Irony: Part II


Where did the mango? The same place he saw the flamingo.

As a little boy, I remember hearing people complain about a speaker (preacher), “Why does he have to use fifty-cent words?”   I am quite sure that inflation has increased the valuation to something beyond a half-dollar. I remember when a dime was a fortune!

I have developed an understanding and appreciation for the “fifty-cent” words. They are powerful. I wish not to disrespect those who prefer less “lofty” words. I really appreciate it when people ask me to define or to explain a word. In the past, I did not ask for definition or clarification. I was too embarrassed to do so. I made sure I had a dictionary nearby and went to it as quickly as I could.

When asked how I have developed my vocabulary, I responded: “I keep a dictionary at my elbow so it is easy to reach.” When I heard or read a word I did not know, I went to Mr. Webster. Now all I have to do is type the word in Google and voila, it is there. When reading, I go to the dictionary immediately. I tend to write the definition in the margin so I can see the definition of the word in question. I have learned to freely ask for the meaning if I do not know a word.

Not knowing the definition of a word, I was out of the conversation. I was distracted and inhibited by my embarrassment and my shame. Unfortunately, in my embarrassment I did not ask for the definition and I lost out.

Like many people, I need repetition in order to make something permanent–even in regard to definitions.  “Practice makes permanent, not perfect” is a quote I read many years ago. I love that quote. Perfection is not necessarily a good thing, as illustrated by a  pained and agonizing confession from a junior high friend. He said, “When you get an A+, the only way to go is down.” His  comment (circa 1967) made an impression on me.

I find myself pretty well convinced that I have never met a perfectionist. I have met many who claim to be. In debating them, I think they have walked away in agreement. Everyone readily agreed that once a goal is reached, another higher goal is established, or they find a fault. It is not uncommon for people to look for real or imagined flaws as though they are invested in finding fault in their accomplishments. Does not that make that person an imperfectionist (made up word)? Not a bad thing, per se, to look for opportunities for growth and improvement–unless it causes excessive anxiety and/or self-condemnation. Too many people “should” on themselves. “I should have done better” or some variation. A friend told me she had nearly crippling anxiety from what she called “hyperscrupulousity”. No matter her accomplishments, she was never at peace. Ouch.

Remember the title of my blog: “Mediocre Meanderings”. I think “ramblings” might also fit. Perhaps, like a Sunday afternoon drive, you might see something that provokes thought, feeling, memories, etc. in my blog entries. If not, I have enjoyed posting.

Inspired by Mark: Like Singing in the Shower

Some have talent.
Some have none.
Some have much.
Some have some.
Those with much-
Known as Poet.
Those with some-
Known as Poette.
By their talent-
They will show it.
My friend is one.
I’m the other.
His uplift.
Mine may smother.
But who cares,
The depth of power.
It’s like singing
In the shower.

Richard L. Brewer

Off to press some more garments.


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