A Word Can Wound or Kill

“Like a sword, a word can wound or kill, but as long as one does not touch the blade, the sword is no more than a smooth piece of metal.  Someone who knows the qualities of a sword does not play with it, and someone who knows the nature of words does not play with them.”

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Stop, Squat, and Run

I looked at Tenant A with my jaw about touching the floor and she said, “…and it’s still lying out front because I wanted you to see it.

Where I work, the term “Juicy” is most often used to describe gossip.  The kind of gossip that will ruffle feathers and has the potential to start a war.

On one such occasion, I received a phone call from a tenant that usually keeps to herself and tries to avoid problems.  She let me know that for the past week, the person that lived across the road from her was spreading rumors implicating a lot of the community of conspiring against her.  She called to let me know that if that person came to me talking about everyone else that I shouldn’t believe everything that she says.  We will call the person calling Tenant A, and the person causing problems Tenant B.

At this point, I was not fully sure of what was going on but I knew that as time went by I would hear the whole story.

Just then, the phone rang again for me.  It was Tenant B calling to speak with me.  I answered the phone and sure enough, she called to let me in on the “Juicy” events that were taking place around the community.

Tenant B let me know that Tenant A, along with Tenant C and Tenant D, were talking about her while they drank tea and coffee every morning on Tenant A’s front porch.  She let me know that she could hear them whisper about her.  She also let me know that she had spoken to a few other tenants and they verified that those 3 were saying that she was abusing prescriptions and that she was not healthy.  This infuriated her and she wanted me to step in.

I scratched my head and let her know that these were unsubstantiated rumors.  I let her know that she should just ignore them, ignore the supposed comments, and move on with her life.

She didn’t like my response very much.  She told me that it was on my head what happened next because she was not going to put up with it.  She hung up and I heard nothing else from her.

A few days past and Tenant A called to speak with me.  She told me that ever since the commotion in the community started a few weeks ago she decided to install a camera facing her front porch.  She spoke with the local law enforcement and they assured her that just so long as no other front doors were being video taped it was legal.  She asked me to come by her home today and watch some footage.  She warned me – before I entered her yard to watch my step.

I showed up and we began to watch the footage from the night before.  It was about 3:30 am on the video and into the frame walks a figure to the yard of Tenant A.  The footage shows this person or individual pulling down their pants, squatting down, and doing their business on the front lawn.  They swiftly pull up their trousers and run away.  In what direction?  Straight across the street.  Its hard to tell the face or any descriptive details from the dark video but the deed that they did do was unmistakable.  I looked at Tenant A with my jaw about touching the floor and she said, “…and it’s still lying out front because I wanted you to see it.  I told you this was a juicy one.”

Source: Juicy

It Has Happened…

As of today, I have been a father for 7 days.  

My daughter was born on February 9, 2017. I find myself stuck. Stuck in between trying to shake off this feeling of awe and finding the courage everyday to be what I need to be for my family. As always, I have somewhat come to a conclusion that I choose to share here.

First off, I don’t want to shake this feeling of awe off. No way will I let this go. Every time I look at her I’m consumed ever more by brilliance and a glow that only she can produce. I feel like a child on Christmas morning every time she looks at me. Can’t help but smile.

Secondly, where else am I going to find courage if not in these trying times? I thought to myself, “I wish I could have built the courage and wisdom that I needed for this stage of my life before hand. I wish I could feel capable.” But then someone wise reminded me – no one is ever ready. No amount of preparation or study can give you what you need. My faith lies in that everything I need to guide her correctly is in a book sitting by my bedside right now. A book known to be the “Best Selling Book of all time.”

These new sentiments are really doing a number on me. I have taken the days off of work to be with my wife and New Born and have cherished them so deeply. Aside from the sleep-deprived nights and not knowing what to do half the time, I’m proud of where I am. I do believe that I have a long way to go. But so far that journey is a great one. 

So now I ask for your help!

If you can spare the time, any tips and tricks on Colic, stomach cramps, and sleepless babies will be most appreciated!! Leave a comment as I am willing to try anything in order to understand and help her the best I can.

Cheers gang

Humble

What makes us humble?

