T is for Tact

Oh, this word can get one in a lot of trouble. Some have tact, some don’t. Tact can ride with a low tide, so subtle it only tickles your toes, or the lack of it strikes like lightning and knocks you flat. I think the universal truth is you need a little insight into human nature to practice the art of tact. Politicians are often so tactful, their promises slip from their mouths like melted butter. Not much good if there’s no toast with it. I heard an acquaintance tell a co-worker ‘make up does wonders for a plain face’. Now that kind of tact brings the claws out. How about the person who always accuses others of being judgmental. Isn’t that the essence of being judgmental? The person didn’t earn a degree in tact from a ‘smart’ school. But I like this definition: “Tact is the art of putting your foot down without stepping on anyone’s toes.” Laurence J. Peter gets credit for that. Writers don’t worry about tact, they let their characters say anything they want. That’s great fun and some might say tactless. If a reader only knew the source of a character’s remarks…like the in-law who says, ‘well, (huff, huff) you don’t…’ You should rebuke with ‘you’re so open-minded’ but really you know she has a hole in her head. If said, it would cause trouble at the family potluck dinner but it makes others laugh in a good story. Trouble—a word to avoid. So I’ll stick with tact and try real hard to describe others as they see themselves.

What’s your T word for the day?      Fatal Mistake by Wil A. Emerson, Amazon.com, Kindle

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S is for….Self-Discipline

A difficult subject, this thing called self-discipline. It’s not about what you do, but what you choose not to do. There’s power in self-discipline. To say no, to take a stand, to work beyond your perceived capacity, to deny instant gratification—those are wow moments. Self-discipline negates weakness, leaves behind a sense of well-being—not a behind of greater proportion. It offers peace of mind instead of a sense of failure. It offers pleasure, too. More pleasure than the high of sugar or the self-prescribed drug of choice. The pleasure of a job well done, accomplishment, wearing a pair of pants your body is supposed to fit in, money saved instead of wasted on cigarettes, the completion of a task that is important for you or others. Master over your own mind. Self-discipline…a good thing. Writer’s live by it…so on to the next day of this A-Z challenge..gotta do it…gotta do it….                                                 What’s your S word?

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R…is for Right

Heavy words in the R category: respect, responsibility, religion, rules, rumors, ridicule. But my finger landed on right.

Funny word, right is. I can turn right, live right, right a wrong. I can give up a right or I can allow you a right. I can in some circumstances take away your right. I wish could write right so I wouldn’t sit here and wonder if I wrote the right word or not. Right doesn’t come easy. Sometimes you have to work for it even if it is a constitutional right. Sometimes you have to fight for it even if it’s an inalienable right. Left and right may be at odds over rights and sometimes rights can be wrongs. Thus so, Robert Frost said ‘I hold it to be the inalienable right of anybody to go to hell in his own way’. Right now, I’m pleased most of my rights have not been trampled on. Guess it’s because I live in the right country, in the right time and place, for all the right reasons. I’ll leave you with this thought: “The greatest right in the world is the right to be wrong.” The credit goes to Harry Weinberger, born in 1888, written in “The First Casualties in War.” Around 1917. Fits the day, doesn’t it?

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Q is for…… Quotations….

I love quotations.  They make me laugh, cry, ponder and try harder to understand the meaning. Some are simple, like: “Quotation confesses inferiority.” Now that can’t be much sharper, clear, right? Ralph Waldo Emerson wrote that one. I don’t know how many times I’ll use it in my writing but, I will remember Ralph Waldo’s pithy remark. I like better what George Bernard Shaw thought about quotes. Shaw said, “I often quote myself; it adds spice to the conversation.” Damn right. Usually a quote takes me back to my thoughts; agree or disagree. If I agree with myself, what could be better? So this is my quote for the day: “Do as much as you can possibly do to please yourself but, if you leave the please out of your relationship with others, you won’t be as happy.” Not bad….rubs off of a lot of other notable quotes. So repeat my quote if you wish. Ralph Waldo also said, “By necessity, by proclivity and by delight, we all quote.” Thanks Ralph, for setting the record straight.

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P is for …..Puzzle..

I do like a puzzle…on a rainy day, when I just can’t get into a book.  Puzzles are especially rewarding when there’s 50 or so pieces left. But a tricky one can humble you. How can something so trite, inconsequential make you ponder for hours?  A picture printed on cardboard, cut into hundreds of pieces. Senseless. A puzzle, perhaps, is a paradox. To do nothing of importance and be at peace is possibly the essence of everything important.

What’s your P…..word…..

Previous Letters: L is for Law, M is for Men, N is for No, O is for Optimistic.  All on my facebook.

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L…is for Law

For my followers…it was fun to write about the L word yesterday. I didn’t miss the order of things, I posted it on Facebook. I will repost when I don’t feel like the day has got the best of me. N…is the next letter….will brew on that while I sleep.

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M…is for Men

M…..tons of word options. Why pick the word Men?–Tons of options. 6 Billion people in the world; about 49% men, at least at birth. What is so special about men? One man for a woman to spend her entire life with? Beats the hell out of me why we settle for one. But then men might say the same thing about women. 51% of the population—why put up with one when there are so many to choose from? Not going there. Just sticking with men.

Here’s the thing about men—they sure get a bad wrap. Women beat the hell out of men, whine about them, complain, want miracles from them and humiliate them with jokes, gestures and expectations.  Men go to war, lose there identities in mundane jobs as truck drivers, riding rails, as policemen, firemen, ditch diggers, high wire climbers, road builders. They move mountains—for women. Sure-doctors, lawyers, professors do the same thing–work their butts off for women, their family.  Yet, the jokes, the finger wagging is all about bad men. Those who aren’t sensitive, attentive, wife like. The men who survive, win out, gain notoriety from women are men who turn out to be good fathers as determined by the women they live with. Doesn’t matter what else they accomplish or sacrifice. Men who are great dads are the best kind of men. The others—good, bad, indifferent. Why?

Sure, there are a shit load of bad men roaming the world–can’t argue the obvious. But can’t we celebrate the other side of obvious? Why do women try to transform, negate, disenfranchise the nature of good men? Is it fair to expect men to think, feel or act like a woman?  Okay, perhaps if you’re in a homosexual relationship but even then, who gets bashed the most—the men. Why can’t men be different than women? Let their traits, their biological nature prevail. Men and women are unequal in many ways. Let it be. Accept the difference, the innate, emotional difference. Celebrate Men…

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