Decompress

Decompress: (v) to relax; unwind

When I was nine years old, a friend of mine jammed his finger.

It hurt.

No doubt about that.

But over the next week, through the urging of his mother, the jammed finger went from being a painful incident to a potentially lethal trauma.

Every day when I saw him, he had a new angle on how a jammed finger could lead to some sort of bizarre complication, culminating in a contorted death.

Honestly, I started avoiding him, waiting for his finger to heal, so that he could become normal again.

That has been my inclination with the human race.

Since most people think they have a jammed finger, they are prepared to exaggerate their wounds to make themselves feel more endangered.

Therefore I hate the word “decompress.”

I hear it all the time: “I am under so much pressure that I must get someplace and decompress.”

Really?

I guess I have a different definition for “pressure.”

To me, pressure is when you realize you’re going to die.

And even then, it’s a good idea to get a second opinion.

Everything short of death is problematic—and by problematic, I mean solvable.

I am just completely flummoxed as to why we think our lives are more intriguing when we express levels of breathless desperation.

Why is it more enticing to say, “I don’t think I’m going to make it,” than “I’ve had a bad week.”

Why must we think the world is going to end simply because we can’t find our favorite jar of pickles?

How in the hell important do we think we are?

For the record:

I do not need to decompress.

I do not require escaping somewhere to spend even more time musing over my plight.

I need to expand.

I must be around people who also have problems, and together, we can develop the good cheer of realizing that there doesn’t seem to be anything life has come up with that can destroy us.

If we reach that point, we gain a certain lightness of spirit—an irrepressible joy that makes us love ourselves and valuable to those around us.

Don’t decompress.

Just don’t get yourself in a position where you take things too seriously.

In life there are no dramas—there are just comedies, and sometimes we don’t get the joke.

 

Cumulative Effect

Cumulative effect: (n) the end result of repetitious actions

“Excuse me, young man! You need to love yourself.”

By the way, some people will not know how valuable you are, so you will need to learn how to shut them out of your life. “

“Don’t be critical of yourself. God doesn’t make junk.”

“There’s a wonderful plan for your life, so keep your heart open for its arrival.”

“The world is filled with nasty people. You must learn to identify them, or they will steal your inheritance. The reason they want to steal it is so they can make their portion larger.”

“So beware—people are wonderful until they’re not.”

“Don’t be so down on yourself. You don’t have to be great all the time. Cut yourself some slack. Everybody else does. It’s human.”

“If you find that the people you’re with cannot support you with unconditional love, then unconditionally get rid of them.”

“God wants you to know that He loves you just the way you are. You don’t have to change for anyone. Since you don’t have to change for anyone, you can reject those who think you are not sufficient just as you are.”

“These are your enemies. Even though we try to love our enemies, our enemies don’t go away because we love them. So watch out for yourself.”

“Be careful. Be wary.”

“Be prepared to defend yourself because you’re the only one who can do it.”

“And certainly—if you do not toot your own horn, it will never be tooted.”

“You must stand up for yourself or all the bullies will bring you down.

Bullies need a punch in the nose, or they keep sticking that nose into your business. Sometimes you gotta fight. Fight for yourself, and make sure you win. And when you win, communicate to those who might want to fight you that you’re determined to honor yourself and your own opinions.”

“Be strong and do not put up with anybody’s bullshit.”

This is a cumulative effect.

By the way, this is why we’ve learned to hate each other.

 

funny wisdom on words that begin with a C

Creator

funny wisdom on words that begin with a C

Creator: (n) a person or thing that creates.

The top four things, in order, that wear out my soul in order, beginning with Number Four:

  1. Serious discussions that end up with people pouting.
  2. Feeling sorry for myself because I’m stuck in traffic.
  3. My own intolerance showing up, exposing me for the fallible son-of-a-bitch I sometimes am.

And now, Number One:

Incessant barking, preaching, complaining, questioning and postulating on the subject of God.

Is there a Creator?

Let me be blunt—I only have one reason that I want a Creator. It’s because it makes me feel more valuable.

Without a Creator, I have to envision that I am a stop on the evolutionary chain, somewhere between protoplasm and infinity.

Yuk. I don’t want to feel that way.

It makes the other three things I mentioned even more aggravating. Traffic seems more congested, my intolerance tends to have some deeper meaning, and for some unrealistic reason, getting serious about ludicrous matters makes me feel grown-up.