Is a humble spirit born when a higher power presses you down under their thumb?Is it when a stranger goes out of their way to help you or serve you?

These are humbling moments, no doubt. But a humble spirit is a divine and celestial fruit. It’s eternal and is not sporadic. The biggest flaw of the human race is its inability to be consistent. If we were consistent then justice would be black and white. Instead it’s mired and skewed depending on nationality, country borders, or which group lobbies better at any given moment.

If you were consistently pleasant, your effect on those around you would be compounded. If you were consistently positive, then your point of view would always be a blessing; a light in the darkness. But we are not consistent; we are far from it. Your tail destroys what your hands build. This is how we know that we still live without discipline and subject to our emotions.

A humble spirit is born when we recognize that we are in need of someone to justify us. We walk around in almost a self-righteous and self-satisfied fashion. The only issue is that you can not declare yourself righteous or correct. This is because your standards will undoubtedly always be influenced by your agenda. What you believe is good and well is subject to your interpretation of desire and satisfaction. This, in turn, yields your self-righteousness as inadequate in the eyes of the real beholder.  

We need justification. Not by our standards or understanding, but by a greater good that has a higher vision than we do. We are so bound by today, yet afraid of tomorrow. This produces ideas of carpe diem or yolo. But if you carelessly make decisions that will satisfy you today, your ignoring tomorrow. At the same rate, if you fail to make decisions for your future because your not sure of what you want, you sink in the sand; you don’t get anywhere today.

This is where humble begins; in the idea that you don’t have what it takes today and don’t know anything about tomorrow. In the idea that yesterday could have been better if you would have seen the bigger picture and that you need help to fix mistakes.  
 

Food For Thought – Arrogance

The greatest arrogance of the world is to think that everyone thinks like you.  

~Anonymous 

When You Don’t Write

When we don’t write, it’s not because we don’t have anything to say. It’s usually because we feel like we don’t have time. This is a dilemma that only “writers” will understand.

When we don’t write, it’s not because we don’t have anything to say.  It’s usually because we feel like we don’t have time.  This is a dilemma that only “writers” will understand.  

When an athlete goes without swinging a baseball bat for long enough, they ache.  Something is missing and they know; soon enough all of those around them start to notice it as well.  It’s this deep desire to express yourself; a wanting to be heard but not a spoiled need for attention. It is a reason that demands an audience to declare a life experience or thought or question or anguish.  That is why as a Writer you feel compelled to write; it is an extension of yourself that you can not easily throw away.  What a shame that so many of us do that very thing.

All we get is 24.  That’s the magic number of hours that we get each day and what you do with those hours is magic.  From the time that you wake, and even through those vivid and colorful dreams, your life is creating memorable moments and life lessons.  Minute by minute, hour by hour, day by day.  This should be the cadence of our expression – there should be no missed beat.  When we don’t write it is not because life has dulled and grayed, but because we have not published it.  We have kept it to ourselves.  But if we only knew that among the 7 billion plus living individuals on the planet there is a handful that can use your experience from that day.  Only we can not fathom that what happens to us, can save them.

We have identified the elephant in the room – “I don’t have time.”  Now let us brainstorm to find the solution.  That’s the way I like to approach every situation – as an opportunity to seek solution and change.  Those are the key words here.

The first step is to identify that there is a need for a solution.  In other words, we have to face our problem – We feel frustrated because our cadence or rhythm in life leaves us with little time to pursue writing.  Done.  Now we have to embrace the healing serum – change. I understand that change is never easy.  If you ever meet someone that states that change for them, no matter the magnitude, is easy – they are lying to you and to themselves.  I did want to make one thing clear – This thought is not geared toward professionals that are paid to write.  Instead, it has in mind those that write with the grandest of payments in mind – self-actualization.  Maslo’s Hierarchy of Needs has at its mountaintop self-actualization which is ultimately a person’s ability to put other’s needs before their own.  This is what happens when your physiological needs are met.  When you feel safe and that you belong as a person you feel complete.  When your personal perception or self-esteem is healthy you stop looking in the mirror for flaws and start to reach out to others that only see their scars.  So as a writer that is what you are doing.  You are reaching out and I hope that you believe me when I say that someone out there needs you to.

