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⌧ Let the cat out. 😺

⌧ Wake my son up. 😑

Checking things off my daily to-do list, I went through my morning routine.

Hold it. That should be “let out the cat.” And, “wake up my son.”

I remembered what my English professor would write in red pen on my papers: “Keep related words together!”

Any language can be hard to learn, but English seems to break its own rules. For instance, all of these words have “ough” in them, yet each is pronounced differently:  

  • doughnut
  • through
  • enough
  • bough
  • thought

And another thing. Why is it: commit perjury yet perform surgery? I think surgery takes more of a commitment than telling a lie. Don’t you? I mean, who wants a non-committal surgeon operating on their spleen? Just saying.

The whole point of language is communication. To connect with people, to hear and be heard. To create a community and listen to each others’ stories.

In the same way, faith is not about the letter of the law. It’s about grace. It’s not about being a stickler for the rules and making sure everyone around you worships, works and walks the same way. It’s about being a blessing and keeping a positive spirit.

So go ahead. Split the infinitive if you choose. Speak in sentence fragments. Like this one. 😉 Dangle that participle! Use emojis. Alk-tay in-yay ig-pay atin-lay. (Talk in Pig Latin!) Whatever words you may speak, it’s manna from heaven when you say it from the heart. 💗

Tell me your story, in your own words. I’d love to hear where you’ve been.

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“You enter the forest
at the darkest point,
where there is no path.

Where there is a way or path,
it is someone else’s path.

You are not on your own path.

If you follow someone else’s way,
you are not going to realize
your potential.”

Joseph Campbell, The Hero’s Journey: Joseph Campbell on His Life & Work

As I read an article entitled, Inmates at California Prison ask Guards to Keep Quiet,  I thought, they did the crime, they should do the time, but it may be that the guards were being loud all night on purpose so that the inmates could never get to sleep. What is the truth? A spokeswoman representing correctional officers declined to comment. (Um…isn’t that an oxymoron?) Both sides see the situation through their own lens and they tell the tale in their own way.

Sometimes we tell a story in our own idiom, and it might not compute for everyone. On the BBC show,  Cybercrimes with Ben Hammersley, the host recounted a crime in which a Brooklyn gang systematically robbed $300,000 from New York City ATM machines on one day in 2013. Hammersley spoke of the moment they were captured, referring to it as a “kerfuffle in a carpark,” and I had to pause the show for a minute. I needed to break that down in my mind.

We’re talking Brooklyn, Ben. They’re called “parking lots” here in the states, and I seriously doubt locals would ever use the word “kerfuffle.”  I know I never have! What is that, anyway? It sounds like something fluffy that you wear, or perhaps dust with!

Somebody is going to tell your story one day, and it might not be the truth as you lived it. If someone made a map of your life, they still might not end up where you are.

Tell your own story now. Walk your own path. Write it down while it’s still true. Over time, details are forgotten and eventually, somebody else is going to presume to speak for you in your silence or absence. Why not be the one to tell the world who you are?

Let’s let the late, great writer, Maya Angelou have the last word on the subject. Speak for yourself and tell it like it is, she said, or you’ll live to regret it.

“I learned a long time ago the wisest thing I can do is be on my own side, be an advocate for myself and others like me.  There is no greater agony than bearing an untold story inside you.”

Have a Mary Little Christmas

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