I need a Creator because I need to feel created, so that I will want to be creative.

Did you get that?

Creator, created, creative.

When I don’t feel created, I have no desire whatsoever to change my circumstance when bitching about it seems to adequately fill the time.

I do not find that believing in a Creator makes people better, and that disbelieving makes them worse. But sometimes, cuddling up to the idea that we are purposely constructed by a divine order does make the journey seem a little sweeter.

Otherwise, we begin to look around the room, the nation and the world, rolling our eyes, thinking internally: Hell, is that all there is?

 

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Confidant

Confidant: (n) a person with whom one shares a secret or private matter

Sometimes my own body scares me.

I believe it’s strong–but there is a fragility standing in the wings which often threatens to take the stage.

I fight feeling useless. I’m not. I just have this unquenchable desire to be more valuable. Or is it just ego?funny wisdom on words that begin with a C

I grew up in a household of violence. I don’t want to erupt with rage over something that is truly insignificant.

Although I’ve tried to put lying in my past, it hangs around like a lazy brother who might soon need a loan.

I am fat. I can’t escape that–at least, not so far. How much does this hurt me with my fellow humans?

I’m proud of what I do, but don’t want to be too proud. Otherwise, I might think I’ve done enough.

I work on being color-blind, but every once in a while some coloration clouds my reasoning.

I believe men and women are equal. I really do. Even when men make me question that and a certain woman I may encounter tempts me to be a misogynist.

I’m not strong all the time.

I am not smart.

I am not well-educated.

I do not have a diploma to cover every situation.

I enjoy creativity but honestly, despise obscurity.

I don’t want to be famous. Just helpful.

I’m not as good as I think I am, but not as bad as I fear might be the case.

I share this with you in confidence.

Are you a good confidant?

 

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Comedian

Comedian: (n) an entertainer whose act is designed to make an audience laugh

If you tell a couple of jokes at several parties in a row, you’ll start hearing your friends proclaim, “You could be a comedian!”

And when you bashfully turn your head, they insist, “No, no! You could do stand-up.”

There comes a time in everyone’s life when we prove our worth by knowing how little we are.

I’ve been funny all my life. I know how to make people laugh. That does not make me a comedian.

That makes me lucky.

That makes me interesting.

Sometimes it even makes me valuable.

But to sustain a routine which continually makes people laugh is truly a masterful gift.

Even though I, myself, would not want to try stand-up comedy, I have taken the time to study it quite thoroughly. It has three major ingredients:

  1. You have to be willing to insult people because you’ve already insulted yourself.
  2. You need to be overcoming something and not afraid to talk about it in vivid or even gross detail.
  3. You need to insert just enough pathos and emotion that the audience is breathless to hear more.

Now, if you think a mere amateur can pull off these things, you should go out and sign up for open mic night–at your local pizza place.

 

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Collect

Collect: (v) to bring or gather things

I collect.

I grab my basket and step into life, picking up things that suit my fancy, meet my needs or stir my soul.

From democracy I collect the value of personal freedom.

I collect a wisp of meditation from the Buddhists.

I collect tenderness, mercy and endurance from my sisters.

I collect devotion to country from communist China.

I realize the danger of eating too much pork from my Muslim brethren.

I collect the value of play from the children encircling me.

I collect my thoughts by rejecting my prejudices.

I collect the true history of my life by quieting the ideas I wish to promote.

I collect fruits and vegetables at a good price at Aldi.

I collect the power of the Golden Rule from my friend, Jesus.

I collect a searching, inquiring and probing mind from my atheist friends.

I collect a respect of science from God.

And I collect a respect for God from science.

I collect things that other people think are meaningless so I can have a personal treasure in my heart.

I collect a respect for things old, current and even those things which sniff of the future.

I stand in awe of Earth as I collect my trash and throw it in the garbage instead of allowing it to go “blowin’ in the wind.”

I collect my anger and force it into a small box, where it doesn’t think it is bigger than it actually is.

I collect those little boxes of anger and open them up in my private times to address the concerns.

I collect passion for my dreams.

And I collect dreams to welcome passion.

I am a collector.

Not much of what I collect has a dollar value.

Yet all of what I collect is valuable.

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Chamber of Commerce

Chamber of Commerce: (n) a civic organization which promotes a town

Some things are not meant to be.

