nothing of human quality can be done without kindness, and if we don’t create, we have a tendency to settle.

What are we on the brink of?

It would be the hope of this author that we’re on the brink of a great awakening–a season when we’re no longer afraid to admit our weaknesses, anticipating that they can be forgiven, the door flung open to repentance…and that we can usher in a new life.

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Bought

Bought: (v) obtained in exchange for payment

181 miles.Dictionary B

It’s how far I drove to regain my sanity.

A gentleman I met in Dothan, Alabama, who had a reel-to-reel tape recorder (back in the time when such contraptions were ‘reel’ important) offered to sell me his wonderful machine for $150.

I didn’t have 150 anything.

But because he trusted me, he let me take it, asking that I commit to send him five dollars a week via the mail. I was moved by his generosity and openness, and immediately agreed to the terms.

I was faithful for ten weeks. I paid $50 on the tape recorder debt with integrity and sensitivity to the calendar.

Then I just pooped out.

Sometimes I convinced myself I did not have the $5 to send. Other times it was the inconvenience of trying to find a stamp.

I avoided his calls and stayed away from Dothan, Alabama.

One night a gentleman, in an act of extreme benevolence, gave me a hundred-dollar bill. I started thinking about all the ways I wanted to spend that money.

Then it occurred to me that I was in Alabama–181 miles away from the gentleman who had afforded me the tape recorder, which I now used in assisting me to make my living.

I had a choice. After all, the tape recorder really wasn’t bought yet, was it? It was borrowed, and seemed to snarl at me every time I looked at it, whispering, “Dead beat.”

It was two o’clock in the morning.

I climbed in my car and drove 181 miles down to Dothan and was sitting outside the door of my friend’s house when he emerged after his breakfast to begin his day.

I handed him the hundred dollars and said, “I’m sorry. I was an asshole.”

He cried.

I cried, too.

It was time to cry.

 

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Bipartisan

Bipartisan: (adj) involving the agreement or cooperation of two political parties

Dictionary B

Compromise is when one person wants pizza and another desires a hot dog, so it is decided to settle on hamburgers, with the hope that the bun will remind the pizza desirer of his choice and the beef in the hamburger will hearken to the filler in the hot dog.

In other words, no one’s happy but instead, tries to feast on the nobility of negotiation.

Bipartisan is a term that is not used as often in our day and age, mainly because we are convinced of the purity of our motives, and therefore, the divinity of our cause.

Or maybe it’s just that we’re too damn stubborn to sit and listen after we’ve yapped and fillibustered.

But the truth of the matter is, bipartisan is a ridiculous notion put forth by people who spend their day thinking that the world’s problems will be solved by forming an excellent debate.

When one person wants pizza and another wants hot dogs, hamburger is not the answer. It is unsatisfying to both parties and merely provides a surrogate solution, which will continue to be picked at by the participating partisans while they try to get their way.

Truth is never what you think, what I think or even a merger of our thought bubbles.

Truth is something completely erratic, which exists only in the hearts of those who are willing to humbly admit that they do not know what the hell they’re talking about.

Only through conversation can the stupidity of our reasoning be revealed, and then, only through repentance will it ever be abandoned.

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