Authentic: (adj) of undisputed origin; genuine.dictionary with letter A

I remember it like yesterday because when it happened, the combination of surprise, disappointment and confusion nearly overwhelmed me.

I met an older fellow who happened to be in my line of work and I immediately took a liking to him. I struggled to get his attention so we could become friends and maybe end up doing some projects together. But try as I might, he had absolutely no interest in entwining our efforts.

I was offended.

I was upset.

I thought this guy was cool, and the fact that he didn’t think I was cool just wasn’t cool.

So to avoid going crazy, I decided I would ask him about his indifference towards me.

I had just finished sharing my talents at a meeting and the two of us were sitting over a cup of coffee at a restaurant when I worked up the courage to pose the question.

“Why don’t you like me?”

He looked at me with a perplexed expression, hoping, I assume, to avoid any confrontation. I challenged him and begged him not to be insincere.

So, taking a big swig of coffee for courage, he explained.

“You are dangerous. At least, dangerous to me. You see, I do what I do because I’ve always done it, gotten pretty good at it, and see it as a way to make money without hurting too many people. Honestly, I don’t believe everything I say. And you probably have noticed–I don’t live everything I believe. You, on the other hand, are frightening. You are authentic. You are real. You have a childlike heart when you talk about your faith. It scares me. Actually, it convicts me because it makes me wonder why I don’t want that for myself. So of course I don’t want to work with you–and I never will. You remind me that what I preach can actually be done, and honestly, I just don’t want to work that hard.”

To my surprise, he downed the last bit of coffee in his cup, stood to his feet, shook my hand, and walked out of the restaurant.

I never saw him again.

In that moment, I temporarily wished to be a little less sincere.

I wanted to be friends with this friend.

But the power of being authentic is that it gives you a storyline that you don’t have to memorize because it’s your own.

But it also alienates you from those who just want to tell stories.


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dictionary with letter A

Apprise (v): to inform or tell someone.

So the girl you just met–who is very attractive–also has a large piece of broccoli stuck in her tooth.

  • Do you tell her?
  • Do you risk losing romantic possibilities?

You’re sitting in front of your potential boss at a job interview and he has horrible breath.

  • Do you offer him a mint?

Or you have made a severe error in calculating the family budget and have accidentally misled your wife to think that all the bills are paid.

  • Do you share with her so that she’s aware of the situation?

Ninety percent of the lying we do in life is caused by being deathly afraid and insecure about what would happen if we told the truth. Our conclusions don’t have to be realistic. After all, that is the definition for fear–an often-unmotivated sense of dread.

All we have to do is convince ourselves that the truth will not make us free, but instead, leave us stupid. At this point, we start the ugly process of elaboration.

Nobody has a situation in their past when if they had simply told the truth, a tragedy could have been averted.

So why are we afraid to apprise one another of the actual situation? It’s because we are all uncertain that anyone truly loves us.

Adam and Eve lied to God because they were unclear of the true depths of His love. That is sad.

I may not be able to have a totally clean relationship with everybody I know, but I certainly should practice candor with those who I am content love me.

  • Would I tell the girl that she had broccoli in her teeth? Probably not–unless I was willing to lose a dating possibility.
  • Would I tell my potential future boss that he had bad breath? Probably not, but shamefully, I would gossip about him later.
  • Would I tell my wife about the mistake in the budget? Absolutely–or the relationship is a joke.

I would hope that eventually I would apprise the broccoli girl of her tooth obstruction with a bit of flair.

I also would like to learn to offer the mint to my superior without feeling intimidated.

And I think the best way to achieve this status is to begin to apprise those I love of our true heart instead of making up fake emotion, and desperately trying to pretend it’s authentic. 

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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.


by J. R. Practix

dictionary with letter AAbduct: v.  to take someone away illegally by force or deception; kidnap.

I think I could sell that product.

I think I could make an infomercial and take in millions of dollars off of a new idea called Ab-Duct. It would be a duct-tape, manufactured in flesh colors, which you wrap around your midsection to produce the illusion of tight abs. I would sell a pen set along with the Ab-Duct, so you could draw in the muscles to make it look more authentic.

I think I even have a by-line: “Use our tape to bind up your faults and weaknesses and kidnap your flab.”

What do you think?

Of course, you’d have to offer the warning that if you kept the tape on too long it might cause you to get gangrene and die. But other than that, for like two hours of GUARANTEED leanness, you could have your flesh-colored duct tape completely holding in the more “gutteral” parts of your being.

Another possible weakness is that the fat that had settled into your lower Mississippi delta would push up to the top, making it appear that you had sprouted breasts. But this could be overcome, I’m sure, in some sort of marketing angle, or just the suggestion that you never remove your clothing.

Ab-Duct:  for those who want to capture their plumpness–and once and for all, win the Battle of the Bulge.