Time management becomes a big part of this but I have come to understand that no professional organizer or life coach can ever make a breakthrough unless passion is rekindled.  Even if it has to be the first thing in your day or if it has to wait until all the lights are out at home, writing should have its place in your day.  If it’s not online – even better.  At least your day is not forgotten and you can go back to it a year later and remember what it taught you.  So do what you will with the minutes in your day and rearrange as you will.  When we don’t write it’s not because we have nothing to write; no material.  It’s because the minute hand and the hour hand made their twice ’round the clock face and we ran out of time.

 

The Observation Post – Pretend

When is it okay to pretend?  Is it ever okay to pretend?  It’s not always healthy to pretend but we tend to do this more often than we think.  We do this not to fulfill our passion or personal obligations but usually to make someone else happy.  What was the tearing sound I just heard?  Oh… That was you cutting yourself short in life.

More often than we would like to admit we sacrifice so much in order to fulfill our roles as parents, children, employees, and so on.  This becomes almost mundane and we become complacent in doing so.  This cycle of Pretend is on a regular basis and we start to forget how much we put up a facade in our day to day.  

I believe that it does not have to be this way.  To pretend is to deceive and to lie.  We can dance around this but in the end it all comes down to that.  Pretending is not facing the truth head on.  So when a father pretends to want to spent time with his kids – ouch.  Or when a daughter pretends to be busy to avoid taking mother or grandma shopping – dang.   These actions are not shameful nor counterproductive to life.  It’s the total opposite when you think of it.  That’s what our time is for.  To give it; to lend it to make not only ourselves happy but to impact others.  

You see, if we really knew what our roles were and what our responsibilities before God were then we would never fail at our roles.  Perfection is not a factor here because we all fail at some point but to fail means you tried; you acted.  What about those that don’t act at all because they feel they are wasting their time?  What about those that don’t feel the joy of their role in life anymore?  Those of us that pretend to be happy but struggle internally with reality?

This post doesn’t pretend to have answers.  I do feel however that it does plenty by shedding the spot light on it for you.  It brings it to mind enough to where you have to ask yourself what your circumstances are.  Are you pretending a lot or do you feel that it comes naturally?  Are there days that you want to run away and what do you do to resolve that impatience?  

Pretending is a skill that writers such as us, develop and put into practice when we are sharing our stories.  In that circumstance it is socially acceptable to pretend.  The sad fact is that a lot of us pretend so that we can escape our lives and our obligations.  This is socially acceptable as well but personally, I don’t want to.. No, more like I can’t let go of the wheel like this.  This is why I pray that God returns the joy of my roles or privileges in life.  Whether I am a son, father, uncle, servant, or laborer I want to strive to take pleasure in what I GET to be and not what I HAVE to be.

Source: Pretend

A Big Thank You!

This is not an exaltation of the internet. Far from it because these never cease from being machines.

With today’s post, I simply wanted to extend A Big Thank You!!

This is something that I have seen a lot my favorite bloggers do and I’m starting to understand the reasons why.

I recently hit 70+ followers on Wither or Thrive and this blows me away.  Partially because I have only had this blog for about 2 years but it’s only been in the last 60 days that I have let my “Inner Child” roam free with muses and thoughts.  The other half is because I would have never thought that in such a short time frame I would have the privilege of being surrounded and furthermore supported, by brilliant people and writers from all over the globe.  We have to remember that once upon a time if you didn’t catch a railroad or boat to the other side of the world there was no hoping of connecting.  But now, thankfully while we are at it, the conversation can be had at a click of the button; the exchange of humanity and making a good impression and comradery takes but seconds.

We learn faster today; we see further.  We speak many languages at once; we can see through a different set of eyes like never before.  It’s amazing at was is possible and at what opportunities are just around the corner every day.

This is not an exaltation of the internet.  Far from it because these never cease from being machines.  They speak of AI and what not, but for now all I see is a screen that doesn’t show what you don’t ask it to.  I see a mouse that does not engage what you don’t wish it to.  A keyboard that does not speak on its own but awaits your command.

