Course

Course: (n) the path over which something moves

I have an internal comedy show going on inside my soul concerning the length of time that each and every fad will last—or shall I say, how quickly that particular “popularism” will disappear.

It wasn’t so long ago that people were bopping around, sticking their noses in your face and posing this question: What is your five-year funny wisdom on words that begin with a C
goal plan?

The first time I heard this, I realized it was irrelevant, and certainly destined to end up in the cultural cemetery, buried near “far out” and “hula hoop.”

But I have to admit, I was surprised at how long it did persist—and you will occasionally hear people do a variation on the theme: Where do you see yourself in five years?

But I will tell you—I think the reason these ridiculous inquiries gain popularity is that we human beings are weakened by our pernicious insistence that we must follow a course of action.

It seems righteous. It sniffs of organization.

It’s the kind of thing that investors like to hear from an entrepreneur.

  • “What are you going to do first?”
  • “What’s next?”
  • “What would be your third effort?”

I suppose if science, Mother Nature, luck and chaos could be included in our planning meeting for our course of action, and each of them voted to participate and promote the campaign, it might have some possibility.

But since science is only concerned about scientific conclusions and not your whim; Mother Nature has nurtured billions of souls before you showed up with your graphs and plans; luck—well, she remains as ambiguous as the veracity of her identity; and chaos is like a toddler locked up in a room filled with expensive glass vases, you may develop a course but there’s no guarantee that anybody will want to take it.

Time and chance happen to everyone, and sometimes you can be at the right place at the right time, but it still won’t turn out…right.

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Claim

Claim: (v) to state or assert that something is the case

I often find myself caught between the emphasis in our society on speaking up for oneself and the wisdom of the ages, which quietly screams, “Shut the hell up.”

I sometimes tremble when I hear people make claims. I especially find it curious when men or women insist they are great lovers. Oh my
God–that’s one that is proven out fairly easily, and can certainly leave you with your pants down.

Why do we need to claim? Maybe Yoda was right. “No try. Just do.”

But for some reason, the braggadocio that precedes our efforts makes us feel reassured. Maybe it’s because we know that when the game is over and the score is tallied, we’re going to lose, so we might as well have some pre-game appreciation.

I don’t know.

But most of the claims human beings make are altered by circumstance, lack of talent, nerves, superior fire-power or just dumb luck. For after all, time and chance happens to each of us.

Recently I was asked at a party, “What is it you do?”

I piped back, “Are you asking what I claim to do? Or what actually gets done?”

They looked at me with a hint of a smile, but perplexed. After all, I wasn’t doing what I was supposed to do–tout the bloated extent of my capabilities.

For what would happen if we claimed less, and then, on rare occasions, ended up doing more? Isn’t that the true definition of a genius? Someone who scores higher than expected. Someone who exceeds expectation. Or someone who fills a need that seemed unfillable.

I don’t claim much.

Maybe my best claim is that I don’t have really anything to claim.

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Chance

Chance: (n) the possibility of something happening

I have a chap who is one of my daily readers, who constantly becomes infuriated whenever I use the word “chance.” He contends that using
“opportunity” is always preferred.

It is a school of thought that there’s no such thing as luck.

But I must tell you, if I did not believe in luck, chance, happenstance or any other synonym found in my thesaurus, I would never be able to comprehend God. I cannot envision a Creator who scurries around His universe trying to repair minor matters, similar to a maintenance man at a dilapidated apartment complex.

  • There have to be systems.
  • These systems have to be free of prejudice.
  • They have to be self-perpetuating.
  • And they must integrate with one another.

That is why dissociating God and science is similar to running your car on only oil, without water, or vice versa.

If there is free will–and there is–there must be a system in place which allows for good choices, education, wisdom and perseverance to obtain more chances for those who are determined.

So from time to time, those who are not worthy of consideration do stumble on the right numbers for the lottery ticket. Without time and chance, we are living on a sphere which is dictating to us, instead of opening the door to change through our vision and actions.

Not everything is an opportunity. Sometimes there is no reason whatsoever for what happens to us.

It reminds us that the random nature of science requires that we stay on our toes, and affect as many components of our lives as possible.

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