Crucial

Crucial: (adj) extremely important

I’m not sure I am qualified to determine what is crucial in my life.

I know each one of us relishes our independence and being free of interference from others.

But there are times when I live too close to my own skin to be objective about my person.

Why? Because sometimes I want to be comfortable instead of motivated. Other times I want to be busy instead of resting—because I fear that my brain will talk to me too much if I’m sitting still.

And there’s a constant seepage of my childhood training dribbling into my contemporary brain, often creating conflict—because after all, my parents, who taught me that childhood curriculum, did not have all the information we have today.

Am I prepared to make a crucial decision about my own life?

I certainly don’t want to turn it over to chance.

I am fed up with those who suggest that prayer is when we release our burdens to the Almighty. Every time I give something over to God, it comes back, “Return to Sender.”

I know I’m supposed to be responsible for my own life.

But can I really be responsible for the truth that would make my life more valuable?

I wish I had a little warning tag attached to my wrist, reading: “If you find this human being and he seems a bit baffled, take him to a safe place and talk nice to him until he regains his senses.”

Yeah, that’s a pretty good idea.

What is crucial?

What is extremely important?

I guess what’s extremely important is realizing that I am not often qualified to actually know what is extremely important.

funny wisdom on words that begin with a C


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Cranky

Cranky: (adj) ill-tempered; grouchy; cross 

A Conversation

She: I was wondering if you were ready to write the blogs.

Me: Wouldn’t I tell you if I was ready?

She: Yes, but I just thought I would ask so I could get…well, get my things together.

Me: Yes. There you go. Why don’t you get your things together?

She: You don’t need to be cranky.funny wisdom on words that begin with a C

Me: I’m not cranky.

She: What would you call it?

Me: How about, “Not in the mood for any nonsense?”

She: Isn’t that a definition for cranky?

Me: No, cranky is when you’re just feeling sullen or put out and decide to dump your attitude on everybody around you.

She:  So, me asking you if you’re ready to type your blogs and you barking back at me is not dumping?

Me: No. It’s a warning.

She: What are you warning me about?

Me: I’m warning you that I’m not in the mood for nonsense.

She: So nonsense is asking you if you’re ready to type the blogs in a nice voice because I want to get ready to do so?

Me: Now you’re making me cranky.

She: Why is that?

Me: You’re taking my normal reaction and blowing it out of proportion because you are in the mood to be easily offended. There you go. Another definition for cranky. “In a mood to be easily offended.”

She: So what you’re saying is that because I asked you a question and you responded coldly, that I apparently arrived in a mood to be affronted by anything that was going to be spoken my way.

Me: Now you’ve got it.

She: Thank you for clearing up cranky for me.


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Caw

Caw: (n) harsh cry of a crow or similar bird.

Everybody seems to prefer when I’m sweet. They relish my gentle tone. They will tear up when discussing my merciful nature. If they were describing me in aviary terms, I would be the nightingale, the dove or the robin offering the promise of spring.

That goes on for a while. And then the need arises to be the crow–the blackbird that offers a darker view, with a bit of cackling, complaining
and crankiness.

No one likes this old bird. They even speculate that perhaps I’m not feeling well or I’m vexed by a bad mood.

It never occurs to them that my crow shows up when things are not right–so that my robin can return in good conscience.

People’s ears are tuned to the tweeting of the love bird instead of the caw of the flying scout, who scours the field ahead to offer a warning.

I suppose I enjoy being the songbird much more than being the “cackler.”

But every once in a while, the crow has to show up and remind us that the scarecrows we’ve set out to frighten away danger aren’t nearly as terrifying as we hoped.

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By-stander

j-r-practix-with-border-2

By-stander:(n) a person who is present at an event or incident but does not take part

Most people know what an oxymoron is. It’s a statement or collection of words that seem to contradict one another–case in point, jumbo shrimp.

That being said, I will tell you the little known oxymorons is the pairing of the two words “innocent by-stander.”

Although I admit meteorites do fall from the sky and hit people in the head, most of the time there’s a warning and an opportunity before a conclusion.

The warning can be subtle. Sometimes you need to tune your ears to Mother Nature in order to heed the precaution. Even though we consider people who focus on warnings to be paranoid, they rarely find themselves categorized as “innocent by-standers.”

After the warning, there’s usually some sort of opportunity:

  • A chance to say something.
  • A door to do something.
  • A way of escape–a few seconds where thinking can be clarified.

Shortly after that opportunity comes a conclusion. It is random and always certain. It doesn’t care about our status–it just follows through on the warning.

An example:

Driving in Seattle, Washington one summer, I was returning from a recording session when I looked ahead–almost a quarter of a mile–and saw a back-up of traffic. But worse, smoke was beginning to rise in small puffs, letting me know that collisions were going on between cars.

I had a very brief opportunity to avoid being part of a huge freeway pile-up. My brakes were not going to be useful–the person behind would just plow into me.

So as I saw the chain reaction developing in front of me, I moved onto the berm and traveled on it for about a mile, as cars continued to pummel one another in the calamity.

It was very close, but I was able to get in front of the origin of the collision. There was no traffic and I was on my way.

Do I think I’m a genius? No.

Have I always been so observant? No.

But when I haven’t, the problems have piled up on me. 

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Beacon

Beacon: (n) a fire or light set up in a high or prominent position as a warning, signal, or celebration.Dictionary B

Flashing lights.

No one likes them.

I suppose they’re okay on a Christmas tree. But if you’re in a room for a long time and the decorations are too garish, it can become annoying.

We were taught that flashing lights warn us of danger or at least, pending inconvenience. So I guess we need them.

Yet by the same token, a world without flashing lights is a sudden discovery of disaster without any way to prepare or avoid it.

Therefore a beacon can be one of the more unappreciated necessities in the world. They appear in our lives at a very early age.

For instance, you’re five years old. The first snow has fallen and you want to run outside and play–throw it in the air and maybe make a snow man.

You are stopped.

A beacon–your mother or your father–steps in and feels the need to take at least ten minutes of your precious snow time to don you in garbs which inhibit your free movement, all because they want you to be warm and not get sick.

Who knows if they’re right?

It isn’t like you can look back and say, “Yeah, because I wore my ear muffs and toboggan, I avoided a cold.”

No, it’s just an annoying flashing.

And then, when you become a parent and find the need to “beacon out” some piece of wisdom or counsel, you suddenly realize that you are the annoying, flicking going on in the life of a child who loved you moments earlier, until you interrupted the flow.

Case in point: I just finished seeing family for Christmas. One of my jobs is to be a beacon.

That means if I see something that could be ridiculous, dangerous or lead to unhappy conclusions, it falls my lot to flash out a warning.

God, it’s horrible.

For you see, everybody wants to be a cheerleader and not the director of the cheerleaders, who has to decide whether the skirts are too short.

Yet a world without beacons would probably end up being one big explosion of light, producing destruction instead of intermittent blinking.

 

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