We gain wisdom whcn we understand this.

I was once invited by some friends to go to a nude beach. Nude is not my best profile. So I asked them if it would be all right if I came to the beach without being totally nude.

They stared at me, aghast. “What? You’re going to sit there and ogle everyone else?”

I didn’t go. I kept my ‘ogle’ to myself.

I once went to a tent revival. They even brought out snakes. I was told that if I had faith, I would handle the snakes, thereby showing my devotion to God.

I asked them if I could just avoid the snakes, thereby showing my prudence to God. They did not think I was funny and asked me to leave.

I also went to a Chamber of Commerce meeting. It was in my home town. In a strange sense, I felt it was my civic duty to at least give the event a chance.

Everyone was so grown-up–trying hard to act mature. They talked about budgets, plans, the cost of concrete, whether to bring a Winn-Dixie into town or how to improve the image of our little city in comparison to others flourishing around us.

I cracked a few jokes. That’s just what I do when I’m nervous. (I think one of the ways you can find out if an idea is valuable is to make fun of it and see if it survives.)

They did not like my jokes.

I didn’t like the turkey Tetrazzini they served for lunch.

It was a wash. I never went back again. They never invited me again.

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Bit Part

Bit part: (n) a small acting role in a play or a movie.

Dictionary B

Important.

The word begins with I-mI’m.

Failure occurs when we are found to be asleep at the wheel when opportunity drives by.

There are no bit parts in life. It is all an issue of whether I’m included.

If I’m included, I’m involved.

If I’m involved, I’m studying the situation.

If I’m studying the situation, I’m finding better ways to accomplish the goal.

Finding these ways, I’m even more excited about my part.

That excitement translates into a sense of energy and all at once, I’m a human battery, generating power to those around me.

As I generate power to those around me, I’m valuable.

When I become valuable, I’m needed.

When I’m needed, I get considered for parts, positions and possibilities that are larger than the tasks I’m presently performing.

I’m called up.

This is the way life was meant to work before we decided that some things just don’t matter.

If you can’t get thrilled about something small and make it better, you never get the chance to do better but instead will always remain small.

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Belief

Belief: (n) an acceptance that a statement is true or that something exists.

Dictionary B

“Stacks.”

It is a word connoting an accumulation of stuff.

It’s supposed to be impressive. Why? There is a lot of it and it appears well-organized.

The problem with “stacks” is that anything beneath the top page is buried in some form of obscurity. Unless you patiently sift through the material, you will never exactly know what is eighteen inches below or fifteen inches above.

I used to have a bunch of belief.

I stacked it all up and called it my faith.

I took my faith and proclaimed it my religion.

And my religion became my calling card–to quickly explain to others where I stacked up in the rank and file of humanity.

But I rarely used my beliefs because they were encumbered, one upon another, offering very little freedom of expression.

Belief should never be an encyclopedia of recited ideals.

It is better served as a one-page resume which quickly tells those who are considering our acquaintance how valuable we find our lives to be–the experience which has enhanced our journey … and expresses our willingness to work for the better of the company.

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Air

Words from Dic(tionary)

dictionary with letter A

Air: (n) the invisible gaseous substance surrounding the earth, a mixture mainly of oxygen and nitrogen.

I am a better person when I think about air.

I am more valuable to myself when I appreciate what I breathe and cease to act like a spoiled brat, contending it’s insignificant.

I remember the first time I went to a hospital and required oxygen. I didn’t know I needed oxygen–the doctor explained that the air I was breathing and how I was processing it was not producing enough restorative energy to make me feel good. It sounded stupid. That is, until they hooked the oxygen up to my nose, and within five minutes, my head cleared, I found myself breathing deeper and was completely in the midst of a rejuvenation.

Little did I know how much I needed more air … until the lack of air left me verging on a quiet desolation.

Now, I realize we can become silly or obsessed with appreciation. But candidly, I think very few of us risk that posture. We are much more likely to become jaded and sarcastic.

I don’t know how God came up with the right mixture of oxygen, nitrogen and other inert gases to place within the breath that fills our lungs fifteen to forty times a minute.

But the stuff works.

Stop and think about that. How many concoctions do we use every day that only partially fulfill their promise?

But air just keeps delivering the goods … and has eight billion satisfied customers.