Confrontation

Confrontation: (n) a hostile or argumentative meeting or situation between opposing parties

Sometimes I think Mr. Webster’s had a bad day.

Yet I guess those who put together the dictionary try to reflect the mood of the society in which we live. Somewhere along the line we’ve begun to believe that “I don’t agree with you, I don’t appreciate that, I don’t understand,” and “I hate you” all mean the same thing.funny wisdom on words that begin with a C

They don’t.

Each one signifies a different human emotion. Therefore, each one has to be handled at the level of confrontation it presents.

Let’s start with Number 1.

  1. “I don’t agree with you. “

Honestly, this is a confrontation. It may limit immediate harmony but it is not without the potential for conversation, compromise and resolution. Matter of fact, we might consider it essential to the climate of a democracy.

  1. “I don’t appreciate that.”

This is a different level of confrontation. It is objecting to how something was handled. It is not terminal to a relationship–it merely sets a timeclock for interaction, sensitivity and reconciliation.

  1. “I don’t understand.”

Also a form of confrontation. This states clearly that what was stated is not clear. It is asking for additional information. It is not a personal attack, nor is it a judgment of the original idea. Clarification.

  1. “I hate you.”

This is what Mr. Webster envisioned when offering his definition. But “I hate you” has little to do with a desire to create an exchange of ideas and a communion of souls. It is a giant leap into the fiery pit of hell where all hatred dwells.

I believe in confrontation.

Without it, we live in a world of insincerity, in which gossip becomes the only way we express our true feelings.

 

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Clash

Clash: (n) a violent confrontation

Does it really need to be violent?

Have we reached a point in our society where we think if arguments and struggles remain non-violent, then they’re perfectly acceptable?
Because a clash can take a toll without ever breaking a bone or cutting the flesh.

A clash is when we go into a time of interaction with our fellow-humans, believing we are right instead of being open to the possibility of being a little wrong.

In that situation, it doesn’t matter what the subject matter is or the circumstances. People clash because they think they know there’s a fight coming–so when there’s a hint of a skirmish, they’re ready to explode.

This is why people of the black race who come out to protest the Ku Klux Klan have already envisioned a fist fight between the two parties long before any such confrontation crops up.

A husband and wife who return home in the evening grouchy, having had a bad day at work, will pick at one another until they create a clash.

A clash always occurs when ego, meanness, self-righteousness and circumstances collide at the same moment. If any one of these is removed, the clash can be avoided.

Is anyone willing to do that?

Am I prepared to consider a life where I bring ideas–minus opinions–to gain deeper understanding?

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Census

Census: (n) an official count or survey of a population

Every census is shortly thereafter followed by a tax. This began with Caesar Augustus in the Christmas story and continues today.

We want to find out how many people there are so we have some idea on how we should divide up the horrific amount of expense that’s involved in the process of us being people.

It’s a fussy way of reminding small towns that they’re shrinking and becoming less important.

The government can also determine where to send its money, and where the census tells them there aren’t as many voters, so no need to be nice.

It begins at an early age, when you plan a party at your house. The following Monday morning, after the party, the normal question is, how many people showed up?

Did you do a head count? Was the party successful because people had nothing else to do so they came to it?

No one asks if the chip dip turned out tasty. What flavors of pizza did you select? Was the discussion lively?

No. It all has to do with numbers.

We are a society obsessed with proving the value of our concept by collecting statistics on how many people are aware that we had a concept in the first place. We fear obscurity.

Yet no one enters the tomb with a companion–no census in the grave.

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Censure

Censure: (n) the expression of formal disapproval.

Why is it not illegal to be an asshole?

I’m not speaking about capital punishment or even hard jail time. But certainly a stiff fine would be in order for being such a damn stiff.

We censure everything else. We raise our eyebrows in disapproval over a myriad of common human behaviors. Why is the asshole able to flee the jurisdiction of decency?

