Are You UP To It?
By John-Robert Coleman, MPA.

There is a two-letter word that fascinates me because I believe It has more impact, perhaps more meaning than any other two-letter word in the English Language, and that word is,"UP!” My sole purpose here is to entertain you with some of the versatile uses and multiple meanings the word “UP” can conjure UP!

At first it is easy to understand this two-letter word UP
as meaning--toward the sky, a mountain top or at the top of the list.
Yet when we awaken in the morning, why do we Wake UP?
And when the sun comes out we say it is Clearing UP.
When it rains it wets the earth and often it messes Things UP;
and when it doesn't rain for awhile, Things Dry UP.,

When we are UP and about engaging in our every day activities,
do we not Call UP our friends and associates? We use it to Brighten UP a room,
Polish UP the silver; we Warm UP the leftovers and we Clean UP the kitchen.
Some guys Fix UP their old cars and Lock UP their tool boxes; and how about that
drain in your bathroom or kitchen that must be Opened UP, because it is Stopped UP?

Also you may have recognized this two-letter word has a Special meaning in our lives already. For example,
Poker players UP the ante, People Stir UP trouble, Line UP for tickets,
Work UP an appetite and Think UP excuses.
To be dressed/clothed is some thing,yet why is being Dressed UP so so special?
When women apply Make-UP, do they Face-UP or Fess-UP to a mirror?
When one man says to another,“Hey,Wise-UP!” Does it mean he is a wise guy or wise man? And should you be on a street corner you may over-hear a local Hawaiian greeting or it just may be uttered to you, “Hey Sista,Waz-Up?” or“Hey Braddah,

Other examples of the word UP can be subtle, confusing or imply a double meaning?
A pitcher at a base ball game is said to sometimes throw a Change-UP?
And how come is it we Open UP an office in the morning but we Close UP at night.?
After a stage performance or speech, why does an Emcee /Master of Ceremonies ask the audience to “Let’s Give it UP…?” But I often wondered, Give UP what? Is it our money, wallets, pocketbooks or jewelry?

Netherless, as I was Thinking UP and Writing UP this very article I had a recall of a former High School Basketball Coach who at every game would nervously saunter back and forth courtside to shout his pet phrase, “Listen UP Guys, he’d repeatedly yell, “You got to Play Heads-UP ball, “Play Heads-UP ball guys! Yes, I’ll admit, he was most often pointing at me.

Now Up to this day I believe that voice from my past coach is wise advice
and it can be applied to our lives as well. Yet if one is not Mentally UP for it,
one can easily Wind UP, Mixed UP about UP!

However, there is a solution to this entire UP word-play game,that is,if you dare to be very knowledgeable or clear about the proper uses of UP,
you can always Look UP the Word UP in the dictionary.
Now if it is a desk-sized dictionary,what you will discover it Takes UP almost 1/4th of the page and can Add UP to thirty-plus definitions. Perhaps you may be saying to yourself right now,“Heck, I’ll just Google UP that word!”

If you are of the adventurous type or UP to IT,you might try to Build UP a list of the many ways UP is used. Oh It will definitely Take UP a lot of your time, yet one must not Give UP on UP! And here’s why one must not Give UP on UP.?

We can draw upon a lesson from story of an encounter a tiny yet determined snail
had one day. On this particular Saturday morning she decides to Crawl UP onto a
local man’s front porch. Mind you, this little snail had a mission to Live UP to.

Inside the house a man was sitting down reading his news paper when he hears a soft knock on his door. He gets UP from his chair and opens UP the front door to find this tiny snail UP on his doorstep. “Good morning sir” says the snail, “I’m collecting for the Snail Benevolent Society Fund, would you care to make a donation?” The man takes one annoying look at this UP-Pity snail and kicks him UP unto the nearby bushes.(I believe he said “Up Yours!” and slammed the door)

Anyway, a decade later there’s another soft knock on the same door. Again the same resident opens UP the door to find a snail UP on his doorstep. The snail Looks UP at this man while shaken his stubby little antennas back and forth and she says, “Now that wasn’t a very nice thing to do sir.”

One may conclude from this very scenario, you can never tell who or what will Show UP on your doorstep, that is, to Lighten UP your pocket book or to just Brighten UP your day.

Author's Bio: 

John-Robert(JR)Coleman is a Hawai‘i based teacher,self-published poet/author
his works entitled,“Pearl Drop of Aloha.”(
As an artistic entrepreneur,John-Robert has pioneered and now implements a newly formed inspirational,educational card-product entitled,“The Heart Cards:
Your Self-Guided Companion to Inner Wisdom and Empowered Relationships.”

Currently John-Robert manages Heart Card Productions LLC. ( and consults by partnering with affiliate-kindred therapuetic non-profit agencies and private business to enhance their awareness and fund-raising objectives. He holds BA in Social Sciences and MPA, Masters in Public Administration in Organizational Development with the California State University, East Bay. He is a competent communicator of Toastmasters International and is available for speaking engagements and personal consultations at