Compliment

Compliment: (n) a polite expression of praise or admiration.

We require a license for driving. (Initially it involves a test.)

We require a license for marriage.

A hunter must purchase a license.

If you decide to build a wall in your home, you are obligated to pay money for a permit–or license–to do so.funny wisdom on words that begin with a C

Yet we fail to license the most dangerous part of humanity: the ego.

We walk around with unlicensed egos, which have no concern whatsoever for anyone else on the road with us. If you’re going to be an intelligent and valuable person, you must understand three important steps. Shall we call it the “Ego License?”

  1. Find out what you can do and keep getting better at it.
  2. Always keep in mind, there is someone more talented than you are.
  3. Use the compliment to acknowledge quality instead of manipulating weaklings.

 

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Complement

Complement: (n) a thing that completes or brings to perfection.

The greatest complement to beauty is humility.funny wisdom on words that begin with a C

The greatest complement to talent is hard work.

Likewise:

Spirituality…simplicity

Leadership…awareness

Lover…sensitivity

Comedian…vulnerability

Joy…compassion

Education…application

Health…gratitude

Confidence…introspection

Strength…mercy

Speaking…listening

Faith…charity

Hope…endurance

Finding…seeking

And of course, the greatest complement to God is humanity.

 

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Come-on

Come-on: (n) a gesture or remark that is intended to attract someone sexually.

Is it just sexually?

When I consider the Internet, I realize there are “come-ons” at every turn.

Of course, some of them can be sexual exploitation, but there is also a great deal of flattery that is thrown around in an attempt to gain a dollar bill.

The problem with every come-on is flattery.

If you’re speaking sexually, it’s highly unlikely you’ll garner the attention, and therefore the pleasure of a partner, by highlighting flaws. No, you have to make it
clear that you are Anthony and she is Cleopatra, or if that reference is too old, you have to pretend that she is Kim Kardashian to your Kanye. (Perhaps by the time this is released to the public, that reference may also be erroneous.)

But also, in business there is the notion that money exists separate from talent, and can be extracted by making people with no ability think for a brief moment that they can be something they never will be.

So rather than becoming a nation which makes products, we have become a nation intent on making ourselves, personally, a product.

Each individual wants to be a brand. So we are susceptible to all sorts of build-up and promotion which causes us to think that if we simply punch this button, in no time at all we will have “thousands of hits and millions of followers.”

It’s a come-on.

For instance, who doesn’t want to “make America great again?” But truthfully, who wants to do anything personally to achieve it?

We think it’s all about plans, maneuvers and business dealings and we’ll pick up a fatter check. It’s a come-on. And it seems to work.

There is an old saying: “There is a way that seems right unto a man, but the end of it is destruction.”

There is also a well-traveled axiom in the business world: If people are interested in what you do, they show up with the money. They don’t ask you for it.

You can take a lot of sadness out of your life by refusing to be tempted by come-ons.

Find your heart, discover your motivation, practice your talent, put it out to the nearest market. See what happens.

 

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Clueless

Clueless: (adj) having no knowledge, understanding, or ability.

Three categories.

No knowledge: Hardly seems likely. In this information age, a decision to go without knowledge has to be a purposeful dodge to avoid it. It’s feasible, but even if we’re trying to escape, some of the volume still pierces our defenses. Therefore it’s difficult to use “no knowledge” as an excuse for avoiding responsibility.

No understanding: The ability to interpret the circumstances around us and come up with a suitable solution does require engaging our souls. If we’re just looking into a pool of self-interest or trying to ignore becoming connected with the people around us, we can certainly pretend we did not understand the severity of the situation.

Yet if you’re around someone who’s crazy and they threaten to do something drastic, it is unlikely that you can claim ignorance of the crime.

No ability: We might lack expertise. Expertise is achieved when we take the ability we have and teach it to be useful.

The concept of “natural talent” is humorous. The idea that our ability arrives intact and ready to go is mind-boggling.

Ability demands an obstacle course before it can be classified as capable of overcoming obstacles.

Clueless is a choice.

Attempting to remove oneself from knowledge, understanding and ability might temporarily give us the free pass of grace, but ultimately exposes us as charlatans who run away from the heat of the battle.

 

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Click

Click: (n) a short, sharp sound as of a switch being operated

If the entirety of the stupid things I’ve done in my life could be written down, all the books in the world would not contain it. (Well, perhaps
a bit overstated.)

