Coin

Coin: (n) a flat, typically round piece of metal with an official stamp, used as money.

Can I tell you when I fell in love with me?

I had flirted with myself for years. But always, at the last moment, I pulled away from true affection for my being because I saw ugliness beneath the surface.

Living so close to me, it often made things tense.

Yes, it was necessary for me to love myself–but it had to be legitimate. It had to be real. It couldn’t be some clever concept pulled from a book by an author promoting self-esteem.

But one night it was put into motion. I had been working on the concept of generosity. I was trying to learn to give a damn about those around me who were socially, emotionally and financially damned.

I had made strides.

Back to my story. I was sitting in my chair, and noticed that a young lady, who had come to dinner, was cleaning off the nearby table, and had taken a dime, a nickel and two pennies that she saw lying next to a glass and threw them in the trash.

She discarded the coins.

I perfectly understood her action–seventeen cents seemed insignificant. She had no available pockets. And holding the coins in her hand while trying to grasp glasses might result in an embarrassing accident.

As soon as she walked away, I retrieved the seventeen cents, ran out to my kitchen, found an old pickle jar and threw the coins inside.

I set the jar on my counter, and I challenged my friends to bring all the change they had that might be tossed aside, and put it in my jar.

Every forty days I took the jar down to the local market and poured it into the coin machine. I was always astounded when I walked away with fifty dollars or more each and every time.

I had fifty dollars to give away to someone in need.

Fifty dollars to buy groceries for a family.

Fifty dollars for the guy on the street who made a sign from a piece of cardboard about his destitution.

And it all came from tossed-away coins.

So let me coin a phrase:

Don’t give up on coins. It may take a while, but they quickly change into dollars which can help those who just never have quite enough.

 

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Chutzpah

Chutzpah: (n) shameless audacity; impudence.

One man’s impudence is another man’s courage.

I’m sure the bus driver thought Rosa Parks was very impudent when she refused to move to the back of the bus during the civil rights
conflict in Alabama.

Many of my teachers thought I was impudent when I questioned practices I felt were faulty, but were still part of the “scholastic logic.”

We live in a generation where your cause is meaningless to me and my cause is sanctioned by the will of God.

Yet I would never use the word “chutzpah.” It’s not because I’m anti-Semetic (which most people under the age of twenty would define as having something against cement.)

It’s just that I find the introduction of impudence, strife or vanity only complicate my possibilities instead of enhancing them. We are a race that promotes self-esteem while greatly enamored with humility.

I realize it is possible to be too humble, but it’s a risk each one of us should take.

Because when two impudent people stand on the field of play, hurling insults at one another, boasting of their prowess, the whistle does eventually blow, beginning the game. At that point, it becomes obvious who is better trained, who has a more ingenious plan and who will endure.

One great gift you can give to yourself is to shut up, impart your gift, and see how it rates amidst the cascading efforts of others.

 

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Celerity

Celerity: (n) swiftness of movement.

I will risk being considered ignorant or out of touch by telling you that I had absolutely no idea what this word meant when it popped up on my screen. But fortunately for me, the definition was very straight-forward: swift movement.

I admire those who are fleet of foot, due mostly to the ever-lightness of their being. I’ve always been a heavy-set chap (which is what I will
write in this article to escape calling myself “fat,” making you think I have diminished self-esteem).

During my brief stint of playing football, the coach ordered us to do windsprints. For me, it was more “wind” than “sprint.” I was always gasping for air as my lighter brothers glided by me as if propelled by the wings of Mercury.

The advantage of being swift is being able to get a lot of things done, as they say, lickety-split.

So since I do not have celerity, it falls my duty to take my brain and teach it to be “celeritous.” (Perhaps not a word, but willing to adapt.)

I developed a swift mind.

I learned how to abandon bad ideas quickly so they wouldn’t clutter my path.

I tried to rid myself of forlorn, discouraged and upset feelings, which only slow down progress.

I developed a sense of good cheer–which is an understanding that expecting help is the doorway to making sure that nothing gets done.

I found out what I could do, how to do it, and to make it fun–and then did it with celerity.

I have never run fast in my life. I have never won a swimming race in a pool (except against my little three-year-old son, who was wearing water wings).

And now, as I am aging and my legs are seeking a condo for retirement, I realize that metering my movements with a great sense of timing and knowing when to rest, can fool the masses into thinking that I’m really, really swift.

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Breakthrough

j-r-practix-with-border-2

Breakthrough: (n) a sudden, dramatic, and important discovery or development.

You don’t get rich by telling the truth.Dictionary B

You can’t even make your grits and gravy if your message is pointed.

Everyone is looking for confirmation that they’re doing great. You must formulate a philosophy that confirms that people are victims of circumstance, and therefore, the best way to overcome the “haters” is through positive thinking and self-esteem.