This is why the exaltation is for you – My Reader.  Thank you because you choose to come here.  Thank you because you decide that Wither and Thrive, if only for a second, should show up on your screen.  Thank you because you decide when a post calls your name and you click it.  Thank you for those times that you feel compelled to leave a comment – Wither and Thrive does not take for granted those precious seconds of your time that you choose to invest here!

From the bottom of our hearts – Thank you and happy writing.  Happy writing because to me, every one of you is more than just a hobbyist.  There are the makings of a great writer and wordsmith in you and you are slowly introducing him/her to the world.  I appreciate the courage, can’t wait for more and love your work!  Every single one of you.

JC

Observation Post – Together

Together we can accomplish so much more.  I say that metaphorically but it is tested and proven metaphysically; in the material world.  When I saw that the writing prompt for today was “Together”, it triggered a reminiscence where I recounted all the “Togetherness” I had experienced in my life recently.  

There’s nothing like a tough situation to bring people together.  As humans, there is an automatice reaction when we see someone trudging along – to pull them forward.  Needless to say, not everyone reacts in this matter but I’m proud to say that 90 percent give themselves to help.  

But I have recently experienced the contrary of that.  What happens when you meet someone that gives everything to help even though there is no dilemma?  Someone that has the spirit of the Good Samaritan and not just someone that feels obligated at a certain moment to help.

I have been more the latter than I wish was true.  But it’s been something that I have been learning about and can say I’m determined to turn it around.  

As a country we have been through so much; as a people diverse in color, religion, customs, and skills, we have been tested and tried.  The American Spirit is not a sham; to me is it real.  Yet is does not belong to America!!  It’s the Human Spirit, if you will, that feels drawn to its natural state – to help, to serve, to care, to give.  But it seems that 90 percent of the populations only allows their guard down when a mass-scale natural disaster strikes affecting millions.  Yet when it comes to helping the little oils lady across the street we don’t look twice.  Or when we pass a car in the middle of the road with the emergency lights on we are way to busy to see if we can assist.  

No one is discrediting anyone here; on the contrary, I gain my perspective on this issue from the very real struggles that our country has endured and from the amazing outpouring of perseverance and good will that I have witnessed.  But as in most posts on Wither Or Thrive – can’t we do more?  Can’t we move from the large scale and start to work on the small details?  After all, those are the ones that make a difference every single day.  

So this is me talking to me.  And really, I believe that this is God talking to me.  It’s time I wake up and look around and step out of my box.  To give should not be easy; do it anyway.  To help should come with sacrifice; help more. To be selfless means to do it everyday, not just every now and then when your neighbor or community shows initiative which in turns sparks yours.  I am going to try my best from now because that a more TOGETHER than we have ever been and that’s what the world needs today.

Source: Together

Chicken Parm you taste so good!

As a man that lives in Merica, and lives in southern Merica, and loves Merica until the day that I die – I LOVE ME SOME FOOTBALL!!

For the second installment of our FALL COLLABORATION, the gang and I are going to take you through the steps on how to prepare for Primetime NFL Action!   As a man that lives in Merica, and lives in southern Merica, and loves Merica until the day that I die – I LOVE ME SOME FOOTBALL!!  Hank Williams Jr. was more famous in my home than Justin Timberlake or 98 Degrees because when you heard “Are You Ready For Some Football?” on the television – you knew it was bout to go down!   Monday night and Sundays were huge for us because that’s when the family came together for yet another fun and exciting time.  At my house, we had cousins come over with uncles and friends!  We had great food, jokes, rivalries, and you were sure to laugh your gut sore.

Now in days its no different!  There is a deep and thick love for the game of football in this country.  It stems from the rich history of great athletes that have set foot on the Grid Iron and from some of the most explosive last-minute plays!  Games that garnered the attention of more sets of eyes at one moment than anything else in the world!  Yes, that big!  So besides watching the game, allowing yourself to feel energy and excitement of the crowd and players, there are a few things that I find help me get the most of it!  You should adopt the following as your SOP for the duration of the season.

~Everyone Coming Over Needs A Jersey.  If Not, Just Go Home.

