Cop-out

Cop-out: (n) act or instance of copping out; reneging; evasion

I would like you to join me today in the world of make-believe. It is a place where balloons never lose their air, marshmallows always toast brown instead of black and gumdrops won’t stick together.

It shouldn’t be a realm of make-believe, but because we live in a time when political speak, campaign language and Washingtonian wording has gained predominance, the common man, woman and child have begun to believe they can talk themselves out of anything.

It is becoming more and more usual for people to offer excuses, explanations or pathos than to simply answer a question.funny wisdom on words that begin with a C

Our new heroes are those we say we despise—because politicians and lawyers always register near the bottom on the list of favored occupations.

Yet when confronted with the simple question, “Did you do this?” almost every American citizen, and dare I say, perhaps worldwide, begins to launch into a story, as if taken over by the spirit of Stephen King.

There was a time when we used to believe that elaborating on our failures to try to make them look better was a cop-out.

We hated cop-outs.

We despised excuses for foolish mistakes.

Now we anticipate it. When someone is asked, “Did you eat the last Oreo?” we brace ourselves to hear a three-part series, with a potential sequel to follow half-an-hour later.

It has become acceptable to offer the cop-out, even though we continue to roll our eyes and absolutely reject anyone who does it.

The answer to the question is, “Yes, I ate the last Oreo.” Or, “No, I didn’t.”

None of us need to know the story line of the Oreo, how much it means to you to eat one, or how you are innocent because you were unaware that it was the last one available.

In my opinion, coping out should be so illegal that you should be able to call a cop when you hear it.


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Best-seller

Best-seller: (n) a book or other product that sells in very large numbers.

Dictionary B

I would be a complete charlatan if I told you I did not use words to my own advantage.

I try never to lie and do attempt to avoid excessive exaggeration.

But I have, from time to time, taken advantage of the cloak of ambiguity to leave the impression that something I was promoting had greater attention than it perhaps actually did.

That’s why, as an author, I’ve always loved the term “best-seller.”

As long as you avoid connoting that you’re speaking about one of your books ending up on a list somewhere, displayed in print for the elite to peruse, you can simply tout that your particular sales show that this volume you’ve published has sold more than a previous one.

Now the numbers may be miniscule–certainly not up to the figures accumulated by Stephen King or J. K. Rowling, but nevertheless, the statement “my best-seller” can stand proudly in the columns of all time as truthful.

Even if I only sold four of them.

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Aflame

Words from Dic(tionary)

dictionary with letter A

Aflame: (adv.) in flames; burning

I really don’t sit around and question if there was a Snow White and if she befriended seven short chaps with various personality quirks. I try to have enough sense to catch the essence of the story–the meaning of the tale–without having to verify the veracity of the characters involved.

I bring this up today because I was thinking of a story from the Good Book about a burning bush. According to the folk-lore, Moses saw one in the wilderness which also talked to him, relating the details of a mission and a great odyssey. I suppose if you are intent on proving that everything must have actually happened in order to acquire wisdom from it, you are probably so jaded that you mock this situation as completely implausible, and therefore worthless.

But since I tend to believe that the stories told in the Good Book were related to give us a quick snapshot of the heart and mind of God, I am able to read them without cynically rejecting them, because I deem some factoid to be ridiculous.

What strikes me about this story of the burning bush is that when God decides to speak to one of His children, He feels no compulsion to kill even a random bush to achieve His conversation. For that’s what it says: the bush was on fire but was not consumed.

I like that.

After all, in our day and age, it seems that people are unable to achieve the sensation of being “aflame with desire” without burning out.

Can we not agree that passion is passion–whether it’s emotional passion creating empathy, spiritual passion that generates compassion, mental passion, which pursues knowledge, or physical passion, which activates a lust for romance?

In all of these cases, if we learn from the story of Moses and the burning bush, we must realize that our Creator never intended us to burn out just because we’re aflame.

What I have become in the nature of things, through the pursuit of happiness and in the acquisition of multiplying my talents, is a crock pot instead of a barbecue pit.

In all areas of my life, I burn. I’m aflame. Whether I’m going to the grocery store or writing this essay to you, there is a heat and a passion that is involved and at work. But it’s a slow cooker.

  • I never take myself too seriously.
  • I never purge my soul with incrimination.
  • And I refuse to chase dreams without possessing good cheer.

I want to be a bush that burns without being consumed. I want to be aflame–to give off light and share my warmth without threatening others with fiery consequences.

There is much to learn from stories, whether they be from the Good Book, Mother Goose or Stephen King. And here’s my thought:  if we want to understand the heart of God, we will learn how to play with fire … without getting burned.