Put that in a book and you’ll make the best-sellers list.

But if you insist that personal responsibility, self-evaluation and productive effort are the keys to growing and expanding, your book will probably end up in the 50-cent bin at Barnes & Noble.

Why?

Because everyone wants a breakthrough instead of a realization.

Matter of fact, ministers receive millions of dollars by preaching to folks that if they give a “seed donation,” God will give them even more money.

It’s amazing how ridiculous this notion sounds.

But the technique works–mainly because people have a tendency to want pie in the sky… never discerning if pie is actually good for them.

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Bravado

j-r-practix-with-border-2

Bravado: (n) a show of boldness intended to impress

After some consideration, using the intelligence I have available, I’ve decided that the word “bravado” really has no context unless modified by the adjective “false.”Dictionary B

Although I believe a certain amount of confidence is necessary to pursue our activities, it must always be saturated in the humility of knowing that the possibility of error is looming.

Bravado is the sensation that by simply bullying the available space around us with our superiority and all-knowing attitude, we gain the attention that will grant us the opportunity to dominate.

But just as in the cartoon, the little fish swallows the guppy and is then eaten by the bigger fish, who goes along for a second or two, and then is consumed by a yet larger member of the watery world, only to have him ultimately swallowed by the whale–such is the destiny of all bravado.

We may screech and scream our prowess–only to be overtaken by one who is more adept at screeching and screaming.

What is the correct profile to maintain an efficient amount of self-esteem?

  1. Find what you can do
  2. Practice it until you can do it in the dark
  3. Look for your opportunity to do it
  4. Be extremely grateful for any appreciation and praise you receive.

In my opinion, this is the definition, full extent and boundary which keeps bravado from becoming … totally obnoxious.

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Befriend

Befriend: (v) to act as a friend to someone by offering help or support.Dictionary B

$500.

That’s how much they were charging for a 1970 Corvette Stingray.

I was nineteen years of age and could not believe what I was reading in the advertisement.

It was a beautiful car, late-model, and my dear God…it was a Corvette. And they only wanted $500.

I just about broke my neck getting there, to see the vehicle, and when I arrived I was astounded that nobody else had shown up for the auction.

Now, even though $500 was well beyond my means, I would have done almost anything to get the money to buy the Corvette.

The gentleman selling the car explained that there was one big problem: a man had committed suicide in the car and no one had discovered him for three weeks.

It did creep me out a little bit, but I thought I could get over it–until he opened up the door and I sniffed the problem.

The odor of the decomposing body of the suicidal owner was absorbed into the fiberglass of the car.

Nobody was interested in a car that stunk.

It was beautiful on the outside and smelled rotten inside.

I passed.

Over the years, I have remembered that story in my dealings with human beings.

Even though it seems noble to befriend others and help out people in need, you have to make sure that no matter how good things look on the outside, that these individuals have taken time to go inside themselves and clean out the garbage.

Rotten people continue to do rotten things, until they decide to stop being rotten.

  • You can befriend them.
  • You can love them.
  • You can help them.
  • You can encourage them.
  • You can send them to a seminar to learn about self-esteem.

But it is up to them to remove the stink.

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Aristocracy

dictionary with letter A

Aristocracy: (n) the highest class in certain societies, especially those holding hereditary titles or offices.

“All men are created equal.” (And that would also include women.)

The recent American interpretation of this Jeffersonian precept has become: “All men and women are kings and queens who have birthed little princes and princesses.”

As we continue to foster the notion that “family is everything,” we have begun to establish millions and millions of little castles all across our land, where people drive across the drawbridge, over the moat, and into their domain where they believe they rule and reign.

The trouble with believing that all people are aristocracy, equally worthy of wealth and fame, is that we don’t have any serfs.

In other words, we don’t have anybody who lives outside the castle who understands the nature of the land, can grow a good crop and has the intelligence to fix the plow when it breaks.

In the pursuit of self-esteem, we have completely obliterated self-awareness.

For example, I have a lovely family, but I have also made it clear to them that there are no kings and queens, and therefore no princes and princesses in our little fiefdom.

So because of this, my children have learned that there’s a time to become a serf to everyone.

  • There are occasions when workers are required, not thinkers.
  • There are moments when digging is better than planning.
  • And there are times when self-worth must be laid aside because the task feels like it’s beneath us.

The aristocracy in our country has caused us to cease to be interested in menial jobs, and at the same time, persecute those who are willing to work them.

This is exactly what happened in the Middle Ages, when those who lived in the castles, who survived on the work of the serfs, mistreated and taxed them so heavily that the whole idea fell apart.

Yes, it truly can be said that the feudal system is … a futile system.

 

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