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Week 1- Hard Week 2- Shock Week 3- Strange Week 4- Vision


This week’s word is almost an opposite from last week’s. Hard brings to mind an almost unpleasant feeling. Many times we try to avoid that which is “hard” to do, to be, to grasp, to acquire, etc. Our natural instinct is to avoid that which is hard, yet it is our struggle with what it takes us through that makes us better. Softness, the opposite of hard, makes us vulnerable, more likely to become sick, unable to resist certain pressures of life and often hinders us from becoming free of bondage or enslavement. Hard teaches us to resist pressures that weaken or hinder us. Soft is not good if it weakens, but hard is good if it strengthens!


Both adjective and adverb are uses for our word. Hard has 22 adjective meanings and 9 adverb meanings. Space does not permit listing all so we will cover some of the more common uses. Hard as in resistant to pressure or rigid is a common use. Firm muscles, powerful and strength are usually tied to good physical health. Callous and unfriendly are usually connected with the thought of a hard heart or hard feelings. There is a good side to the use of this word as in a hard worker and a hard currency as in gold and silver. Keep in mind that to be hard without good judgment tends to bring disintegration and hard with good judgment can often bring success!


Two thoughts that usually come to mind when we think of the meaning of ‘hard” are rigid and resistant to pressure. With these phrases in mind, what do we look for as signs or symptoms? Most often we think of hard in a negative sense. Words such as intense, rigid, even rude and soulless may come to mind. On the other hand, hard workers are desirable, hard currencies are preferable and hard-nosed can be a positive attribute. When you look for signs of how to use this word, we must keep an open mind. Let’s not be hard-hearted but intense and hard-nosed about truth!


Hard impact! Ever have something fall on you? The impact can be dangerous to your health as well as your ego. To understand impact as it relates to hard, we will look at three similar words. Difficult is applicable to that which requires great skill, intelligence or tact as in a hard or difficult situation. Arduous can imply the need for diligent, protracted effort as in the hard or arduous climb ahead of us. With laborious, it gives us the sense of hard or long, wearisome toil as in cleaning up the crash scene. Thus the impact of “hard” can turn depending upon the anticipated end result. Life is hard, but learn the strength of endurance and you will succeed!


Seldom do we see a relationship that has not seen some kind of hard times or rough spots. We are human, and as such we walk into those proverbial minefields when unexpected actions and events bring into our relationships hard times and difficulties. A relationship that dissolves because of resistance to complex interactions will happen. We can expect to face resistance either within the association or acting upon it. That is life. We are complex creatures and the unexpected can and will happen. We must prepare for it. Like a good physical condition that requires exercise and care, so our relationships need the same. We need to learn good relationship habits to keep us healthy. No sweat, no gain. Much sweat, relationships blossom!

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Our word this week can really run the gamut of how it is used and with what meaning. Shock can be the reaction to an electrical current, an event, an earthquake or an emotional reaction to some agent of impulse. It can cause wonderment, fright or even pain but you will in some way react to shock. It may even be a medical condition that produces a disorder. If you have been involved in a scandal that also can be a shock. Seldom does one not have some reaction to shock, perhaps only if deceased. Are you in shock? Stay calm, it too will pass!


Our definition of shock is not one of being calm, but one of sudden disturbance or extreme stimulation. It is defined by three concepts: as in sudden impact, a bundle of wheat, corn or grain that is standing erect or hair that is standing up without any curl or wave. The first idea of impact or collision and extreme stimulation of the mind are the most often use of shock. To be shocked by electrical current going through the body is also a common use. It is a state of abrupt change induced by some agent that makes this word most unusual. “He shocked everyone by his abrupt personality change.” Life may be dull and boring, but a shock can change it immediately!


The signs of shock will vary depending upon its cause. To be frightened, astonished, in wonder or surprised are some such signs. Earthquakes will be the cause of shock as also a soldier suffering from extreme fatigue in combat. A sudden collision in an accident will produce shock. A worker who without notice loses a job will experience an emotional shock. Each of these events will affect someone’s mind with great surprise, distress or disgust. Shock can bring great emotional stress and a flood of emotions that can overwhelm you. Seek help. Just don’t get hysterical!


When you drive on rough roads, your vehicle should have good shock absorbers. With shock, there is always an impact. There is physical shock as in rough roads or an electrical shock from some source. There is also a mental shock as in some event that brings surprise, distress or some kind of unexpected offensive thrust as in sports. Whatever is the source, a shock will always have an impact. Sometimes we can adjust and take it in stride, but many times the shock is so unexpected that we do not see it coming. An unexpected scandal can cause much stress and mental anguish. It can be the cause of our loss of self-control. Don’t be frightened, just try to grin and bear it!


