Crocodile Tears

Crocodile tears: (n) insincere tears

It’s difficult to determine what ends up making something popular.

I guess most folks would think that some action gains notoriety because it’s so successful.

Yet there are many things we do in our society that are not successful at all.

But we insist on continuing them out of tradition, politics or religion.

No, there’s more to it than that.

For something to be truly popular, everyone who participates needs to feel they’re getting something off of it.

Recently it has become prevalent to share your life story in front of a camera on television and to cry.

Everyone is supposed to feel great empathy.

Therefore, you can win over the favor of an entire audience while simultaneously making them feel generous with their concern.

The hitch in this plan is that ultimately, we all favor winners. Otherwise there would be no need for trophies, awards and accolades. So how is it that we are convinced that a close-up on our face with crocodile tears, sharing the tragedy that has happened to us, is supposed to be powerful enough to place us in a preferred position?

We now have singers who don’t sing for the joy of it or write songs because they feel energized or compelled. Rather, they hope that in singing or writing they can gain enough money to move their poor little family out of the trailer, and the youngest daughter, who was born with a third arm, can finally get that operation which is only performed by one doctor, whose clinic is in the Alps.

The ingredients are all there:

  • A sympathetic character
  • Crocodile tears
  • A nearly unbelievable story
  • And a wish that somehow or another, those who are listening will assist by voting this particular singer to the winner’s circle.

It works around this horrible assertion that bad things happen to us:

We are victims.

There were no opportunities to improve our situation to this point.

And there are forces at work to destroy us which we don’t seem able to curtail.

Now, if this is the case—in other words, if there’s truth to the fact that any one of us can be impaled by a mysterious destiny that’s targeting us—then I have to admit, the human life journey seems fruitless.

If I have no say, I’d rather not speak.

 

funny wisdom on words that begin with a C

 


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Competence

Competence: (n) the ability to do something successfully or efficiently.

Sometimes those two words do war.

I’m talking about “successful” and “efficient.”

They aren’t the same.

After all, many things in life appear successful, but they’re hardly efficient. The government immediately comes to mind.funny wisdom on words that begin with a C

And there are things that are extremely efficient–like the daily actions at your local ant hill–but will probably not make the nightly news as successful.

To achieve both–in other words, to have a sense of accomplishment and a feeling of relaxation while achieving your aspirations, demands that you stop listening to the world and cease to submit to your fears.

The world wants things difficult.

It is an atmosphere believing without tribulation there is no true progress.

Our fears want to convince us that we are incapable, ill-prepared or insufficient to achieve anything resembling our wishes.

When you take the pressure the world brings to complicate matters and add on your own fears, you have the formula for failure or the makings of stress and debilitation.

I want to be successful.

I want to be efficient.

I want to achieve my purposes.

But I don’t want to do it through strife and vanity.

It requires me to turn my back on what the world considers to be truth, and ignore what my insecurity contends is correct and find my own system, which is free of fretting, minus manipulation and taken away from terror.

 

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Armchair

dictionary with letter A

Armchair: 1. (n) a comfortable chair, typically upholstered, with side supports for a person’s arms. 2. (adj) lacking or not involving practical or direct experience of a particular subject or activity.

There should never be more pundits than participants.

There. I have established a new rule.

Like most rules, it will be ignored in favor of some sort of haphazard pursuit of unbridled freedom.

Yet we have too many people with too many opinions who have too little talent to participate in the matters that are too important.

Last night as I watched the National Championship for college football, I was astounded at how many different people they had conglomerated to voice their opinions on the activities of these barely post-adolescent young men, who have been pushed to the forefront as superior athletes.

Some of these “armchair quarterbacks,” as we often call them, are actually former players. But they all seem to forget a very important fact. Even though I didn’t play football very long, I will tell you something which is never brought up by those in armchairs, be it about sports, politics or life in general:

It happens too fast.

If you expect your training or your brain to be able to come up with some magnificent way to handle the task in front of you, you will be confounded, stumble and make mistakes.

Just as a politician who wants to seek counsel with many people before making a decision always ends up piping in a little too late, any football player who believes he will have time in the middle of the game to access the resources of his brain and come up with the perfect solution for the situation, is going to end up looking foolish and inept.

