Week 1 Easy Week 2 Vex Week 3 Incredible Week 4 Hidden
This week’s word is easy. Literally, our word is “easy” but it is not so easy to work with and describe. Easy is in the broadest sense an action that demands little effort or hardship to accomplish. It implies a restful state or comfort. While easy seems simple to understand, its uses and shades of meaning can vary widely. He is sitting in his easy chair. She has an easy job. We are living the easy life. The shades of meaning in these sentences are distinct and similar but also different. As we think of an easy way out, we need to be careful and understand the shades of meaning we want to use. We like the easy things in life, but that means more than just ‘cool it!
As a word, easy is an adjective; that is its job is to add definition or color to the word it modifies. It will have about ten variations of meaning. The action that it shows means to do without difficulty and without exactness. Freedom from trouble, anxiety, pain and trouble as in: an easy life is among its other meanings. An easy manner indicates lack of stiffness or awkwardness. Also inherent in its meaning is readily influenced or compliant as in an easy mark. We think of being unhurried as an easy pace or a gradual slope as an easy descent. Easy also means lacking firmness as in a product demand or firmness of price. But it is not good to be considered easy as in lenient or not strict. Remember, an idle mind is an easy mark!
Let me illustrate easy today. I rode my bike to Sprouts store this AM. Going there the ride was not easy as it was a slope up. Coming back home was easy because it was going down. As we look for signs or symptoms of what is easy, we look for things that lack difficulty. The incline going up was gradual but not too difficult. It was an easy descent on the return. We see that comfort, unhurried or not fast gives us a good idea of what easy means. To go slowly or do something carefully is an easy way, or as the sergeant said: “At Ease!”.
Today, let’s use some history to illustrate the concept of impact which we will develop. The Titanic was supposed to be the unsinkable ship. On its maiden voyage from England to the United States, the Titanic hit a partially submerged iceberg. That impact ripped a long gash in the side of the ship. Water poured into many compartments that were damaged by the impact. No one could foresee that unlikely event as it rendered all of the most modern safety features useless. That huge ship sank with a great loss of life. The ultimate impact of what they could not see was devastating. What the builder thought was an easy solution to danger proved to be his ship’s undoing. Let’s beware the motto: Easy does as easy goes!
Are relationships ever easy? Let’s think about that question a minute. Relationships are multi-faceted. They involve communication, emotions and mental keenness. None of these are easy. Some people have skills and abilities in relationships that are taught at a young age and these gifts give the appearance of ease. Many of us struggle to learn what good relationships are and how they are obtained. As we learn the lessons of relationship by trial and error such methods leave us with many battle scars. Such scars take time to heal and are never easy. We must learn to forgive and forget. Life will be easier if we follow what Nike says, “Just Do It.”
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Our word for this week is a simple word. It is probably not used as much as some of its companion words. We are probably much more familiar with similar words such as displease, fret, gripe or harass. We worry about things but they also vex us, yet we do not always think of our worries as vexing. Some things annoy us or irritate us, but we are also vexed by them. We chafe under restrictions but those restrictions also vex us. Do some things get your goat? Don’t be vexed, get over it!
As a simple word, vex does not have many definitions. Let us see what we do have. This word has four definitions but one is obsolete now, that is to shake oar toss about. With the other three we have plenty to study. The primary definition is to give trouble to, especially in a petty or nagging way. Things that disturb, annoy or irritate are also included. Using it in a sentence gives us the second meaning as in vexed with rheumatism. Normally we use vex as in a matter difficult to solve. That is to keep bringing up, going over or returning to, is another good way we use this word. Ever have a nagging suspicion? Don’t be vexed. Check it out!
Have you had those instances where you found things that were hard to resolve? Of course you have! You are human. One of our life challenges is to face difficulties and resolve the issues surrounding it. We look for satisfactory resolutions. However, until we find that solution, that problem or difficulty will vex us. That is how we know its impact. There are several synonyms that help to understand the impact of vex. Some of the more common ones are: distress, plague, trouble, provoke and annoy. These help us to see the impact of vex. When these arise, be aware that you are seeing its signs. Know what is happening. Don’t let it get your goat!
The word vex comes from a basic French word meaning to vex or torment. It is a derivative of a basic Latin word vexare which translates as to shake or agitate. When you have a milk shake, it has been “vexed” or shaken to become a tasty mixture of ingredients. We see signs then that vex means to cause some kind of trouble or distress. When you face a problem that seems to have a complicated solution, you bring it up or go over it again and again. To fret about or feel harassed is a sure sign of being vexed. Be displeased, but don’t be bothered!