In a relationship, one of the things you may not want to experience is shock. Scandal can be a shocking jolt to a relationship. On the other hand, one may do the unexpected positive act (guys, like send her flowers) in the relationship, and that can build trust and strengthen it. Normally, the less shock in a relationship, the better it will be. Trust helps to build a solid foundation and shock can bring unpleasant surprise. Work on doing things that strengthen a good relationship and avoid unpleasant impulses. Work on weeding out offensive surprises and improve those positive acts that strengthen!

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With our word this week, we normally will associate three other words. They are abnormal, bizarre and different. We may on occasion even add the word mysterious if we do not understand how something happened. Strange is one of those words we use when something is “outside of the normal.” When we become aware of something outside of our normal range of experience, we will tag it with being “strange.” This word has a wide range of meanings both literal and implied. It is better to use another word that narrows the meaning to what is actual than to leave it in a vague form. Perhaps it is better to look for the outlandish rather than just what is strange!


It has six definitions, five of which are commonly used forms and one is old and rarely used. Strange is the term with the broadest application and normally refers to that which is unfamiliar due to its being uncommon, unknown or new. We think of a strange place as in a new country or new surroundings. We also sense strangeness when it is something we are unfamiliar with and out of our ordinary routine. Something is odd or strange if we are unaccustomed or inexperienced in using it. “He is strange” or cold in manner is an older use of this term, but is seldom used today. Don’t be distant or cold, just be cool!


Have you ever been in uncharted territory? If so, you look for signs to give direction. So it is with “strange,” you look for something that will take you back to the familiar. Behavior, surroundings and common patterns will tell you how to return to normal. Strange can be a temporary condition that may take time to grow accustomed to it. When we see eccentric behavior, we often are reluctant to accept such strange actions as being normal. However, when strange borders upon the fantastic or bizarre it becomes much harder to adjust to and accept. Let’s not take strange and oddness to be normal, just keep on walkin’!


In reading my emails, I had a strange experience: a blogger who walks cemeteries. What is the impact of such a strange experience? Our family name had come up in a blog search, so I clicked on the link. That action had an impact upon me. Over the past 20 years of using the internet and various searches, it had not occurred to me that such information might be available. Now I know that such family name searches can produce all kinds of information including strange activities, such as cemetery walkers. Maybe today a proper ending is: strange is as strange does!


It is better to have a strained relationship than a strange relationship. Since strange puts us into an unknown territory, a strange association can become bizarre or even in a freakish conjunction with another human. While such a relationship can be just eccentric, it more likely can swing into more erratic behavior, and then can be difficult to pry oneself out. While strained relationships are not enjoyable, they can be better endured that strange relationships that take you into uncharted and dangerous areas. Beware the strange, better to live with the known than the unknown!

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Being “eyeball to eyeball” is not the kind of vision we will look at this week. We do see with the “eye” but that is only one type or concept of vision. There is more to the physical act of vision than what we may think. With open eyes, we will walk through several ways of seeing things in the physical as well as that of the imagination. Without vision, we would probably still be trying to build the tower of babel. With it, we see beyond the limitations of our physical eyesight to those things that “could be.” We can walk daily using our eyes, but we will never see what the future brings without using our “vision” of things to come. Don’t be walking blind, open wide your eyes and look for the future!


Our sense of sight is a precious gift and should be used with care. The primary definition of vision is the act or power of seeing with the eye, that is our sense of sight. This noun also has several other meanings as in seeing a mental image, the ability to perceive something not actually visible as in mental acuteness or foresight. Although not used as much, it can mean something supernaturally revealed. Some men are prone to see a beautiful woman as a vision, especially if they have had too much to drink. Do you have visions of sugarplums dancing in your head? Come down to earth and focus your vision on the road ahead!


Every day, we use our sight to see things. What happens when we see things that are not there? This may occur is several ways: mirage, hallucination, a ghost or maybe a trance. Any of these can happen when something appears by other than what we normally see. These signs of vision are outside the normal range of our sense of sight. The true test is: are they real? This is where we must divide vision into two areas; that which is within our normal sense of sight and that which comes as a perception or revelation. To some, the difference between fact and fantasy is a hazy line at best. Don’t let the shimmering mirage misguide you into the wasteland of unfilled dreams!


Our vision allows us to see a clear path and avoid obstacles. The impact of this ability gives us both immediate and future flexibility. It gives us mental keenness to work in the abstract as well as the physical. Our vision allows us to easily comprehend things we see but also to easily comprehend such useful concepts as foresight, ideas and insight for our life goals. Our vision can guide us well for the physical things we do, but also for the abstract ideas and thoughts we entertain for future actions. Those without vision will many times stumble through life, but those who develop a keenness of mind of the now and what is coming will be successful achievers!

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