But I’ve never met a stupid idea I wasn’t willing to consider if I thought it advanced my cause or gave me a shortcut.

Many years ago, when my children were younger, we traveled the country as a family band. It was like the Partridge Family without the cuteness, obvious talent and painted bus. Instead we had a car, and found an old trailer, which had sat in a farmer’s field for two years–abandoned.

Not knowing anything at all about such matters, we liked the look of the trailer on the outside, so we bought it for $350.

It probably was not worth $3.50.

Not only had it been unused for two years, but it was also twenty-five years since its manufacturing. The wood was rotten, the tires completely dry-rotted, and all the wiring shot to hell.

But we hooked it up anyway.

Amazingly, much of the time it functioned–awkwardly. It looked horrible, but it carried things and limped along behind our car.

That is, until one night, in the mountains of California, the electrical system decided to have a nervous breakdown.

We did not know what to do. It was pitch black outside, there were coyotes everywhere and I had a fourteen-year-old son with me–the only one awake–to try to crawl back in the trailer and fix the lights.

After fiddling with the wiring, we got back into the car and they worked for about twenty minutes.

Then, all at once, we heard this clicking sound. Rapid. Almost like someone was sending Morse Code. And along with the clicking, the tail lights joined in, blinking.

We kept tinkering with it, trying to make it work. There was even one interlude when it stopped clicking for about thirty minutes. We were so relieved that my son actually went to sleep. To this day, he tells the story of nightmares of being chased by a “clicking monster,” and the horror of awakening once again to the same sound.

Mile by mile we held our breath–fearful of the dreaded click.

It wasn’t until the next day, when we reached a town and pulled into a repair shop, that we discovered there was nothing wrong with the trailer or the wiring. It was the switch on our car’s headlights, which decided to take this particularly bleak evening in the California hills to become temperamental.

Every once in a while I’ll hear a sound which ever-so-slightly resembles that clicking.

Losing control, I pee my pants a little.

 

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Citadel

Citadel: (n) a fortress on high ground

How can you take the high ground without instinctively looking down on those beneath you?

It became an issue in the recent presidential campaign. Both candidates insisted they were taking the high ground, while simultaneously
using the concept to proclaim themselves superior.

Unfortunately, any insistence on superiority renders us weakened by the kryptonite of pride.

I need a citadel.

I need a place where I can climb a little higher in my consciousness–not to peer down at the infidel, but to have the chance to see things the way they are, and not the way they appear at ground zero.

My life requires a sweetness of morality, a gentleness of empathy and an awareness of my talent.

In order to mingle these factors, I must don the cloak of humility. For humility is not the absence of ability, but rather, the evidence of it without needing to overpower all comers.

Yes–America should be a citadel.

Our faith should be a citadel.

My life should be a citadel: a piece of higher ground that does not insist on being worshipped because of its elevation, but instead, uses the bird’s eye to consider all the sparrows.

 

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Chord

Chord: (n) a group of three or more notes sounded together, as a basis of harmony.

Mrs. Bosley never told me.

She was my piano teacher when I was a boy. I took lessons from her for two years–and she never mentioned that music is very mathematical.

For instance, making a chord. You have a root note–like a C. You go up two steps to get your third and another step-and-a-half to get your fifth. There. You’ve got a chord. And it works with any key.

Once I discovered this magic, I realized any song could be played in any key as long as the chords could be attained by using my mathematical little formula.

My theories were put to the test when the music group I put together lost our piano player because her father thought it wasn’t good for her to be hanging out with a bunch of boys. He was also pissed at us because he insisted our hair was too long. So he told us that she was no longer allowed to play piano for us.

He thought that would be the end of our little group.

But instead, I grabbed the kid brother of our tenor singer, sat down with the mathematical formulas aforementioned–and in six weeks, taught this kid how to “chord out” five songs.

You cannot imagine how surprised people were when this boy walked to the piano and started playing.

Honestly, we kind of did this on a lark–but it ended up being a transforming experience for him. He went from being human wallpaper to decorating rooms with his talent. Within five years, he was in demand from every group in Columbus, Ohio.

All because he learned his chords.

We do a disservice when we try to complicate the good things of life, and make them seem inaccessible. Music especially needs to be available for all of us.

If it is, maybe we can all live in one a-chord.

 

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