Cookie-cutter

Cookie-cutter: (adj) lacking individuality; stereotyped or formulaic

If individuality is merely the proliferation of really stinky attitudes shared in a variety of styles, then I, for one, would welcome a little bit more “cookie-cutter approach” to our society.

Candidly, as long as it’s a cookie I like, I would welcome you to cut as many as possible—to satisfy my appetite and an ongoing hunger in funny wisdom on words that begin with a C
humanity.

We might want to stop taking all this time convincing everyone about how unique we are, and instead, insert more chocolate chips into our recipe, making us more appealing instead of appalling.

There’s nothing wrong with being like other people if the way you’re like other people is an intelligent way to like other people (I hope you followed that.)

So if you can get over your fear of being common, you might be able to develop enough common sense to create a satisfying recipe, spread yourself out and bake up something with your life that makes people want to come back for more.


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Broth

j-r-practix-with-border-2

Broth: (n) soup consisting of meat or vegetable chunks, and often rice, cooked in stock.

Although it may seem bewildering, it is one of my fondest memories.

I was in the midst of one of my festering needs to lose weight and had fasted for about a day-and-a-half (though at the time I would have insisted it was two).Dictionary B

I was hungry.

You see, as a fat man, I never allow myself to become hungry. The presence of food is the ushering in of appetite.

I’ve never been able to consider the consumption of calories to be nutrition for survival, but rather, a pleasure I grant myself in large quantities, to confirm that I have the power to relish what is available.

Bluntly, I’m never starved. I just eat.

On this particular occasion, though, I actually gained the pangs, the passion and the purpose to receive food.

My body was growing weaker and weaker, and threatened to shut down in protest over my abstinence from meals.

Yet there was a thirty-minute passage of time when I felt more alive than I had ever felt before. I needed something–and was fully aware that I was about to receive it.

I was really famished.

I sensed a yearning rather than a burning.

And when I sat down at the end of that half-an-hour, to steaming broth with floating pieces of carrot and rice, smelling of chicken, I will tell you it was probably the most delicious delicacy I have ever devoured.

It had fragrance, taste and promise.

I’ve often wondered why I can’t return to that same fervency of appreciation.

Because on that day, a bowl of broth tasted to me like heavenly manna.

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Bear

Bear: (n) a heavy wild animal with thick fur and sharp claws which has many varietiesDictionary B

Is the key in knowing what, and then when, or is it more accurate to pursue when, while acquiring what?

Please pardon the philosophical approach.

Is when more important than what, or does what take primary position over when?

Let’s study the bear.

Because even though this creature is known as a lumbering mammoth of fur and flesh with a ravenous appetite, which can be quite dangerous if aggravated, it does spend much of its time sleeping in a cave.

The bear has simply discovered when to be industrious and what to do. The bear has also learned when to be lazy, and what is the best slumber.

I think we are either lazy when we need to be industrious, or industrious when it might be better for us to lay back and hibernate.

Think of it from the bear’s perspective:

  • Spring and summer come along, which have pleasant weather, lots of fish to eat and picnic baskets to poach.
  • Then there’s winter. Even though you have a coat, why use it?

So crawling into a cave, relaxing, realizing that most things are not blooming and that picnic baskets have been put into the closet for better days, you choose to survive this down period by resting instead of fretting.

It’s very ingenious.

It’s probably why the bear has survived the post-dinosaur era until now, with very little sign of disappearing.

So I guess to capsulize this into an easily remembered slogan:

Learn from the bear … and don’t do what you can’t bear.

 

 

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Alive

Words from Dic(tionary)

dictionary with letter A

 

Alive: (adj.) living; not dead.

One of my favorite stories from the Good Book is the discourse between the angel sitting on the stone that had been rolled away from the tomb of Jesus with the women who had come to make him smell sweeter for burial.

The reason I like it so much is that it’s filled with attitude.The angel pipes off with a bit of verve, “Why do you seek the living among the dead?”

It’s really kind of bratty–especially since these ladies had just seen Jesus die, and were trying to be nice … with spice.

But the angel had insider information. Jesus was alive.

It’s powerful.

It’s so powerful that I am determined to only pursue situations in my time on earth that welcome being alive. How do we know when something is alive?

It’s hungry.

Yes, there is an appetite. A true sign of sickness is that the sight of food makes us throw up. And the evidence of indifference is when we no longer want to eat information to make us stronger.

Things that are alive are thirsty.

They need to replenish fluids because they’re constantly losing them. If they don’t, they dry up and blow away.

I believe being alive involves some manifestation of laughing.

Maybe it’s not always an outward giggle, but it is a sense of good cheer–that nothing is over until it’s over, so why discuss the premature death of anything?

But in like manner, to be alive requires crying.

If we don’t lament loss and acknowledge the absence, we will not have the sensibility to fill the vacuum.

You can tell something is still alive because it’s trying.

I once saw a bird fall from the sky, injured. But even though it was wounded, it continued to move, attempting to gain flight. It lifted from the ground with its one remaining wing, for a few feet successful, and then fell again. But eventually the bird made its way to a place of safety. It kept trying.

I meet individuals who consider themselves intellectual superiors because they have given up on the idea of human beings. I don’t argue with them. It’s ridiculous to debate with the deceased.

And finally, if something is alive, it’s growing.

I’ve been dealing with this in the past month. Just because I’m aging does not mean I can’t keep my muscles toned, my diet correct and my aspirations courageous. When we stop growing, we are bedding down for our death.

