Cooperate

Cooperate: (v) to work or act together or jointly for a common purpose or benefit.

Life sent me a text.

It asked me if I had a few minutes to sit down and discuss some things. Normally I would have been responsive, but it was a busy day.

Sometimes I intend to return messages to people but then I get absorbed in happenings and my very, very good intentions are set to the side. These people are often offended. They don’t understand how much I really wanted to get back to them.funny wisdom on words that begin with a C

So Life texted me again. This time the request came with four exclamation points. I hate it when people overuse punctuation on the Internet, don’t you? It’s so ignorant. Do they really think that’s going to get my attention?

So this time, I refused to respond on principle—surely it must be some sort of scam.

The following week Life texted me again, and insisted that something needed to be done very soon, or else.

I despise it when people threaten me. Don’t you? Because if you follow up, trying to find out what it’s about, you discover they just played you to get your attention.

Honest to God, if I chased every person warning me about something, or informing me about another thing, I wouldn’t get anything else done.

So I came up with an emoji which I sent back to life. A cute one. I think it was a creature sticking out its tongue.

That kind of summed up my feelings about Life’s interference in my daily activity—especially the pushiness I was feeling from the unwanted messages.

Then all of a sudden, I died.

I arrived at some sort of place that seemed to have an atmosphere, but was completely suspended in time. Standing there waiting for me was Life.

Not seeing anybody else to talk to, I stepped up to Life and said, “What happened? I was too young for this.”

Life looked at me smugly and said, “Did you get my texts?”

“Yes,” I replied, wondering what in the heck that had to do with anything under the sun.

Life took a deep breath. “I texted you because I wanted to let you know that several alarms had gone off in your body which you were ignoring, and you needed to go get yourself checked out.”

I frowned. “Why didn’t you tell me it was important?”

Life groaned, then spoke slowly. “You see, that’s the problem with human beings. You think anything that you don’t know about is an interference, never realizing that most problems can be avoided if you will just stop, listen, receive the message, and cooperate.”


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Collage

Collage: (n) a combination or display of various things.

I have a “collage education.”

I have taken misshapen, unpredictable, often dangerous, meaningless, joyous, sad and uncertain circumstances and molded them
together into a life, inserting my face.

It doesn’t come with a sheepskin diploma. Matter of fact, being sheepish in any way keeps you from forming a good collage for your education.

It is that moment when you realize there’s only one thing that stops any of us from achieving joy: fear.

A young man asked me, “How can I become a good writer?”

I responded, “Stop writing. Express yourself. Stop worrying if it makes sense. Matter of fact, stop being concerned about forming sentences. You can always come along and edit later.”

Do what you do without doing it in fear.

Don’t listen to people who talk about mental blocks. Turn your ears off when people are full of warnings more than encouragement.

Life is a collage, and therein we find our education.

And we receive our graduate degree when we take our collage and use it to tutor others.

 

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Allowance

Words from Dic(tionary)

dictionary with letter A

Allowance: (n) a sum of money paid regularly to a person

I had to get out my educated pencil. (I am often glad that my writing tool sought higher education, since I didn’t.)

Having an educated instrument, I can take my meager abilities in mathematics and join with this smart pencil and come up with some fascinating figures.

Case in point: when I was eleven years old, my father reluctantly gave me twenty-five cents a week for allowance. Actually, he held a quarter out in front of me and always offered at least two or three regrets and four or five warnings about the value of money and how important it was to spend it wisely.

But you must realize, this was at a time when twenty-five cents would buy you five candy bars.

This was my allowance.

In comparison, when I lived in Hendersonville, Tennessee, with my children, I gave each one of them fifteen dollars a week. Making use of my magical pencil of intellect, I realize that this was very similar to the quarter I received when I was eleven. For now a decent candy bar at a convenience store can cost upwards to $1.50 to $2.00, and everything else is equally as inflated.

So which is better? To have a little bit of money with lots of possibilities, or have a lot of money with little possibility?

I also recall that by the time I reached my sixteenth birthday and wanted to go out on a date with a girl, my dad, who was now ailing from cancer, proudly handed me over a five-dollar bill for my first date. Similarly, when one of my young men in high school was going to be taking out a lady, it was necessary for me to give him three ten-dollar bills, which he still grumbled at, saying that he would have to really scrimp for dinner.

I know that the root word of “allowance” is “allow.” But even as a grown-up, I am learning that it is possible to simplify your finance even in the midst of raging increases. You don’t have to feel like you’re cheating yourself. Just “pass” on opportunities that don’t give you the payoff you desire.

For instance, when the alarming transition occurred and candy bars went from a nickel to a dime, I had to negotiate my purchases much more carefully, while waiting for the eventuality that my parents would catch on … and pop me up to fifty cents.