The Eyes of the experience.  We gather to yell and jump and fist pump our team to victory!!  The best thing you can do is wear your colors; wear the jersey of your favorite player!  This way, when they win, you can just throw the hot wings in your hand at the curtains and run into the street!  There you will be met by your strange and funky neighbors.  But today, you are fans!  So nothing else matters as you jump up to Belly Bump’em.  The smartest thing to do is to buy a quality jersey that will last you year after year.  If you are like me, I like to have somewhat of a collection, so I try to buy a new one every other year or so.  It can even be a T-Shirt with the logo of the team and team colors, but you can not show up to my house without colors.  Get with it!

~ The Food Must Be Spot On!!

Guacamole and Chips, Barbecue Chicken Nachos, Pigs In A Blanket, Bacon-Wrapped Potatoes with Creamy Dill Sauce, Barbecue Meatball Sliders, Kickin Chicken Nuggets, Grilled Chicken, Smoked Pork Ribs, and BUFFALO WINGS!!!  You don’t want me to go on, trust me.  I have limited GB space on this WordPress deal.  The food must make your mouth water.  It’s what catches the attention of that Nose of yours.  You enter the living room with the flat screen on the wall, but your nose takes you right into the kitchen to start to pick at the food!  When the belly can feast, the Beast is at peace.  It’s essential, and there are so many great recipes for you to try every single game.  You grab a plate full of food, grab a cold drink, then sit in front of the game to cheer and scream without running the risk of being famished.

~If The Stakes Aren’t High, Baby Bye, Bye, Bye!

JT reference there…  A fun thing that we like to do is make bets on a game.  Occasionally we will put a dollar or two in on a play for fun, but we like to up the ante!  This is why, as a general rule, I like to keep a bottle of scorching and spicy sauce in my cupboards.  This way the losing side knows that it has to pick a finger food then put the spicy sauce on it – and they don’t get water or milk! Not in my house!  Mwuahahahahaha.  It works well for pranks all year long too.  Dope.  Score.  For the guys, we have the losers leave the house without their jersey on (or any shirt at that matter).  For the ladies, especially from November through the Ship, they have them leave the house without their jersey on and their shoes and socks.  It’s usually frigid.  Something to add more punishment.

This list can go on forever and with a new season just around the corner every time, I love to add new things to make it a good time.  If you can catch a game live, you can take all of this to the tailgate parties that get way out there!!  It’s no longer your home where you have “control” – if it’s not OUT OF CONTROL it’s not TAILGATING.  Without all of the extravaganza and hype, the most pleasurable things for me is to surround myself with people that can laugh and have fun.  Surround yourself with people that love one of the above, and Football if possible, and you are sure to have a great night!  That’s what it is all about in the end – having an excuse to put down the phone, turn off your laptop or computer, put away your work, and live it up with family and friends.

Needless to say that my favorite NFL team are the Denver Broncos!  I grew up in Denver and still have family there.  The Mile High City is near and dear to my heart.  And since I live in Arkansas, well…

 

The title comes from a great commercial featuring Super Bowl 50 Champ Peyton Manning.  I’m sure you have seen it and I’m sure it annoys you by now!

 

Jacqueliine Joy- Warning! Warning!  She will make you laugh. She joins me in the “Bloggers that have Kiddo’s” group of the COLLAB.  Check her out.  Jacqueliine’s Blog Site

 

Varsha- originally from Aruba, she delivers great cooking, fine dining, a rich diverse culture, and different accents!  Totally different timezone, Totally awesome blog! Don’t miss it!! Varsha’s Blog Site

 

Lee- “The Originator” of the FALL COLLABORATION, she puts together great material on Lifestyle, Beauty, and Health with the purpose of helping everyone out – one at a time!!!  Lee’s Blog Site

 

Jenna- She promotes self-love and respect!  Check out her blog straight from the Lone-Star State!  Absolutely great material!!  Jenna’s Blog Site

 

Morgan- She blogs about life,  fitness,  college life and beauty!  She is a Girl vs. World and everything else and boy does she put up a fight.  Check out the great perspective and experiences!! Morgan’s Blog Site