Life really works with the conjoining of two magnificently unpredictable units: instinct and luck.

And the only way to be successful is to put yourself into enough uncomfortable situations that your instincts begin to turn you in the right direction, and then realize that the choices you make will still require some luck in order to be fruitful.

I got tickled after the game last night when they asked a player what he was thinking “right before he threw that pass.”

The young man crinkled his brow as if he didn’t understand the question, but politely replied, “Well, it was just a play and I played it through.”

Exactly.

America sometimes seems obsessed with the notion that we can educate ourselves into a better world.

Pundits love to discuss, from their armchairs of comfort, how somebody should have done something completely different in a given situation. But the best we can really do in life is to stop being afraid of difficulty.

For it grants us the instinct to know what to do at the right moment, and then step back…and pray we get lucky.

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Anodyne

dictionary with letter A

Anodyne: (adj) a manner of communicating unlikely to provoke dissent or offense, deliberately uncontentious

I have never used this word before, nor have I heard it. But I certainly have encountered the spirit of it everywhere I go.

Even though I am often invited to speak and share my thoughts in front of audiences, at the very last moment the sponsor often approaches me in a kindly, smiling profile, trying to gently determine if I plan on being offensive or controversial.

Everyone on Earth knows that nothing is ever achieved by spreading the banquet table of the status quo and offering it for general consumption. The status quo has already had a season of being the status, and its quo is so well-known that there’s very little interest in it.

So the goal is to try to find something that has a bit of edge and transition in its nature, but at the same time, is edifying to the human soul.

The other option is to purposely startle people under the guise of entertainment, hiding behind the religion of the First Amendment, which allows for free speech, no matter how stupid and useless it may be.

So what are the guidelines? I can only speak for myself.

1. Don’t share anything you haven’t tried and found to be successful in your own life.

Fad philosophy is just like fad dieting–for a little while it seems to work and then when it falls apart, you end up weighted down worse than before.

2. It should be understandable.

I’m tired of people expressing superiority by complicating life. If you can’t make it easier for folks, shut your damn mouth.

3. The goal should be to edify and exhort other human beings, even if they choose not to receive the benefits.

  • My heart is more important to me than the conclusion.
  • My motivation is more essential than success.

I have no intention of saying things that are safe, because in the long run, our world becomes dangerous when either goodness doesn’t take evil seriously, or when evil can prove that goodness is way too serious.

 

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Administration

Words from Dic(tionary)

Administration (n); the process or activity of running a business or organization.

My stomach always churns a little bit when I am told that I need to “speak to the administrator.”

It’s not that I’m afraid of management or people in authority. It’s just that I like to be able to make a good case, be heard, be considered rationally and then have a decision rendered, free of prejudice.

Honestly, I don’t think any administrator has that scope.

I would never consider myself to be an administrator because formulating policy grinds my gears.

Why? Because I know if you’re going to be successful, your stance, mission statement and approach will HAVE to be altered to adjust to either changing markets or human behavior. The fact is, everything that has ever been “written in stone” crushes the human spirit instead of lightening the load.

Here’s the problem: when I talk to an administrator of a company, a college, a church or even a publishing house, I feel I am hearing from their mouths what they have decided is best “for THEM.” I never sense that I’m getting any consideration for what might be best “for US.”

In other words, it is being explained to me that whatever I wish to do to participate in their system will require the conformity of my thinking in entirety before they can even open the door six inches to peer at me to determine possible entrance.

This is the problem with government. People wait around for solutions, relief, medical aid, financial assistance, business loans and just their day in court, while the government acts out a drama of its own creation, asking these needy people to participate in it, usually wasting their time.

The church requires that any penitent soul discover all the oracles before receiving the blessings.

Even in the entertainment industry we must endure the agenda of those who deem themselves to be ingenious and creative before arriving at a piece of inspiration or enjoyment that is really beneficial to our being.

Yes, I’m afraid the minute you are given the title of “administrator” you are required to honor THEM and ignore US.

Is it possible to have an organization and still maintain some humanity? I don’t think so.

But I DO think you can have an organism that is a well-put-together ant hill–constantly evolving toward greater understanding and efficiency, based on making the lives of the ants easier