Wait. I see your problem. You would like me to define what an asshole is:

  1. An asshole is someone who tries to steal freedoms from other people simply because those folks don’t measure up to the favored code.
  2. An asshole is a person who hurts someone’s feelings and then pretends that it was nothing personal.
  3. An asshole is an individual who blows his or her horn in traffic instead of slowing up just a little bit, to let someone enter.
  4. An asshole is a Bible-thumper who quotes scriptures in a buffet line.
  5. An asshole is a jerk who posts articles on Facebook about other assholes

Honestly, I could go on and on, but then I would be in danger of becoming an asshole myself.

It is time to use the intimidation of censure to achieve some goodness in our society instead of thinking that goodness is achieved by censuring any fresh, new idea.

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Broken

j-r-practix-with-border-2

Broken: (adj) damaged and no longer in one piece

I walk with heavy hooves.

So recently, when I was passing through a lobby, I felt some of the tiles creak under my feet.Dictionary B

It was a bit embarrassing.

I looked down and there was no evidence of damage. In other words, nothing was broken.

But because I felt that “take from my give,” and heard that sound, I had to believe there was a weakness in those tiles. In other words, somewhere along the line, one of them was going to break because I passed by.

Or maybe not.

Perhaps that particular tile was just too tight or had some unnecessary stiffness which was merely relieved by my passing.

How do you know when something’s broken? How can you be sure that it requires repair?

Because I have been sick and performed at a top-notch rate.

I have sprained my ankle and still gotten around from place to place.

So I guess the definition is pretty simple: something is truly broken when it stops working. It ceases to perform the function it was intended to achieve.

There are many things in our society that have been broken for decades, which we continue to pretend are just fine–free of the need for repair.

  • Religion
  • Politics
  • Marriage
  • Child custody
  • Abortion
  • Murder

Well, I could go on and on.

These are things that are obviously broken, but because we have people hold them in great regard, we promote their strength.

Sometimes it’s good to admit something’s broken.

Because I am often astounded … how quick the fix.

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Broach

j-r-practix-with-border-2

Broach: (v) to raise a sensitive or difficult subject for discussion

All cancers are birthed and thrive in a climate of silence and indifference.Dictionary B

If there were an awareness, every soul would be on the lookout for such a killer. But for some reason, it becomes more important to maintain the illusion of good health than to actually confirm it.

So it is with our society.

Because we possess an irrational fear of being found without merit, or even weakened by vice, we fail to discuss the things in life that would make us stronger, wiser and more valuable.

We don’t know how to broach the subject.

It leaves us startled, insisting that a tragedy has beset us … one that was actually well-planned through the rigorous efforts of our dumbstruck apathy.

 

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Brew

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Brew: (v) to make beer

The truth of the matter is, whatever I choose not to do becomes suspect.

I don’t like that. Matter of fact, I try very intensely to counteract that through my actions.Dictionary B

But if internally I have made a choice, generally speaking I think it’s a right one, and therefore have a tendency to flirt with intolerance.

Yet maturity is the process of realizing that our thoughts are not supreme.

This has always been my problem with alcohol. I just never jumped on the “rum run.”

I’ve never had more than a few sips of beer.

I’ve choked down a few glasses of wine.

And maybe once or twice I had a mixed drink simply because I thought the inserted umbrellas looked really pretty.

I found all of those experiences to be unfulfilling.

So the prevalence of alcohol in our society–especially since it’s tied to being an adult–leaves me baffled.

Many years ago I did a tour of Lutheran churches in Wisconsin, and discovered that most of the parishioners brewed their own beer.

Please don’t misinterpret my sentiments. I’m not saying that drinking or not drinking makes you a good or bad person.

Or maybe, in some silly, immature way, I am.

I’m not sure.

But I am grateful that I have never carried through to completion a judgment on someone based on whether they partook of the brew.

Over the years, I have tried to adjust my thinking … without actually drinking.

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Mr. Kringle’s Tales …26 Stories ‘Til Christmas

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