Crime Does Not Pay

funny wisdom on words that begin with a CCrime does not pay: A maxim originating as a slogan of the F.B.I. and given wide currency by the cartoon character Dick Tracy.

Have you had the conversation?

I’m speaking of the sit-down you have with yourself, where you ask the all-important question:

Do I want to chase dreams or learn how to enjoy the visions provided?

It is huge.

There are many fine fellow-travelers who lose their way because they answer this question carelessly. They are convinced that more awaits them, that they deserve a better chance, or that the portion presented is insulting to their talent. After all, no one becomes a criminal because they’re overjoyed with their life.

Crime doesn’t even come to play unless you convince yourself that it’s time to take something you haven’t earned. This could be money, position, or even romance with another who is already entwined.

Crime, like every other piece of idiocy, is a bewildering mix of initiative and greed.

Of course, a case can be made that if we continue to accept our lot, we will never be able to ascertain what we might achieve if we were more aggressive.

On the other hand, we certainly know that the root of all fallacy, sin and misconduct is aggression.

The conversation needs to occur.

We have to find peace with our surroundings as we blow bubbles of possibility, hope and curiosity into the surrounding air.


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Credentials

funny wisdom on words that begin with a C

Credentials: (n) evidence of authority, status, rights, entitlement to privileges, or the like, usually in written form

 I suppose if you removed my driver’s license from my wallet, I would possess no credentials whatsoever. My state has authorized that I am entitled to drive a vehicle.

I have never received credentials from a music school, though I have persisted in making music.

I have no credentials whatsoever to write books, blogs and screenplays—yet again, I pursue.

I certainly had no credentials to be a dad, but the kids kept showing up.

I had no credentials as a lover, but that didn’t stop me from trying.

I am not licensed or approved to be a philosopher, a teacher, an instructor or a motivator—but these things have come up and in the absence of real talent, I have stepped in, acting as the best substitute I could.

I suppose I should have given more thought to gaining credentials. They do look good when writing a bio. Getting places or people of note to qualify you is much better than jotting down, “Have no fear. I am here.”

And I am certainly not one of those who feels self-righteous about lacking credentials, as if I were showing some sort of superiority by sheer grit and force.

It’s just that everything in my life started about one year earlier than it probably should have.

When I possibly could have gone to college, I was having my first son. And since I had that little family, when I might have wanted to garner some sort of degree or certificate, I was trying to put pizza and animal crackers on the table.

What I had to learn was that the absence of credentials demanded an honest presentation of oneself rather than lying or becoming defensive or saying something stupid like, “I have graduated from the school of hard knocks.”

I think it is absolutely delightful, if not essential, for people to gain credentials. I certainly do like to know that my plumber has plumbed before, and somebody knows that he’s not “plumb crazy.”

But in the absence of credentials, I will humbly offer myself, candidly share my value and do the best goddamn job I possibly can.

 

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Couth

Couth: (adj) showing or having good manners or sophistication

 I never get a chance to do anything couth because I’m too busy trying to correct my uncouth behavior.

I also think that we could make great advancements in our society and also in the human race simply by agreeing with each other about what truly is couth—and therefore being able to identify the patterns of action that would be uncouth.funny wisdom on words that begin with a C

What would be the top five attributes of being couth with people of every culture, from every nation, every religion and every predilection?

1. Learn how to listen by making eye contact and at least imitating interest.

2. Lead with kindness, even if you expect it to be rejected.

3. Smile more, even when you’re not taking selfies.

4. Contribute your talent where it will help—not where you wish it will help.

5. Be grateful.

I offer these five to you today as the Couth of Truth.

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Cornhusker

Cornhusker: (n) a Nebraskan

It would be much easier to claim that you’re a cow if you’re able to chew your cud and moo. Producing milk would also be a positive.

When I graduated from high school and opted not to go to college because my wife and I were pregnant with possibilities, I realized that I did funny wisdom on words that begin with a C
not want to be the kind of guy who didn’t go to college and worked at the kind of job this kind of guy is forced to take.

I liked music. I thought I had some talent.

No one ever actually sat down with me and made suggestions on how to use my ability or guided me in a direction of turning my existing efforts into some sort of cash flow.

I was told that I was not allowed to do anything but get a job and take care of my family.

I didn’t want to do that.

Now, I’m not asking you to side with me on this issue, nor am I desiring your cultural rebuke. I’m just explaining that if I were claiming to be a singer and a musician, I needed to go “music” somewhere.

So discovering in a very obscure newspaper a notice that there was a coffeehouse opening up in Kearney, Nebraska, I contacted the fellow beginning it on the phone, told him about my little group, and said that we would love to come and share at his new venue. He was thrilled (since we were from Ohio and he was all the way in Nebraska.)

It didn’t even cross my mind to look at a map. Before I knew it, the gentleman invited us to come and sing at the coffeehouse with the promise that he would “help out with gas.”

At that point in my life I had a van which creaked and squeaked just driving around town, threatening to break down at a moment’s notice. I didn’t care. Nor did my three other comrades.

We set out for Kearney, Nebraska. Matter of fact, when I began this essay today, I had to look up how far it was from Columbus, Ohio, to Kearney, Nebraska. I am so glad I didn’t have the Internet back then, because the distance one way is 968.4 miles.

We packed in some soft drinks, made some sandwiches, gathered as much money as we could borrow and pull out of couch cushions, and took off. We joked about “touring to the Cornhusker State,” never realizing that it would be many, many hours—twelve to be exact—before we would be anywhere near those who were traditionally proclaimed “huskers of corn.”

I’m happy to report that we actually made it there.

As is often the case, the opportunity was even smaller than I could have imagined. But the fourteen people who showed up said they were really impressed with our songs and happy we had made the trip. They gave us thirty dollars for our gasoline, a bushel of sweet corn and a peck of apples.

It was my first payday.

The round trip, as you can imagine, ended up being nearly two thousand miles.

But I was young, looking for an adventure, and especially trying to find a way to escape—for one week—from hearing all the town cronies telling me what a deadbeat I was.


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Conduit

Conduit: (n) a channel for conveying

Some of the things I most desire in life do not appear unless there’s a conduit.

How about love? Love needs the conduit of listening.

Let’s take peace. Conduit? Tolerance.

Strength. Joy.

Talent. This one might surprise you–patience.funny wisdom on words that begin with a C

Romance. Conduit–humor.

Salvation–humility.

Success. A courtesy conduit–appreciation.

Power. This one will really shock you. Conduit–service.

Longevity. This one’s easy. Moderation.

Respect–thankfulness.

As you can see, there are the things we desire and the things that desire us. When we’re sensitive to what Father God and Mother Nature require of the human race, we suddenly find that all things are added to our storehouse.

 

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Mr. Kringle's Tales...26 Stories 'Til Christmas

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Concession

Concession: (n) something that is granted

A few obvious but still needfully shared concessions:

  1. I am not nearly as smart as I think, nor even as you project.
  2. I am not a stud. I don’t know a stud. What is a stud?
  3. Diets don’t work, but when I eat less I weigh less.
  4. Talent is overrated, leaving creativity orphaned.
  5. I am not the best at anything but in a pinch can pass.
  6. There is no difference between a Republican and a Democrat when they are both blind to real human need.
  7. Church does not make people better. Just pious.
  8. As long as men are trying to be superior, women will never be able to pull themselves up to equality.
  9. Even though I like to watch it, football is a dangerous sport.
  10. I can’t taste the beer in my bratwurst.funny wisdom on words that begin with a C

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Mr. Kringle's Tales...26 Stories 'Til Christmas

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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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