Crossly

Crossly: (adj) in a cross or angry manner

In a normal school day of, let’s say, seven hours, may we conjecture that fifteen percent of the time is spent shifting from one class to another, ten percent having lunch, another fifteen percent on history or social studies, fifteen more percent on English and grammar, and then another fifteen on the sciences, while a whopping thirty percent is invested in mathematics.

I am not trying to editorialize on school subject matter—measuring its height, weight and depth in value.

But I will tell you:

Most of adult life is spent trying to learn to communicate.

You will notice that on the average school day, communication is not a primal concern. It is expected that the students will figure it out for themselves and give reasonable honor to the teaching staff.

But without learning communication, we are unfortunately destined to continually say things that are offensive and find ourselves called on the carpet for it, apologizing in such a manner that nobody in the room—including ourselves—believes it to be sincere.

When too much knowledge mingles with too much ego and is accompanied by too much stress, it makes us begin to speak crossly.

We may not even be aware that our tone of voice has changed from relaxed to strained. But everyone who hears us immediately pulses the fury, sarcasm and despair that lurks behind each syllable.

You would think, since most of our lives is spent communicating, that some training might be in order.

But even in our homes, once a reasonable peace and quiet has been achieved, we don’t necessarily care how it was acquired.

Until we grasp that human beings don’t hear words, but rather, absorb the vibrations of emotions, we will insist that everyone is too touchy because “we never meant anything” by what we said.

funny wisdom on words that begin with a C


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Civics

Civics: (n) the study of the rights and duties of citizenship.

I was a freshman. At least, I think I was.

The class was called “Civics.” I’m pretty convinced that it doesn’t exist today, or it’s absorbed into some other aspect of social studies.

It was a combination of history, government and propaganda.

History in the sense that it took the time to explain why the founding individuals decided on the choices they pursued.

Government in the sense that it broke down what was referred to as “the balance of power” among the executive, legislative and the judicial.

And propaganda because it strenuously attempted to convince us that this form of representation was the best in the world, and that the balance of power was actually balanced.

But for balance of power to work, requires balanced people. Sometimes we forget that government is just an idea until folks of integrity and single-mindedness honor it.

So referring back to my civics:

  • The legislative branch is supposed to make the laws.
  • The executive branch enforces them.
  • And the judicial branch interprets them.

Well, you might immediately see that the whole system is out of whack.

Perhaps it would be a better idea to interpret the laws before we pass them and enforce them. Otherwise we put ourselves through the agonizing strain of legalizing activities which later have to be found unconstitutional.

By the time I got out of Civics class and looked at the history of the United States–too many wars, too much indecision, too little compassion for all its citizenry–I realized that every system put together by committee is rarely suitable for the individual.

And since we are a country of individuals, trying to work in union, the greatest civics that we can institute is a pair of ears with a mind to cooperation.

 

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