Monthly Archives: October 2017

A New Word

I’m adding a new word to my personal dictionary. It can’t be found (as yet) in any other dictionary, because it’s not an official word. I’ve only seen it once, but it’s such a perfect word, I think everyone needs to add it to their own personal dictionary.

A few days ago, a friend posted an article on Facebook: http://charlesmartinbooks.com/blog/entry/what_i_think…about_the_movie

It’s written by Charles Martin, author of “The Mountain Between Us”. The entry is about his feelings both toward the movie and the changes made to it, and the criticism he has received because of those changes (namely a sex scene that wasn’t in the book).

I won’t give much away, because regardless of your feelings about the author’s religious beliefs, it’s well written and has a few lessons I know I need, and perhaps others as well.

One quote in particular grabbed me: “So, let’s become unoffendable and pray these folks into the Kingdom of Heaven where every knee will bow and every tongue confess. “

Did you spot the word I want to add to my dictionary?

You guessed it. “Unoffendable.”

I commented on my friend’s Facebook post thusly (in part): “I especially like the first [part of that] sentence about ‘becoming unoffendable.’ That right there would solve a lot of problems we see today.”

Think of it. What would social media and our world today (especially in the US) look like if everyone decided they would no longer be offended by everything? How many of us would finally see the joys in life when we no longer focus so much on the ick? How many of us would retain relationships we quit on because we found offense with someone’s postings, or friends/family quit on us because they found offense over what we post(ed)?

As for me, I resolve to be unoffendable, no matter how many times my computer tells me it’s not a word.

I Want to Be Like Me When I Grow Up

I don’t recall someone ever saying that. In fact, this is the first time I’ve strung those ten words in that particular order. I’ve always used someone else in place of “me,” whether it’s one of my parents, a famous person, or someone who chose to do something I consider extraordinary or worthy of respect — perhaps even awe.

“I want to be as successful as that person someday.”

“I want to be as kind and generous as that person someday.”

“I want to write like that person someday.”

The list is endless, and we’ve all said something similar. To the point it’s cliche.

I’ll bet the people we admire, and who we believe have reached the pinnacle of what we deem as the perfect life, have likely said the same thing at some point in their lives. Mentors have their own mentors, and heroes have their own heroes.

Don’t get me wrong. We need heroes, mentors and leaders, because they more often than not inspire us to reach further toward our own dreams and desires. The downside of that, however, is inspiration can twist into envy and jealousy. We can pay so much attention to those we admire, we soon reach the realization that we can never be who they are. In that, we will fail, because we are not them, and never will be.

I am me the same way you are you. No one can be me anymore than I can be you. We can have similar dreams and aspirations, but the similarity ends there. How I reach my goal will be far different from how you reach yours. Our sucesses and failures will be as unique as our DNA.

What brought this thought about was reading an entry by an author I admire. His words seemed to flow off the page (screen), and I thought, “Why can’t I write like that? To have his wisdom, and eloquence?”

Then I remembered something I had written decades ago: Selling Me Short

Adding to that:

You made all the delicate, inner parts of my body
and knit me together in my mother’s womb.
Thank you for making me so wonderfully complex!
Your workmanship is marvelous—how well I know it.
You watched me as I was being formed in utter seclusion,
as I was woven together in the dark of the womb.
You saw me before I was born.
Every day of my life was recorded in your book.
Every moment was laid out
before a single day had passed.
How precious are your thoughts about me, O God.
They cannot be numbered!
I can’t even count them;
they outnumber the grains of sand!
And when I wake up,
you are still with me!

Psalms 139:13-18

God made me the way he did for many reasons, not just one. His gifts to me are for specific purposes that no one can steal, copy, or take over.

The reverse is also true. I can’t steal, copy or take over anyone else’s gifts or life goals. Or their successes. I must always be cognizant of what inspires me, and avoid the too-easy twist into envy, because doing so ignores and can possibly destroy the dreams God has made for me. In the end, I fail at being me — the way God meant for me to be.

The same is true for you, so go out there and strive to be you when you grow up.

To Men

I thank you.

To the man who changed my tire in the Target parking lot, and refused to take money for doing it.

To the many tall men who happily take items from the top shelves this short woman can’t reach.

To the many men who open the door for me, and do it with a smile.

To the young photography teacher who gave me a helping hand as I struggled to crawl up a river bank, and carried my camera and tripod at the same time.

To all men who adopt their wife’s children, and love, provide and protect them as their own.

To all men who teach their sons and daughters how to be just as strong, wise, and protective of others as they are.

To the many men who have saved strangers from being abducted or otherwise harmed from criminals, and never considered the danger they put themselves in for doing so.

To all men who put their lives on the line for their fellow citizens such as the military, law enforcement, and other first responders.

*Disclaimer: I do not intend to minimize or ignore the women who do all of the above. Not at all, because they also deserve our thanks. With all the nasty accusations against all men based on the bad behavior of a few, however, I believe men deserve their own moment, and to show just how much many, many of us love and appreciate men for what they do, and who they are.

So once again, Men, I thank you.

I know I missed many other wonderful things men do, whether asked for or not. So by all means add them here, or post them elsewhere.

Going Dark

But only for a little while. I’m participating in a group called “October Write Fest” on Facebook where the participants are writing every day for a month. Kind of like Nanowrimo, except in October. For many of us, November isn’t the best month to attempt to write 50,000 words with major family holidays to interfere (such as Thanksgiving in the US).

It’s not as structured as Nanowrimo. Some are attempting to write the 50,000 word novel (such as moi), while others are writing a blog entry every day and others are doing a complete rewrite of an existing work in progress.

If you’re interested in participating, you are certainly welcome to join. Just do a search of “October Write Fest” on Facebook and request an invitation.