Cynosure

Cynosure: (n) something that strongly attracts attention by its brilliance, interest, etc.:

I remember it like it was yesterday.

I had a meeting with a fellow who dubbed himself “Bundy Boy.”

I don’t know why he selected this handle since it was nowhere near his name. But he was young, energetic, and full of what the old folks used to call “piss and vinegar.”

He agreed to have a meeting with me because he was thinking about promoting our little music group and taking over management of us—thereby assisting us in getting national attention, a recording contract and, well, just something far away from our poverty.

I remember it so well because he had a spiel. He called it “The Five Thingalings.”

I wanted to laugh, but after all, I was in a subordinate position, sitting in the office of a guy who might be able to throw some light in the direction of my shade.

It was the first time I ever heard this word: cynosure.

He asked me if I knew what it meant. I didn’t. So he explained, “It’s about what’s bright and shiny. Humans are human, but they’re also beings—and as beings, they’re attracted to… are you ready?” he asked me.

I was. He continued, “They’re attracted to sex, silliness, a sad story, beauty and money.”

I thought about it, had no reason to disagree, and so I nodded my head.

Confident that I was on his wavelength, he proceeded. “Cynosure is when you turn the lights up so people can see more clearly what you have to offer. That’s why you’ve got to be sexy. Everybody likes sexy. Even religious people like sexy. They don’t talk about it—but they think about it. And everybody likes to be silly. They pretend to be serious, but after a short time, they’re ready for a good giggle.”

“But,” he went on, “we do like a sad story. It cleans us out—makes us feel we’re really sensitive because we care about what happened to somebody on the rocky road of life. And that story—that story I’m telling you about—it’s much more powerful if it’s being shared from a beautiful package. Just as people like sexy, they like pretty. In their minds, sexy and pretty go together. Nobody feels sexy if they don’t feel pretty, or handsome. And of course, money. Even the Bible says that money answers everything. If you think about it, any problem that comes up in your mind—well, a nice stack of cash will go a long way to solving it.”

After Bundy Boy finished his speech, he sat and looked at me.

It was time for him to offer his evaluation of my “package.”

He was kind, merciful, but truthful.

“My friend,” he said, “you aren’t sexy. Now you might be silly, but if you’re silly and not sexy, it comes off goofy. I suppose you do have a sad story, but when you’re not sexy and not silly, and you have a sad story, people think to themselves, ‘well, of course. He’s a loser.’ And if you’re not sexy, the chance that you’re beautiful is small. And even though we pretend we like beauty on the inside, it’s only something your mother actually feels. And,” he concluded, “by looking at your clothes—especially your shoes—I can tell. You’ve got no money.”

He concluded, “So even though I like your music and I do like you, I can’t work with you. I can’t bring the magic. I can’t cynosure you.”

He stood to his feet and walked toward the door, which I assumed meant that I was also to stand and depart. He patted me on the back and offered a lame, “If there’s anything I can ever do, let me know.”

So I have gone through the majority of my life with no cynosure.

It’s been painful—but I have managed to eke out an existence.

 

funny wisdom on words that begin with a C

Cover-up

Cover-up: (n) any action, stratagem, or other means of concealing or preventing investigation or exposure.

 Let me give you an example.

Let’s say we’re talking about the electric bill. Yes—that’s good. A common situation which we all certainly share in common.funny wisdom on words that begin with a C

If you’re trying to find out whether your friend, your wife or your roommate has paid the electric bill, it is necessary to phrase the question in such a way that they will not choose to lie because they already feel intimidated by your approach.

Now, you may totally disagree with this, but I have found if you want people to tell you the truth, be prepared that there’s a greater chance that they will lie. So don’t set them up to fib by making them feel stupid or guilty if they tell you the truth.

Back to the electric bill. Here is a terrible approach if you’re trying to find out if your partner has paid the bill:

“You DID pay the electric bill, right?”

You see, for them to tell you that they haven’t, they would have to be willing to be truthful and also survive a wave of anger you have already told them is ready to hit their beach.  Not a good approach if you’re going to avoid cover-up.

A second bad angle is:

“What day did you pay the electric bill?”

Although not as intense, it still connotes that a normal, intelligent person would have already paid, and if they want to come across normal and intelligent but have not paid, they just might have to lie.

I must give you a third, horrible choice:

“The electric bill—that’s your department, isn’t it?”

The demons of being defensive will immediately rise and choke the truth out of your friend, making it impossible for him or her to tell you that it completely slipped their mind.

The only way you can guarantee that someone is going to tell you the truth is:

“I think I forgot to pay the electric bill. Did you pay it?”

You see, now if they didn’t pay it, they join you in being a fellow-delinquent. The pressure is off to shoulder the blame. There’s no need to provide an excuse, since you have already admitted that it was probably your responsibility.

I guess it all boils down to whether you want to find out if the electric bill has been paid, or if you would prefer to listen to cover-up after cover-up.

Until the house goes dark. 

 

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Correct

Correct: (adj) conforming to fact or truth; free from error; accurate

“Correct” is the favored word for those who wish to appear righteous but are really working a hidden agenda or stoking a deception. For “correct” does not need to be accurate and of course, accurate can fall short of truthful while still maintaining a claim to accuracy.funny wisdom on words that begin with a C

We play this game in religion, entertainment, business and politics every single day.

We, as the consumer, as the public, are offered a few correct statements which fail to address some accurate observations. Since the accurate observations are hidden from us, we will never know the truth.

This is why we sit here today, arguing over a report that was commissioned by our own government, and now is being obfuscated by the same. It’s easier to read the report and find correct statements that jive with a needful political conclusion. We might even want to offer some accurate insights to make it seem that transparency was nearly achieved.

But the truth is a very hard business to open up on Main Street America.

The truth is often feared—and the truth, which is the only thing that can free us of the lying that paralyzes our progress, is hidden away and reserved for those who know it but are damned because they squelch it.

Simply because something is correct does not make it accurate. Accuracy can offer contradictions. Yet it is only when we have studied all of the accurate ideas that we might be prepared to draw some conclusions about truth.

But wise men know that we are not on a search for the correct, the accurate or even truth itself.

No—we are in pursuit of uncovering our own hypocrisy, which clears our eyes, to be willing to honestly see.


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