Look for things that are alive.

And stop seeking the living among the dead.

 

Agnostic

Words from Dic(tionary)

dictionary with letter A

Agnostic: (n) a person who believes that nothing is known or can be known of the existence of nature of God and has neither faith nor disbelief in God.

“Can’t decide.”

I’m sorry. I just have a real problem with people who can’t land on a decision. Sometimes you’ll turn to ’em and ask ’em what they want to eat for dinner.

“I don’t care. Anything’s fine.”

Here’s the problem. On the first occasion you believe them. So you make Sloppy Joe with corn chips and apple slices. Then you notice they pick at the food and seem to have little appetite. If you dig deeper, you discover they were disappointed in the choice you made for them–when they refused to make one for themselves.

Alas, we have found the truth, have we not? Everyone does have an opinion, whether they speak it aloud or hold it within.

Those who decide to build a cave in which to harbor their thoughts only choose to do so in order to grumble at you from their dark place.

Thus the agnostic.

Facts are, if the only thing afforded me was organized religion and the existing spiritual circus which collects offerings and possesses land, I would probably be an agnostic or even an atheist. I would place myself in that no-man’s land because I object to the options provided. In a cowardly way, I would hide behind the inefficiency of the organization and pretend it truly represented God,

But that’s not what I do. I have decided to believe.

  • I do not believe in the God of the Jews. Too much wandering in the wilderness.
  • I do not think the God of the Christians has anything to do with real life.
  • The multiplicity of the Hindi gods only perplex me.
  • The absence of a god in Buddhism is a proclamation of self-righteousness that boggles my mind.
  • And the God of the Muslims at times seems to get up on the wrong side of His heavenly bed.

My God is the reality that I need a God.

I need someone to remind me that my humanity is more ingenious than “monkey.” I need a companion who helps to explain why goodness does come, through effort, while evil always tends to be the lazy choice.

Agnosticism is the fear of deciding. It is sloth–one of the seven deadly sinsfatal because it keeps us the victim instead of pursuing the possible victory.

Addiction

Addiction: (n.) the condition of being addicted to a particular substance, thing or activity: e.g. an addiction to gamblingdictionary with letter A

Being mortal, flawed, and yet inexplicably granted intelligence, I often find myself wanting to attribute all negative vices to others while retaining virtue unto myself. It is one of those conditions in the human race that we often refer to when awkwardly explaining our inadequacy or even calloused behavior. In other words:

“You’re addicted. I’M passionate.”

“You are disemboweled and disenfranchised by your actions. I am in the pursuit of diverse choices.”

Sometimes the best way to assist others is to find similar difficulties in ourselves. For instance, I don’t understand why people want to put a stick of tobacco in their mouth and light it up, setting their lungs ablaze. They are probably just as baffled about why I continue to eat when the meal is already completed. Yet I would be willing to justify MY actions as “harmless” while condemning theirs as evil.

No one in this society will ever be able to have mercy, and therefore grant finance, to aid those who are addicted until we are willing to admit the addictions that have crept into our own activities and our willpower.

Candidly, I don’t eat because I’m hungry. So when I see an advertisement on television, explaining how some pill or exercise will curb your appetite, I just laugh.

  • I eat for kicks and pleasure.
  • I eat because it comes to my mind that there is some food in the refrigerator yet unconsumed
  • I eat for entertainment.
  • I eat for reward.

In so doing, I allow food to dictate some of the policy of my life. It is the definition for addiction–at least in my opinion:

If any activity begins to put together your personal calendar and you find yourself shifting your efforts in favor of those choices, then you’re probably dealing with some form of addiction.

There are three things necessary to take care of addiction:

1. A climate where confession is greeted by appreciation instead of judgment.

2. An understanding that willpower is never enough without the support of others.

3. Failure is inevitable, success is rare and the race will go to he who endures to the end.

Addiction CAN be beat, but it will do well when the dictionary does not tie it to drugs and gambling, but instead, points it out as human selections of all sorts … gone awry.

 

Abeokuta

by J. R. Practix

dictionary with letter A

Abeokuta: a city in southwestern Nigeria, capital of the state of Ogun; pop. 308,800

You see, all he wanted to do was give out Bibles to natives. He certainly wasn’t interested in acquiring finance. His only concern was to provide the Word of God to lost souls in Nigeria who did not have any way of learning the truth of the salvation plan because they lacked a book to explain it to them.

He wrote me a lengthy letter to share his vision and also reinforce his credentials, listing numerous universities and organizations which were most definitely acquainted with his passion.

I was about eight or nine long paragraphs into this plea from Africa, when suddenly my the writer pointed out to me that even though he was not interested in money, a certain amount of cash would be necessary–along with the shipment of Bibles–as a tariff on all products from America, even if they were in black covers stamped with the word “Holy.”

So along with sending him a hundred Bibles, it would be necessary for me to include a wire transfer of $250 to cover those taxes and charges, so as to ensure that some desperately befuddled Nigerian would receive illumination from on high.

As a courtesy, he included the procedure by which I should transfer these funds–as soon as possible–even before the Bibles were shipped! After all, who knows when the monies would  be needed?

I do believe he was from Abeokuta.

I must confess to you, heathen that I am, I passed on this remarkable opportunity, kept my bank account intact and was forced to resort to a simple prayer for all those potentially damned Nigerians, who would be vacant of redemption due to the absence of my Bible shipment.

Such events do not make me cynical. They actually serve to make me more voracious in my appetite to find the authentic.