Many relationships involve vexation and struggle. As human beings, we struggle with our ability to communicate effectively. Lack of clear communication is one area that touches many of our actions. Think through what you are going to say and proceed with caution. Being vexed in a relationship will be minimized. Don’t be guilty of a failure to communicate!
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Incredible is one of those words that is overused or misused. Some of the synonyms we see associated with this word are unbelievable, improbable, ridiculous. The very meanings of these synonyms caution us in how we use it. When something or an event is true but highly unusual or unlikely, then it might be okay to use incredible. To use incredible instead of a more appropriate word is ridiculous!
The definitions for incredible are fairly simple. The first is not credible and unbelievable. The second seems too unusual or far too improbable to be possible. Therefore it is highly unlikely for incredible to be used with much frequency. There is both a positive and negative to how this word is used. When something happens that is both rare and wonderful, that is a positive thing. However, when something occurs that is unnatural and seemingly impossible, it normally is. The storm dumped a lot of hail in an incredibly short time, is unnatural. Don’t be ridiculous, find safety!
The incredible edible egg! Ever heard that expression? It sounds good but is it really incredible? This expression is an example of how this word is overused and abused. The edible egg is possible and it is highly useful as a food but it is not to the point of being unbelievable or highly unusual. This expression is a symptom of how such words can be misused. Care should be taken to understand the definition and use of words. Improper use promotes miscommunication and misunderstandings. Know what you know, use it and hang tight!
When we think of incredible, do we wonder if it is just an impression or does it really have an effect on what we see? Perhaps a look at some of the synonyms will give us some clues. Three synonyms: unbelievable, improbable and ridiculous tell us something about our word. Something incredible is likely to challenge what we believe. Likewise, probability tells us that it is highly unlikely to happen and ridiculous is self-explanatory. The odds of something being incredible are very low, but we use it as if it is a common occurrence. Are you challenged yet? Reach for it!
Let’s take another view of how a positive word like “incredible” can become a part of our relationships. What would be some signs that you have a link to another person that has the elements of being incredible? That is a tough question. However, some words do come to mind that give us direction. Two people; as in a close friend, wife or serious interest in another person, can produce a blending or bonding that produces those uncanny and wonderful attachments that are incredible. When one thinks it and the other says it is one of those signs. When both go in the same direction or act in the same manner without speaking really borders on being incredible. These things are possible and real. My wife and I have experienced these special links between us. We enjoy those special times and yes, it is incredible and fantastic!
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This week, our word will be a challenge. Hidden is a simple word with much meaning both positive and negative. We don’t like things that are hidden from us, yet we tend to hide things that we find that are displeasing. Hidden is different from being totally open and honest. Sometimes we hide things because we are ashamed and sometimes because we think something might be hurtful to someone we care about. When we fear something or are afraid to act, we store it in a hidden place. Use care in what you do and things will not need to be hidden. Be careful, be wise and fear not!
The root word is hide, as in to be concealed. Hidden is an adjective meaning concealed or secret. Several words like secluded, out of sight, masked or cloaked give us further insight into what hidden means. A hidden code conceals the content of a message from all but the intended reader. Being undercover or disguised will mask one’s identity. There is truly hidden meaning in the saying “keep your friends close, but keep your enemies even closer.” Don’t let secrets trip you, be obvious, not hidden!
How do you feel when you trip over something? That awkward, embarrassing act that happens to you at the most inappropriate instant that everyone sees. For some reason that object was hidden from you in some way and as such had an impact upon your actions This is typical of hidden things. A few words and phrases which help us see the impact of hidden things are: private, in the dark, veiled, unseen, buried, out of view and undisclosed. The unknown can trip us up. Be wary and watch for it!
Something is buried, that is a symptom. You keep a secret and that is another form of being hidden and hidden means that something is concealed or veiled from view. The failure to heed such symptoms will camouflage the real issues. When issues are clouded, withheld, unseen or out-of-view it is difficult to keep track of them. Such hidden obstacles can appear at the most inopportune time and place. Don’t watch for the sky to fall or walk with blinders. Just keep looking around and you won’t stumble!
That which is hidden is that way for a reason. How so? We will look at some similar words and with a little effort; we can dig up some clues. Five specific words come to mind: concealed, secret, covert, undercover and disguised. As we look at relationships today, we do not want to see any of these five words to be associated with any relationship we have. Any relationship that is concealed, secret, covert, undercover or disguised instantly carries with it a very questionable character. If it is a good relationship, it does not need to be hidden. Hidden relationships are dangerous to your health!
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